Written by: Dr. Andrew Beardslee, PT, DPT
The lumbar spine is susceptible to pain when you stand and move with poor posture. Without proper core stabilization the lumbar spine can assume a position of hyper-extension, which can send the muscles of the lumbar spine into painful spasm. Engaging deep abdominal muscles when you are on your feet can avoid this situation. When in a situation involving prolonged standing, keep your lumbar posture in mind.
Here’s how… Think of your pelvis as a bowl full of water. If you let it tip too far forward (when you let your pubic bone in the front drop downward) the water will pour out the front of the bowl. To disallow the bowl from tipping forward, engage the abdominals like if you were bracing to be punched in the stomach. You may feel the pubic bone lift upward and back as you do this. It can feel like a silly movement, like you are a scared dog tucking your tail.
If you find that muscle contraction difficult while on your feet, you can try it first lying on your back with the knees bent up and feet flat on the ground. You will know you have contracted the core correctly when you can feel the small of your back flatten against the ground underneath you. This movement is called a posterior pelvic tilt. Repeating this simple exercise can build healthy muscle memory for core stabilization.
We sincerely hope you and yours have a Happy Holiday Season!