It would be very sensible to assume that the cause of your low back pain originated from your low back. This is particularly true if movements using the low back, including squatting and bending over to pick something up, tend to aggravate your pain. However, in order to complete these movements a combination of muscles have to get involved to initiate and complete these movements. A prime example would be the glutes’ (the big muscles in your bottom). When these muscles aren’t functioning or ‘firing’ properly it can easily lead to a spiral of dysfunction. This loss of function can easily be kept at bay with a combination of chiropractic or osteopathy and learning the appropriate exercises.
A staggering 80% of people in the UK will suffer with back pain at some point In their lives. 20 % of adults are suffering with back pain right now. A recent study has also found that back pain caused disability more than any other condition. This makes it SO important to get to the root cause of the issue.
What are the glutes and why are they so important?
The glutes’ are a group of three muscles (Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius & Gluteus Minimus ). The gluteal muscles attach from the back of your pelvis to the back of your thigh bone (femur). These muscles are vital for hip stability and ‘holding your pelvis in the right place’. They are also the primary muscle for propelling us forward. When we walk we drive the leg through, using the gluteal muscles. Most of us use them the most when walking upstairs. Unfortunately, most of us spend the majority of out time sitting on these muscles instead of using them! This, amongst other things, can cause them to ‘switch off’. One of the other things that happens when we sit for long periods of time is our hip flexor muscles tighten, and shorten. The hip flexors are two muscles (Psoas and Iliacus). This in turn also inhibits the function of the gluteal muscles. The mix of both of these actions can cause a whole host of issues.
Other things than contribute to the glutes not activating as they should are:
What happens when the glutes aren’t firing ?
What do I do about it?
We obviously want to get the glutes’ re-firing. This is of particular interest to sports people. Before loading the muscle, we need to make sure its firing. For example if you start squatting large weights and the glutes’ aren’t ‘awake’, then other muscles such as the hamstrings and erector spinae take over and this is how injury occurs.
It is very important to work out why the glutes’ are not firing. At Reflex Spinal Health we carry out an extensive history and examination that will include postural, orthopaedic, neurological and of course muscle testing. We may also recommend a thorough Gait assessment to examine your foot biomechanics. Through these procedures our practitioners will determine if there is a gluteal firing issue contributing to your back pain and why that’s happening. It’s very important to not jump straight in to exercises for the glutes without a professional diagnosing the root cause first.
If you want to find out more and see if this relates to you just give us a call to book a complimentary spinal scan: 01189462100
Hoy, D., March, L., Brooks, P., Woolf, A., Blyth, F., Vos, T. and Buchbinder, R., 2010. Measuring the global burden of low back pain. Best practice & research Clinical rheumatology, 24(2), pp.155-165.
17 Church Road, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire RG4 7AA
Reflex Spinal Health are a passionate, dynamic spinal health team. We are committed to help as many in our community of Reading, Berkshire and South Oxfordshire to enjoy the vitality of great health, to reach their health goals and feel truly alive! Our chiropractors and osteopaths offer the highest standards of care in a superb environment.