Sitting all day & your spine

Many people have jobs that require them to be sedentary, or seated, all day long. When this happens a lot of people tend to develop issues like back and neck pain or discomfort. For more information on preventing discomfort at your desk check out our blog post on ideal ergonomics for a great workplace set up and remember to take small breaks throughout the day to keep moving.

Anterior pelvic tilt is a change in posture that happens when the front of the pelvis rotates forward, and the back of the pelvis rises. A lot of times this stems from sitting at a desk or in a car all day and leaning forward at the hips . So many people I come in contact with say that they don’t recall being injured and question why they have discomfort. The answer is often repetitive daily stress. Staying in the same positions every day can be just as much of an issue as one big fall or trauma and often even more so since we have developed these habits that can be difficult to break. The questions remain: Who has anterior pelvic tilt? What is it? How do we fix it?

Research suggests that as many as 85 percent of men and 75 percent of women, who do not show any symptoms, have an anterior pelvic tilt. This means that even if you aren’t showing pain symptoms this may be affecting you in other ways including decreased flexibility, uneven wear and tear on your joints and imbalanced musculature.

Anterior pelvic tilt is caused by excessive sitting or lack of physical activity and the effects are even greater when the two risk factors are combined. It affects posture and the shape of the spine, and may lead to other symptoms. Since our posture moderates literally every physiological function of our body from breathing to hormone production(Am J Pain Management), these alterations of our posture can have big impacts on our overall health.

Below I will list some exercises and other things that you can do for yourself if you think that you are having issues with anterior pelvic tilt. First I want to talk about stages of rehab. The first thing you need to do is remove the negatives.. Remove the bad behaviors that you do every day and remove any joint dysfunction that may be happening in the pelvis, sacrum or lumbar spine. The next thing you need to do is stretch and loosen the tight spots and strengthen the weak spots. The final thing you need to do is stimulate a process called proprioception.

[ High plank pose- lower knees to floor if needed. ] BEGIN: Hold for 30 seconds, 3x | BUILD: Hold for 1 min, 3x | CONDITION: Hold for 90 seconds, 3x

[ Dead Bug ] BEGIN: 3 sets of 10 | BUILD: 3 sets of 20 | CONDITION: 3 sets of 30

Image result for dead bug exercise

[ Bird dog ] BEGIN: 3 sets of 10 | BUILD: 3 sets of 20 | CONDITION: 3 sets of 30

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[ Glute Bridges + 1 Leg Variations ] BEGIN: Hold for 30 seconds, 3x | BUILD: Hold for 1 min, 3x | CONDITION: Hold for 90 seconds, 3x

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[ Belly box breathing ] In 4, Hold 4, out 4, hold 4

[ Leg lunges ] Lunges build up your glutes, quads, and hamstrings. Strong leg muscles can help correct by preventing any one muscle from dominating.
How-to: Stand with feet together and step your right leg out in front of you. Bend the right leg at a 90-degree angle. Your other knee should touch the floor with your right leg still at a 90-degree angle. A mirror can help you check your position. Push off your right foot to return to the starting position. Step forward with your left leg and form a 90-degree angle to touch your right knee to the floor. Repeat for 3 sets of 10–15 lunges. Caution: Do not bend your knees past your toes, which can hurt your knees.

[ Static Hamstring Stretch ] From a seated position, stretch one leg in front of you with knee straight. Bend forward from the hips as if you are going to touch that toe. Caution: You can cause tightness and spasm in your back muscle if you go down too far into the stretch. Make sure you don’t overdo it. If a chair is too difficult for you, try moving this exercise to the floor or try looping a towel around your foot.

[Superman stretch] This exercise is called the “superman” because it looks like a superhero in flight. It can help strengthen your lower back and glute muscles connected to your pelvis.
How-to Lie on the floor on your stomach and stretch your arms out in front of you. Lift your chest off the floor and try to hold that position for 30 seconds. Then lower. Repeat this for 3 sets with a 10-second break in between.
Caution: You may want to lay a towel or a mat down on the floor to make this exercise more comfortable.

[Leg raises] Leg raises are a simple exercise you can do to strengthen your core, which gives your body the ability to stand up straighter. You can also practice crunches in place of leg raises to build your core.
How-to: Lie flat on the floor with your legs straight. Slowly raise your legs as high as you can without allowing your lower back to arch off the floor. Slowly lower them back down. Keep your arms flat right next to your body. Try not to move any part of your body except for your legs. This is how you will develop your core muscles, because your abdomen is doing all the work.
Caution: If it’s painful keeping your legs straight when raising them, keep them at a slight bend instead. If you feel popping or snapping in your hip, place your hands or a block underneath of your glutes

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