Does anyone have good corrective exercises for someone with lower back pain due to hip joint problems?
I have a family member who had one hip where the ball and socket joint has been fused together since birth. This has 2 major effects on his body: #1 - it limits certain hip motions, especially any kind of rotation on that side. For example, he can't sit "indian style" or do a butterfly stretch simply because his hip won't rotate that way. #2 - it makes one leg slightly shorter than the other. He does have a shoe insert that helps with this, but I don't believe the insert is necessarily correcting the problem.
He is 53 years old and was very active in his younger days. Now, he's a little less active, but he did run a half marathon last year and is still at a fairly healthy weight (maybe 10-15 pounds over optimal weight). The problem is, as he gets older, a number of things are "catching up with him." He has a lot of back pain when he wakes up in the morning and I believe some of it has to do with years and years of this hip/leg issue affecting his posture and lower back muscles.
Is there a good corrective exercise that can perhaps relieve some of the pressure on his lower back that is being caused by the differing leg lengths? I'm also looking for good exercises that can support his back and hips without doing more damage.
Any help or ideas are appreciated!
I assume that he has gone the medical route and had all the PT that there is.
I suggest you have him check out the MELT method which is self-treatment for connective tissue. I saw that you are in in Indianapolis, and I do not believe that you have a MELT instructor there yet. But there is a youtube video which demonstrates a technique called low back decompression which I use regularly in classes and on-on-one and see remarkable results. Here is the link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzv2qIbklqI. Please note that the video shows the exercises on a hard foam roller. I recommend to everybody to get a softer version.
Next month, there will be a book out about the MELT method which you may find helpful. It is already on Amazon.
I hope this will be another avenue for you.
Yes, check with their physical therapist for clearance and exercise history.
The MELT method that Karin brings up is a great help. You also want to stretch the entire body daily. When pressed for time, stretch the areas from the torso to the knees.
I hope this helps. It sounds like your family member is doing a great job.
It's important to rule out anything else that could be going on and to not automatically assume it's his hip.
It's very difficult to give corrective exercises to a person without seeing them and knowing their complete history.
A good physical therapist is also essential.
Assuming that this individual is cleared, a corrective exercise specialist would need to run some kind of assessment to rule out the cause being somewhere else other than the hip. There are many schools of corrective exercise out there, each utilizing methods that are similar, yet very different in their approach. If you were to seek someone out in your area, I believe you might have an easier time seeking someone who is a corrective exercise specialist under NASM.
Other schools of corrective exercise that are just as effective would be the BioMechanics Method and Function First. But as I've said, there are other schools out there (I just mentioned these three because I've had training and exposure to these three and I can say that even though their methods contradicts each other, they produce very similar results, of course some more effective than others in some situations).
A lot of lower back pain is cause by tight hamstrings (think insertion and origin points of hamstring and erector spinea muscles). You may want to assess that area and put a plan in place. Since he was a runner, an overly tight IT Band can also cause lower back pain as it pull at the hip.
Lower back issues may or may not have to do with the hip fusion. If this person has never experienced lower back issues then, perhaps, the hip fusion is not the culprit.
On the other hand, as we age, hip range of motion may reduce causing muscular imbalances. Also, an excess 15 pounds on the abdomen puts greater pressure on the lower back. As mentioned above without a good stretching routine tight muscles can aggrevate an imbalance. Further, running puts pressure on the lower back especially when we are out of muscular alignment. Does he run regularily or sporadically? There can be so many variables to consider. A lot of pain in the morning may be related to lack of regular exercise, lack of regular stretching, too much exercise, etc. You will want to consider more variables than the hip fusion.
So, seems to me that an excellent starting point is stretching to get the body back into its functional alignment. A full body protocol with emphasis on hip flexors, extensors, rotators, gluteals, and hamstrings may be best, done daily.
I dont wanna be the guy that keeps beating a dead horse here but you have recieved some pretty sound advice. That being said I do believe there is something that YOU can do, if for no other reason to be able to communicate to the proper health practitioner.
Obviously with the fusion there will be some undeniable mobility issues that may not be correctable and force other "parts" of the body to pick up the slack to maje movement of the "whole" occur. Assessing structure and alignment will be a key ingredient for helping him some of his joint discomfort.
I say this because most people that I assess will display a leg length disrespency, and will disrupt their entire kinetic chain (think of the song--my ankle bone is connected to the knee, connected to the hip, so on..) The greater majority of these people will complain of frequent SI joint pains. Now, I know these situations are very different because hip fusions are pretty dramatic, but what occurs as a compensation will be similar.
Most times, part of what we see in individuals with a leg length discrepancy is an overactive quadratus lumborum on the leg that is shorter. We have our clients do some soft tissue work on it and just like that they will see some difference. Over time (along with them doing their daily corrective work) stresses in the low back are reduced.
Now, I know that this situation is a bit but many things can influence pain and I would recommend taking a look at the body as a whole to see how they are influenced by the parts.
Hope this helps,
I am sure you could find a very qualified instruct where you live. And if you ever come the to Big Island of Hawaii, please contact me. I would be happy to assist you with an aquatic exercise program.