In case you thought you were alone, a whopping 31 million Americans experience a painful lower back. It’s a turbulent spot for a great deal of the population, which is why Lara Heimann, physical therapist, yogi, and founder of Movement by Lara, has come to classify the most achey parts of your lumbar region “The Bermuda Triangle” of back pain.
According to Hymann, taking the time to properly care for this area can usher away a great deal of the pain lingering at the base of your spine. “I call it the ‘Bermuda Triangle’ because it’s the area of disaster that as a triad creates compression tension on the low back,” she says. “Over time, it can lead to degeneration at the disc and at the joint level. In the short term, it can lead to discomfort and muscle tightness.”
To locate the territory on your back, trace a line from just below your pubic bone, up to your outer hip, and around your sacrum. Do the same thing on the other side, picture the lines you’ve traced in 3-D, and there you have it—one of the most shipwrecked zones of your body.
When I ask Heimann what movement patterns spark Bermuda back pain, she tells me (shocker) that we can blame it on our all-day, everyday desk job stance. “Sitting is a huge culprit because it will create tightness around the hips that will make your body have to compensate somewhere else,” she explains. For example, many people’s outer hips are super tight from sitting all day. That means when you do finally get up, your lower back has to compensate for that lack of flexibility. Everything is interconnected, so no imbalances will go unnoticed by your body.
In an ideal world, all of us could quit our day jobs and restore the base of our spines to, say, a placid lake. That seems highly unlikely, but all hope isn’t loss! Below, Heimann shares three basic stretches that will help you neutralize any imbalances lingering at your sacrum.
Give your painful lower back some love with these 3 stretches
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This short sequence was part of my “Low Back Love” flow, which gets at (what I have coined) the Bermuda Triangle” of the lower back ( look it up if you aren’t familiar with this term ). Freeing up your inner thighs and crest of the pelvis are part of the triangle area and are key parts to liberating the load on the low back. Tag a friend and give this a whirl. This is sped up 2x, so go slow. How is your low back feeling today ? If the answer is not good, what are you doing about it? Let me help ! #lowback #lowbacklove #physicaltherapy #openthefascia #freefascia #mobilize #movewell #funkypincha #igyoga #yogateacher #movementmaker
A post shared by Lara Heimann, PT | Yoga (@lara.heimann) on
For a longer flow, refer to Heimann’s Instagram post above.
1. Bridge pose
According to Hyman, this stretch/booty-burner sets the pelvis neutral, gets the glutes firing, and lengthens out the front of your hips.
How to do it: Lie down on the floor, bend your knees, and place your feet just behind your butt. Places your hands flat out to your sides with your palms facing down. Push through your hands and lift your butt and back off the floor, making sure to keep your pelvis completely neutral. Lower down.
2. Low lunge
This pose activates the glutei while simultaneously opening up the front of the hips. Ahhh.
How to do it: From tabletop position, step your right foot between your hands. Both legs should be at a 90-degree angle and you can place your hands on your front thigh. Repeat on the opposite side.
3. Side lunge
Heimann says that this pose opens up in the adductors, a group of muscles that runs up the inner thighs.
How to do it: Start standing. Step your right foot out to the side, bend the knee, and sit back into the hip. Try your best to keep your knee directly above your ankle. Repeat on the opposite side.