How Your Butt May Be Causing Your Back Pain

Davenport Chiropractors: How your butt can cause back pain By: Clay Kuethe D. C. (Dr. Clay)

Did you know that every time that you take a step, your neck moves, your shoulder moves, your lower back moves, your hips move, as well as arms and legs. Walking is an amazingly complex thing. You can tell a lot about a person from a chiropractic perspective by watching them walk. You can tell if they have a weakness in certain areas, if they are over-compensating with certain muscles, and so much more! This is why our butt muscles (gluteal muscles) are very important to the function of the rest of our bodies.

Take a look at the picture to the left. You will see a zig-zag pattern starting at the neck and working down the rest of the body. When we walk we must constantly shift weight and activate opposite muscle groups in order to propel ourselves. You will notice that our gluteal muscles are right in the center of the action. They begin the whole process of walking. For example, if we begin to step forward with the left foot our weight transfers to our right foot and the calf muscles are activated. The left hamstring tightens as you swing the left leg forward, while your right gluteal muscles are activated to propel you forward. The left lumbar (low back) muscles contract to stabilize the midsection while the right shoulder musculature contracts to stabilize the upper thoracic area. You will notice that three areas are activated on the right but only two on the left. In order to maintain balance the left side of you neck activates to stabilize the head. It is basically a back and forth battle with  every step that we take.

The amazing thing, is that this all happens without us even thinking about it. Here is the catch, the more that we sit throughout the day, the more our gluteal muscles become weakened. This begins to cause an abnormal motor pattern in the body. Instead of using the gluteal muscles to propel us forward, we begin to use our lower back muscles on the opposite side to propel us. This overloads these muscles and makes them tight and sore. This is one of those vicious cycles that continues to tighten the low back and weaken the glutes.

This abnormal motor pattern also leads to overcompensation in other areas. For example, the shoulder on the side of the weakened gluteal muscles will also begin to overcompensate and become sore and achy. Hamstrings and calves can become an issue as well. Once you understand the pattern, you can realize how a shoulder injury can lead to a low back or hamstring problem. The gluteal muscles are by far the most important, because sitting perpetuates weakness in these muscles.

You can help to prevent this from happening by exercising regularly. Get up from your desk and move around frequently throughout the day. If this problem has been going on for some time, you may need to have some of the tight musculature loosened up to allow the rest of the muscles to function properly. Chiropractors in Davenport are great at loosening tight muscles, getting your spine and pelvis in line, and giving you the exercises need to fix the problem. Make sure to ask your chiropractor if they do muscle work and rehab exercises before you go and see them. In case you were wondering, we do this type of work at our office. So if you are looking for a great Chiropractor in the Quad Cities, be sure to give us a call. Get Adjusted and Be Well!

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