Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal 70 to 90 per cent of Australians will suffer lower back pain at some point in their lives. For full-time workers, although their job is enjoyable, some suffer from daily aches and pains due to tasks that are physically taxing to their bodies. In particular, heavy lifting, bending and twisting movements are repeated in many workplaces, and when poor squatting technique has been used, it has led to chronic mechanical low back pain.
Assessing their movement, particularly with the squatting pattern, gives information on what could be contributing to their pain. It is a full-body functional exercise that looks at the low back, hip knee and ankle range of movement, and also their ability to engage the core and strengthen their back. It is useful in determining whether mobility and strength needs to be improved, as well as balance and coordination to prevent injury at work. Here are some important tips to performing a squat:
1. Stand with feet at shoulder width apart - hips stacked over knees, and knees over ankles.
2. Keep a neutral spine throughout the squat movement. Allowing the back to round or arch up will cause unnecessary stress on the low back.
3. Start the movement by pushing the hips back. Keep sending hips backward, imagining that you’re sitting on a chair.
4. As the knees begin to bend, thighs should be kept parallel. Make sure the knees don’t go over the toes.
5. While the butt starts to stick out, ensure the chest and shoulders stay upright, and the back stays straight. Keep the head facing forward with eyes straight ahead for a neutral spine.
6. The best squats are the deepest ones your own mobility allows. Optimal squat depth would be your hips sinking below the knees, but only if it is comfortable for you to do so.
7. Engage core and, with your bodyweight in the heels, bring yourself back up to standing, driving through heels.
When squats are performed often throughout the day, muscles are strengthened and work more efficiently. All of these benefits translate into your body moving more efficiently in the real world too.
#squats #preventlowbackpain #geelongosteoapth #myotherapygeelong