Joint mobility can be a determining factor in overall health. While strength, speed and stamina are all important attributes, they may amount to nothing with compromised range of motions in crucial joints. The hip is a great example of this: sitting too much without proper attention to posture is a great way to weaken your glutes and shorten the hip flexors. Range of motion still needs to be accounted for and the lower back often picks up the burden. The lower back is a region meant for stability and thus, when it is called upon to initiate motions such as lifting, you have an injury waiting to happen.
Restoring range of motion to your hips is a matter of regaining what was lost: as children, we move innately and lift the proper way, using our hips and whole body as opposed to the lower back. Everyone has heard the maxim, "Lift with your legs," and this could be taken to mean, "Use your hips!" A proper lift involves sitting or squatting with the hips to lower to the object and then using a thrust forward to lift it. Retraining your hips will help to activate the posterior chain of muscles that includes the glutes, the trapezius and posterior deltoids, so that you use these muscles to generate power and rotate as opposed to the lower back and knees.
Part of how we help at Hayes Family Chiropractic is through education; teaching the mechanics of the human body and how we can use them in harmony is an essential part of wellness that we would like to pass on to you. We can also provide you with the soft tissue work necessary for releasing muscles that have gotten used to chronic tension and show you exercises and stretches that will keep this region mobile and effective. It is time to stop rotating with the lower back and inducing needless physical stress with hips that aren't passing muster; relearning how to use your hips in relation to the rest of your body can take you a long way toward healing and feeling less pain.
Dr. Chris Hayes, D.C.