On October 17th at 11 am, JR CrossFit’s Coach Izzie will hold a Low Back Prehab Seminar to help you learn about the importance of the lower back in CrossFit and everyday life, with a focus on preventing injury. In this week’s blog post, she explains the relation of your pelvis to the spine and what to expect at this month’s seminar.
By: Izzie Balcells
75-80% of all people experience acute or chronic low back pain at some point in their life. Low back pain is the most common culprit of activity limitation in adults under 45 years of age, the 3rd ranked reason for surgical procedures, and second ranked reason for a primary care provider visit. (1) Progressive or traumatic shearing and compressive forces on our vertebrae lead to muscle strains, disc injury, or chronic pain often felt in the low back area. Causes can be traumatic, such as the feeling of our back “giving out” when trying to pick up a heavy object. Injury can also be slow in onset as the result of poor posture, body mechanics, or lack of strength and mobility. Because your spine provides the structural support to your central nervous system and spinal cord, these injuries are some of the most severe and require a much longer healing process than other injuries, such as a torn meniscus. Practicing how to create an organized spine tightens our bodies to lift objects in good position and transfer power effectively from core to extremity.
A neutral spine means our ears are directly over our shoulders, hips and ankles. If we are not able to organize our spine in this position, forces cannot be transmitted effectively under load and with movement. The term “bracing” involves activating and engaging muscles to keep the spine stable and the trunk balanced. Spinal stabilization is key to transmitting energy to the joints and muscles of the hips and shoulders. However, the bracing sequence teaches activation of glutes and abdominals to find the proper neutral spine position. Improving conscious control and activation of the abdominals and glutes have been shown to improve the ability to achieve a neutral spine position and decrease low back pain caused in individuals with excessive lumbar lordosis. (2)
Our focus this month is on learning how to properly engage the right muscles to achieve a neutral pelvic and spine position, how to apply this to lifting mechanics, and to address mobility deficits in your hips! Whether you’ve had a previous back injury, want to learn more about proper lifting mechanics, or find yourself in a constant state of tight hips, join us October 17th at 11 am at JRCrossfit to learn some tools that can help you do self maintenance!
- Gunnar B J Andersson (1998) Epidemiology of low back pain, Acta Orthopaedica Scandinavica, 69:sup281, 28-31, DOI: 10.1080/17453674.1998.11744790
- Neumann, D., Roen Kelly, E., Kiefer, C., Martens, K. and Grosz, C., 2017. Kinesiology Of The Musculoskeletal Systems. 3rd ed. Elsevier, p.368.