How Training The Pelvis Helps Lower Back Pain
It has been about a month since you have last heard from me through the blog page. Although, I already knew I wanted to write about the “base” of our body – the pelvis – and its importance for our daily functions, I wanted to wait until the end of my ELDOA-2 course.
With more insight and working knowledge of the body, I am hoping that this blog can give you a better understanding of why the trainers at SolCore Fitness focus so much on the pelvis ‘tucks’ during the warm-up in each session we teach.
You might have read or heard that I have been (and still want to be) very active in my sports ‘career’ and consider myself a fit individual. My cardio fitness level might be very good, and I appear to be physically fit, not everything is as it seems. During our hands-on ELDOA-training, I was informed that my spine looks like that of an old man. Really, it’s not just lower back pain, I also have a kyphosis in the thoracic spine and a forward lean in my cervical spine. (Chin tucks are really hard for me to do properly and maintain during an exercise) I had no idea, I was so out of whack …
Nevertheless, with daily ELDOA postures I can maintain the pain and even adjust the curvatures in my spine, so I can keep swimming, cycling, running, skiing, hiking and perform regular chores around the house.
Because, everything is connected in the body with ‘chains’, the cause of my back issues are likely muscle imbalances from repetitive motion and poor exercise-technique, resulting in a slight tilt of my pelvic floor, which effects the rest of the spine. When muscles become short and tight, the antagonist (opposite) muscle often becomes long and weak. This creates an imbalance in the body. The body learns faulty reoccurring patterns. So, with the proper technique and enough repetitions, you can re-learn your body to be in a better posture and go through life more comfortably.
Maintaining a neutral pelvis position is achieved via the opposing force-coupling between 4 major muscle groups that all have attachments to the pelvis. When these muscles demonstrate good balance, the pelvis holds an optimal position.
A few facts; Back pain in one of the most common reasons people miss work and visit the doctor. There are very few people who never experience back pain in their lifetime. Americans spend $50 billion every year on lower back pain, which is the most common. Second to the common cold, back pain is one of the leading causes of missed work and it causes more lost days of productivity in the workplace than any other medical condition. Unfortunately, the treatment and management of back pain can be ineffective.
Doing ELDOA is not a magic pill, but it does strengthen the postural system, by mobilizing the intrinsic muscles and normalizing the tensions throughout the body and spine. “Creating” space also increases blood flow, reduces disc pressure, spinal disc rehydration, better muscle tone and a sense of wellbeing and awareness.
So, if you don’t want a spine like mine, please, do your “homework”, especially the wall stretch, ELDOA for L5-S1.
Jo Van Cutsem