The Mechanics of Your Butt Muscles

Butt muscles don’t come in for enough attention when it comes to back pain

But they can be every bit as crucial of a factor as the actual muscles in the back when it comes to causing you a pain in the lower back. The nerves in the lower back reach down into the lower body and the networks of muscles between lower back, butt and legs interact and effect eachother in ways that can be hard to discern. Take the gluteus medius, better known as the hip abductor. This muscle plays a role in keeping your pelvis stable as you lift your leg up to the side when walking or running. When you lift your leg up, the opposing hip abductor contracts to prevent the weight of the free leg from tilting the pelvis down toward the opposing leg. This maintains pelvic balance and prevents forces from weighing too heavily on one side of the body, thus contributing to spinal balance. 

So what happens with a weak hip abductor? 

A weak hip abductor lets us down because it doesn’t protect the standing leg as you move. Without strength in the hip abductor, the weight of the free leg actually pushes the pelvis down toward the standing leg, contributing to pain in the lower back and hips. This can all be prevented with a.) knowledge of body mechanics in this region and b.) a course of strengthening and stretching to maintain the strenght and elasticity of the hip abductors. Fortunately, we can help you in both these endeavors. We can show you specific stretches and exercises that will maintain the strength of the hip abductor and stop it from contributing to your back pain. Furthermore, spinal balance and posture will be easier to maintain. Give our office in Hackensack a call to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Albert Stabile, D.C.

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