Back pain – a victim between the thorax and the pelvis.

Back pain – a victim between the thorax and the pelvis.

Treating just the lower back does not always work for the following reason. It may be the victim between a stiff thoracic spine and stiff hips/pelvis. The lumbar spine moves in a forward and backward direction with very little rotation due to the shape of the bones. The thorax (rib cage) and hips which are above and below the lumbar spine rotate. Maintaining rotation in these areas, above and below the lumbar spine, are important for preventing back pain.

The thorax is extremely flexible in rotation, or at least it should be. It gets stiff and compressed when we sit at computers for hours or don’t breathe deeply regularly enough. It can get compressed when doing weights without stretching adequately. See your Crows Nest Physio A-J for some specific stretches for these areas. 

The hip joints rotate a lot, unless you ‘grip’ your butt’ muscles or stand with your pelvis is in front of your torso. The position of the pelvis, in relation to the rest of your body, can limit rotation. Postural assessment and correction can be taught by physiotherapists trained in this.

Some stretches for the thorax and hips to help prevent low back pain are:

1. Twist upper body sitting in a chair, or lie on the floor with arms outstretched and twist bent knees from side to side. Either way stretches muscle s between the ribs to reduce tightness and restore mobility. 

2. Child’s Pose in Yoga to decompress thorax and lower back; crouch on the floor and sit back on heels, take forehead to the floor and stretch arms out in front. Take 1 deep breaths in this position feeling the stretch between your back ribs.

3. Hips stretch ; lie on your back, place feet flat on a wall. Lift one ankle and place it over the opposite knee. Then roll pelvis away from you.Feel the stretch in your buttock muscles .

There are many more stretches AJ can teach you by specifically assessing your body.

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