By Jason Laporte
DHAC Exercise Physiologist
Lower back pain? Hip pain? Knee pain? Poor posture? I see this stuff a lot with my clients. Many people think these are natural signs of aging. The truth is, a lot of these symptoms are the results of lumbo-pelvic dysfunction. That is, imbalance or poor function of the muscles around the core and hips – the abdominals, the hip flexors, the hip extensors – especially the gluteals – and the muscles of the lower back.
I want you to try a little test. Stand up. Settle into a comfortable, neutral standing position. Now look down, do your feet point outward like a duck or inward like a pigeon? Is you belly sagging forward? Is your butt pointing out with an arch in your lower back? Are you slouching your shoulders forward? All signs of lumbo-pelvic dysfunction.
Now start walking. Do you waddle side to side? Do your toes rotate outward as you move? Do you feel discomfort in your hips, knees, or lower back? Again, these can all be signs of lumbo-pelvic dysfunction.
Not to worry. If you haven’t already progressed to a point of severe degeneration or injury, you can correct these imbalances. Even if you have already experienced arthritis or an orthopedic injury, taking corrective measures can still be hugely beneficial for you.
The thing is, even with imbalance, your body will find a way to move through space. It will always sacrifice quality of movement for quantity of a movement. Simply put, your body will find a way to move. However, I like my clients not only to move often, but also to move well. By correcting imbalances, we can train the body to move efficiently through different planes of motion and in functional patterns that will keep us strong and injury free.
Where to start? Corrective measures for underlying dysfunction of the lumbo-pelvic system. Get your core working synergistically with the hips. Get the spine and hips back into a neutral position with the toes pointed forward and the chest lifted tall and proud. In my next few blog entries, I will introduce you to a few simple techniques to correct lumbo-pelvic dysfunction, so that you may move well, often, and pain free. If you don’t want to wait that long… hit me up in the fitness center. I’m the handsome one with the dimples. Whatever happens, live happy, eat well, and keep on movin.