Our readers likely have no idea how true the line is from the old song “Dem Bones” that says, “The hip bone’s connected to the back bone.” At least half of the patients that come into my office with low back pain have it because their hips have been bullying their low back. I will tell you some strategies in this article that could help your back problem or prevent one in the future.
Simply put, if your hips are too stiff, your back will be pushed into vulnerable positions. Consider bending over to tie your shoes. If your buttock muscles are too tight for the motion to happen at your hips then your back gets flexed every time to accomplish the task. Forced flexion with rotation is precisely how scientists herniate spinal discs in laboratories. While walking, if the front of your hip and thigh is too tight, your back will be forced to extend with each step in order to maintain a full stride. If I were walking a mile for my health, that’s a lot of injury to the low back. When we ask our backs to perform task which it is not designed to do, it WILL fail, sooner or later.
When we decide that the health of our back is important and want to use preventative stretches, we must use safe and effective stretches to loosen the hips. A good hip stretch stretches the hips and not the back! Research and clinical experience have taught me that stretches should be performed twice per day and that you should count deep breaths instead of seconds during the stretch. Believe it or not, a deep breath in tenses our muscles and a big breath out relaxes our muscles.
Somehow, dentists and our Moms have convinced us that we should brush our teeth at least twice per day to fight cavities. I would like to submit to the Get In Motion readers that our spines are AS important as our teeth. I encourage each of you to find out what may be tight about your hips and stretch everyday twice a day when you brush your teeth only for a few moments. If this story of hip stiffness and back injury applies to you, give us a call at In Motion Spine & Joint Center or at least visit our website at WWW.INMOTIONSJC.COM. And, Get In Motion Spring Hill.