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Lumbar Instability

Poor posture and abnormal movement patterns are associated with lower back pain. Poor function of the lumbar spine at a segmental level is split into two categories, spasticity and instability, ie tight or unstable. Instability is defined as “ abnormal response to applied loads and is characterized by movement of spinal segments beyond their normal limits” (SW Lee et al). Hip joints function is closely related to lower back pain. Restriction of hip movement in lower back pain patients was significantly different from that of healthy persons. Weak pelvis muscles including the Glut medius & hip flexor muscle can also cause instability within the lower back and pelvis.

A recent study investigated hip range of motion in relation to chronic lower back pain. The study found greater limitation in hip ROM for chronic lower back pain sufferers than healthy persons and among them whom had lumbar instability showed greater limitations than those with lumbar stability.

Another study investigated the effects of lumbar stability and pelvic exercises on chronic lower back pain associated with instability. They found significant improvements in both pain and disability for groups undergoing only lumbar stability exercises and both lumbar stability and pelvic exercises.

So if you experiencing long standing lower back pain, the first protocol is to start strengthening your lower back. Its best to get professional advice and exercises from an experienced health practitioner, so come on in for a check up today!

Tom Ham is a chiropractor at the Kings Cross & Bond Street (CBD) clinics. 

To make a booking, call 8354 1534.

SW Lee & SY Kim, Comparison of Chronic low back pain patients hip range of motion with lumbar instability, 2015, J Phys Ther Sci, 27, no.2, 349-351

SW Lee & SY Kim, Effects of hip exercises for  chronic low back pain patients with lumbar instability,  2015, J Phys Ther Sci, 27, No. 2, 345-348

R Puntumetakul, P Areeudomwong, A Emasithi, J Yamauchi,  Effects of 10 week core stabilization exercise training and detraining on pain related outcomes in patients with clinical lumbar instability, 2013, 7, 1189-1199

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