Many people let their lower back curve inward (arch) too much when they stand, walk, exercise, and carry things (drawing on left). This is commonly called sway back, hollowback, arching, lordosis, or hyperlordosis. People who overarch this way get back pain after long standing and walking. They often feel they need to bend forward or sit to relieve it.
The pain is from overarching, which tilts the weight of your upper body downward onto your lower back, arching and pinching it inward (drawing on left). Think of the foot-rests in bars. The reason putting one foot up on the low foot-rest reduces back pain is that you unwittingly reduce the large lower back arch that so many people allow when standing.
It is not normal or "neutral spine" to have a large inward curve. A large curve is not "just the way you are made." Sticking your behind out is not cute or healthy, whether in daily life or exercise. It does not protect your back. It is bad posture that hurts, and that you can easily change. You don't need pills or injections or treatments for the pain. All you need to stop the pain forever is to stop allowing your back to sag, and simply move your back to straighter position while you go about ordinary life (drawing on right). Here is how:
- Check yourself - Stand up and reach your arms high overhead. Do you lift your ribs, arch your back, or lean backward? Did the front of your belt or hip tilt downward? These are all indirect pointers to different kinds of hyperlordosis (drawing on left).
- To reduce the arch, tuck your hip under you (drawing on right), like doing an abdominal crunch or pelvic tilt while standing. Don't round your upper body or hunch forward. Imagine wearing a belt buckle and tilting your hip to lift the buckle upward, closer to your ribs instead of hanging downward.
- Reach up again and hold your straighter spine position. Your belt line should be level. Your ribs do not lift upward. Your upper body does not lean backward. Now the reach has to come from your shoulder where it belongs, not your lower back, an additional benefit. The post Throw a Stronger Punch (or Push a Car or Stroller) Using This Back Pain Reduction Technique shows more on how to do the tilt to correct the overarching. Future posts will show more about problems from overarching in exercises and daily life.
Yes, this is different from what we learned in the gym and in school, including medical school. It is simply stopping the source of this pain - stop pain from arching by voluntarily moving your back, like moving any other body part, so that you reduce arching.
I developed this method, called The Ab Revolution™ that you can apply to all your daily life to stop pain, and to get more abdominal exercise than through conventional methods. Posts to come will show more. I will teach The Ab Revolution™ in downtown Philadelphia, Saturday morning, September 30th, and a workshop on how to fix your own back pain will run Oct 7 & 14th. Info on my site, www.DrBookspan.com
Related Fitness Fixer:
- What Does It Look Like to Not Use Abdominal Muscles?
- Using Abdominal Muscles is Not Tightening or Pressing Navel to Spine
- Change Daily Reaching to Get Ab Exercise and Stop Back and Shoulder Pain
- Overhead Lifting, Reaching, and Throwing Part II - Lower Back
- Healthier Carrying - Get Free Ab Exercise and Stop Pain
- Throw a Stronger Punch (or Push a Car or Stroller) Using This Back Pain Reduction Technique
- Prevent Back Surgery