Can Your Lower Back Pain Be Caused by Your Glutes?
Dr. Ahmed Alhamdan, BSc, DC - Doctor of Chiropractic
As lower back pain becomes a global problem, up to 84 percent of adults have low back pain at least once in their lives and a large percentage of them consider their pain to be self-limiting. While there are many reasons behind lower back pain, sedentary lifestyle and desk jobs are one of the major causes. Today, 86 percent of Americans have jobs that involve prolonged sitting. Now you may ask, how exactly does prolonged sitting contribute to low back pain? One of the most common root causes is weakness and inhibition in glute muscles.
When you are in a seated position, your back muscles are activated to keep your upper body upright and prevent you from leaning on the desk. At the same time, little to no activity is observed in the gluteal region. Now think about the effect of that when you are in this position 6 to 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for years! What usually ends up happening is overactive, overcompensating lower back muscles and underactive and weak glute muscles. When that is the case biomechanically it only takes a simple task, such as shoveling snow or bending to pick up something at a certain angle, to create an acute episode of low back pain on top of the chronic neurological imbalance.
Is the glute weakness the only reason for lower back pain? Of course not, as sometimes the issue might predominantly be caused by restrictions in the mid to upper back, hip flexors and/or other biomechanical or even visceral reasons. However, gluteal weakness is a very common observation associated with this back pain. With thorough tests and examinations, your practitioner should be able to detect those patterns of biomechanical imbalance and help you solve your back problem from its root.
Clinically, resolving this problem permanently can start with a critical phase of pain relief through a hands-on approach involving soft tissue release and mobility restoration. This is followed by the second phase involving specific advanced exercises or techniques that help gain back neurological firing capacity to two nerves that control the major glute muscles, superior gluteal nerve and inferior gluteal nerve.
One of the fastest ways to activate the glute muscles and restore its normal neurological activity is through Neurofunctional (medical) Acupuncture. This technique has been very popular among pro athletes that are looking to not just restore pain but also ensure muscle recruitment at full capacity. Click this link to see the famous soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic getting Neurofunctional Acupuncture treatment to ensure proper glute function. With this technique, a generally painless needle insertion is performed at an area where the dormant (underactivate) nerves are located, and a gentle microcurrent travels through the needle to activate the nerves and allow muscles to spontaneously and repetitively contract, bringing the muscle back into proper function.
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