The business of daily life is challenging enough without having to deal with a nagging pain in your lower back. The task of just getting your toddler into their car seat and buckled can be daunting when you’re aching. It’s been said that 70-80% of the adult population has had lower back pain at some point in their life. I’m betting a large portion of that percentage is mamas. We expect a lot of our bodies and put them through the ringer on a daily basis. Not only do we do the regular bad stuff like sitting too long at a computer with bad posture but we also lift, carry, haul and crawl and most likely with not so perfect form. I’m embarrassed to say that this lady is a repeat offender. All too often in my constant coming and goings you’ll find me with a toddler on one hip, two large grocery bags in the other hand, my 50lb:) purse slung over my shoulder, a coffee in one hand and my keys in my mouth. I know I’m not the only one here! Time to fess up! What’s hilarious is that then we act confused about why our backs hurt. Ha! So when lower back pain sneaks up here’s 3 things you can do right away to alleviate the ache!
1- Stretch those hamstrings- Tight hamstrings can cause your pelvis to pull downward and away from your lower spine. This causes instability in your lower back. Instability = easily injured. What to do? STRETCH daily!
2- Strengthen your booty- Your gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body but what many people don’t know is that it is commonly the most underused and under activated. As a consequence our “glutes” become weak and we end up using other muscles (like those in our lower back) to do all the hard work. Start showing your tushy some love and perform some simple bridge exercises. Begin with a routine of 3 sets of 15 reps 3-4 times a week. When those get too easy single your legs out!
3- Engage the core in everyday movement- Engaging your core can stabilize and strengthen your spine and prevent injuries. Learning how to engage your core can be tricky. While exhaling draw your belly button to the spine and tighten the transverse (or underneath abdominals). This is a flattening of the abdomen and not a hollowing out. Another way of thinking is bracing your abdominals if you knew you were about to be punched in the gut. Not the most appealing visual, but can be helpful:) I perform this movement when standing up, sitting down, lifting, walking up stairs you name it! It takes a little practice to just remember to do it, but take it seriously for a few days and it will soon become second nature.
I hope this helps aid in some relief! It’s hard to live mighty when you’re in pain. Take care and give yourself a little love, attention and time sweet mama.