Squatting Can Help Your Low Back Pain
One of my idols growing up was Ronnie Coleman. The man is a LEGEND for his workouts. He was constantly screaming things like, “Light weight!” or “Ain’t nothin’ but a peanut!” before he would lift hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds with his legs. Yes, I said thousands. If you want to watch a truly moving documentary about body building, his story can be found on Netflix. I watched it and I cried – it was that good.
While I could go on and on about Ronnie, I really want to talk about his shirt, “shut up and squat.” That shirt has an incredibly powerful message for my friends out there with low back pain.
For the last several months, my wife has noted with some regularity that it hurts right at the base of her back where she has dimples (otherwise known as the SI joint or PSIS). She was constantly imploring me to give her exercises for lower back pain. I would reply, “Go squat.” After several exchanges, she finally did squat and guess what happened? Her back pain decreased substantially…from just one day at the gym. Why is that?
Squatting is a beautiful movement that causes most if not all of the body’s musculature to contract in concert to stabilize the skeleton as it dips down and then comes back up. Add a little weight on there for good measure and POW! you have a lot of neural recruitment, growth hormone, endorphins, etc flowing through that body.
Physical Therapy Will Help Your Pain!
What did that mean for my wife? In her case, having just had two children within a 20 month span, I believe it gave her disengaged spine, pelvic floor, abdomen and hips a SERIOUS wake up call. That wake up call led to better muscle activation which in turn gave her low back and SI joint better stabilization. Better stabilization equals LESS PAIN. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why your physical therapist is ADAMANT about your home exercise program. This is the secret sauce.
Now, before I close, I want to be really clear – squatting does not cure all forms of low back pain. Believe me when I say, I wish it did. What I am suggesting is that activity, yes I’m talking about exercise, is incredibly valuable and good for people with low back pain regardless of the intensity, chronicity, etc. If you are dealing with low back pain and don’t know where to start, ask your local qualified physical therapist or back pain doctor for some help. They will help get rid of that low back pain faster than you can say, “Yeah Buddy!”
If you have low back pain, give our Bentonville Physical Therapy Clinic a call at 479-268-6040 and schedule an appointment.