Year VI., number 1.
Getting Back To Exercise Without Pain: The Lower Back
Keywords:low back pain, lower crossed syndrome, the NASM Corrective Exercise Continuum, neutral spine, sedentary lifestyle
Most people today live a sedentary lifestyle, lack of movement results in the body becoming less equipped to take part in sporting activities presenting considerable challenges for person- al trainers and sports coaches. When the body is expected to perform, a weak musculoskeletal foundation can lead to postural deviations, muscular imbalances and unaligned joint. Physical inactivity is increasing the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) (12, 14) and injuries during sport and recrea- tional activities. A common issue of most work environment is inappropriate, repetitive sitting, lifting and standing positions that are aggravating low back pain. Tight muscles around the hips like the hip flexor complex, the lumbar erector spinae and underactive muscles like the gluteus maximus or transversus abdominis (TVA), multifidus can result in excessive, unwanted motion of the lumbar spine(14,18). One approach to counter ailments is the NASM Corrective Exercise Continuum (CEx) – that promotes the activation and deactivation of muscles, fascia and the nervous system(2). To accomplish the four stages of the CEx model (Self-Myofascial Release (SMR), stretches, isolated activation and integration of muscles) a good understanding is needed of the healthy musculoskeletal system through different postures, the nature of musculoskeletal diseases and finally identify risk factors for potential musculoskeletal problems. My aim is to discuss how improved muscle strength and flexibility around the hips can help prevent or help improve core strength and decrease lower back hypermobility.In line with the NASM CEx system, I have suggested some easy to implement techniques and exercises and drew attention to preventative body awareness measures. Please refer back to my previous three articles on description and use of the movement assessments and the CEx.