When you lift a barbell, rise from a chair or put on your pants, your spine is designed to stay stable -- locked in a neutral position by your core muscles. The movement during those activities should occur at your hips, which are ball and socket joints, designed for flexibility and handling repetitive, heavy loads.
In those with low back pain, the opposite pattern occurs. Their hips are tight and most of the movement happens from the spine, putting extra pressure on the muscles, joints and discs. At first your back might be okay with this. But if you allow this pattern to continue, over time the spine will become irritated. This can cause low back pain, disc injuries, sciatica and other types of chronic discomfort.
Chiropractic adjustments can be very effective for relieving low back pain and sciatica. However, it's important to make sure you also treat the root issue of why the spine is inflamed by improving hip mobility. A majority of my patients with back pain at my Bloomingdale IL office learn how to keep their hips flexible as part of their treatment plan -- providing long term relief and reducing the chance of future flare ups.
One of my favorite hip mobility drills is the Shin Box. It uniquely challenges your hips into rotation with your hips both in a flexed and extended position. Follow along with my video instructions below. If you also have knee problems or any pain with this exercise, please proceed with caution. Although it's a powerful way to improve flexibility, this drill is not for everyone! There are many other ways to improve your hips depending on your situation -- which is why I love being able to customize care for each patient in my chiropractic office.