Most people have heard the saying, “lift with your legs”, but the proper lifting technique and muscles used are rarely discussed. The glutes, which are comprised of three separate muscles: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus, provide much needed support for the low back and lower half of the body. Each glute muscle performs slightly different movements. As chiropractors, we focus on these muscles’ role in lower body movement and injury prevention.
Improper lifting and movement patterns greatly increase the risk for injury in the low back. The low back naturally has an arch, which is known as lordosis. Sitting for extended periods of time and bending forward to lift put the low back in flexion, which is the opposite of it’s natural arch. Constant positions of flexion with force applied, such as sitting or lifting, strains the muscles, discs, and joints of the low back. It is common for wear and tear to occur over such long periods of time that patients will eventually injure the low back with something as simple as bending forward to tie their shoe. Good chiropractic care will provide you with education on exercises and movement patterns that support and protect the low back by keeping its natural lordosis position. When utilizing proper bending and lifting form, the main muscles being used are the glutes, and not the low back musculature. The goal is the keep the low back as close to it’s natural arch position as possible, while bending at the hips, and recruiting the glutes for movement. This is typically seen in proper squatting exercises. For most people this feels unnatural and needs to be learned and practiced.
The low back musculature is not as strong as the large glute muscles, which puts them at risk for injury when they are being predominately used through bending, lifting, and sitting to standing. At Rochester ChiroTherapy, we educate our patients on the proper movement pattern that should be used through all of those ranges of motion.
Do you have a job that requires you to sit for long times, or even bend and lift heavy objects all day? Are you supporting your low back with proper movement patterns? Are your glutes protecting your low back? For a screening, treatment and movement pattern education schedule today at Rochester ChiroTherapy, the fastest growing chiropractic office in Rochester, NY.