Learn how to fix lower back pain with these tips from Jeff Cavaliere.
How to Fix Lower Back Pain
“Low back pain is by far the most common source of discomfort we deal with. The irony is, a lot of times what we feel is rooted in the lower back is actually caused by muscles not in the back at all. In this video, I’m going to show you how the glute medius could be the real cause of your back pain and a quick exercise you can do to relieve your discomfort instantly. Once gone, I’m also going to show you a few additional exercises you can do to make sure your low back pain never returns.”
- How to Fix Lower Back Pain
- Weak Glutes
- Movement Strategy
- Video – How to Fix Lower Back Pain
- Learn More
- Muscles of the back
- The intercostal muscles
- The intercostal nerves
- Extensor muscles
- The longissimus thoracis group (erector spinae)
- Multifidi or Multifidus spinae (or simply Multifidus)
“The gluteus medius is sandwiched between the glute maximus and minimus and lies in and around the hip area. The role of the muscle is to abduct your hip or lift your leg out to the side in either standing or side lying and to keep your pelvis level whenever you take a step. Prolonged sitting during the day as well as an unequal weight distribution when standing are two of the most common reasons for this muscle to get weak and imbalanced.”
“You can quickly test to see if you have the makings of a weak glute medius by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and lifting one foot off the ground. First take note whether or not your opposite hip drops significantly. If it does, this would indicate a glute weakness on that side. You would repeat with the opposite foot as well. When you do this you would also want to see if you had to dramatically shift your weight to one side just to lift that foot off the ground. If you do, this would indicate that you have an unequal weight distribution when standing and it would be especially troublesome when squatting.”
“To fix this quickly, you will want to lay down on the ground with your affected side on top. If your right lower back was bothering you then you would want to lie on your left hip. From here, take your thumb and place it on the area most sore. You should feel that this is going to happen just to the outside of the bony prominence of your pelvis. From here, push to hold back the trigger point and start flossing your leg down and in front of you and then back and up. Your hip should be extended and then lifted into abduction towards the ceiling (being sure to point the toes down to keep the glute medius in focus). Do this about 10 times until you feel the tension in the muscle release.”
“Now, you can burn out the spasm in the trigger point by getting into the fully contracted position of the glute medius muscle and holding as long as you can. Generally, because this muscle is often very weak, this may not be any longer than 30 seconds to a minute. Once you cannot hold it any more you will stand up and you should notice an immediate relief of the pain on that side.”
“This is the quick but not permanent fix for this problem. Since the underlying cause is weakness in the gluteus medius muscle you will want to back this up with some exercises for your low back that you can do a few times a week. I show you three options for this. The first is the hip bump against the wall. The second is called the sack swinger, and can be done with a dog leash if you don’t have a formal dip belt. The last is actually doing the same movement that you did for the treatment, but this time as a strengthening exercise for your low back.”
“Whatever you do, just be sure you are consistent. You will also see that as you relieve the tension in this muscle that your squat performance improves as well. Your depth should be increased and any low back pain that you felt by doing the exercise should be gone since you will now be able to do them with equal force through each leg.”
Video – How to Fix Lower Back Pain
Muscles of the back
The back muscles are a collection of different muscles that allow us to move the spine and torso, and they help us maintain posture. The back muscles are divided into different groups based on their location in the body.
The intercostal muscles
The intercostal muscles are a group of muscles that connect the ribs to the sternum and help with breathing. The intercostal muscles are innervated by intercostal nerves, which are part of the sympathetic nervous system. In addition to helping inspire air into your lungs during inhalation, they also assist in exhalation by contracting while you exhale.
The external intercostal muscles (also called deep or innermost intercostals) run vertically between each rib and assist in inspiration. They’re generally larger than their internal counterparts, which run horizontally between each rib. Both sets are assisted by other muscles responsible for rotation and stabilization of movement as well as diaphragmatic contraction during respiration.
The intercostal nerves
The intercostal nerves are a collection of sensory fibres that run between adjacent ribs. The nerves are part of the autonomic nervous system and carry pain signals from the chest wall to the spinal cord.
Injuries to these nerves can cause dull, aching pain in your chest and may make it difficult for you to take deep breaths.
The back extensor muscles extend the spine and are also called dorsal muscles because they run along the back of the body. These muscles include:
- Levator scapulae
- Rhomboid major and rhomboideus minor
The longissimus thoracis group (erector spinae)
The longissimus thoracis group (erector spinae) is a set of muscles that runs along the back. There are three parts:
- Longissimus dorsi: Located on either side of the vertebral column, this muscle extends from the lower cervical spine to the sacrum and coccyx. Its function is to extend and rotate your upper body.
- Spinalis dorsi: This muscle lies underneath the longissimus dorsi and extends from your neck to your lower back. Its function is also to extend your upper body but also helps stabilize it by supporting its weight while bending forward or backward.
- Iliocostalis lumborum: Also known as “the short head” because it’s shorter than other parts of this group, this muscle begins at two different points on each side (your low back).
Multifidi or Multifidus spinae (or simply Multifidus)
The multifidi are located in the lumbar spine, sacrum, and coccyx. They are responsible for lateral flexion of the vertebral column. They are innervated by the dorsal rami of the spinal nerves.
The sacrospinalis is the deepest muscle of the back. It lies within a sling that surrounds your spine, where it connects with your sacrum (the triangular bone at the bottom of your spine). The sacrospinalis works with other postural muscles to support and stabilize your pelvis, lower back, upper thighs, and tailbone.
In summary, the back muscles can be divided into three groups: extensors (which flex and extend the vertebral column), flexors (which flex the vertebral column), and rotators. They are all innervated by different nerves, which supply sensory information from the skin of the back or neck.
The longissimus thoracis group is a complex muscle composed of several smaller muscles that work together to create movement in different directions depending on what position your body is in at any given time.
Follow these tips to help you alleviate your back pain.
- Lower-back-pain: CrossFit / Depositphotos