Lower Back Pain, Sciatica, Biomechanics, And Proper Neuromuscular Recruitment
M. Montoya BA BSc
Given the underlying role of poor biomechanics and neuromuscular recruitment in lower back pain and sciatica, proper movement patterns and muscle activation strategies are critical for correcting these conditions.
A study by McGill et al. (2003) found that specific exercises targeting the lumbar muscles and the hip musculature improved biomechanical efficiency and reduced the risk of lower back pain. The study showed that exercises like the side-bridge and curl-up targeted the lumbar muscles and increased their activation, while exercises like the hip abduction and hip extension targeted the hip musculature and increased its activation. This study suggests that exercises that target specific muscle groups can improve their activation and increase overall biomechanical efficiency, reducing the risk of lower back pain and sciatica.
Another study by Hides et al. (2001) found that specific exercises targeting the transversus abdominis, a deep abdominal muscle, improved neuromuscular recruitment patterns and reduced the recurrence of low back pain. The study showed that exercises like the drawing-in maneuver targeted the transversus abdominis and improved its activation, resulting in improved spinal stability and reduced low back pain.
Similarly, a study by Steiger et al. (2019) found that specific exercises targeting the gluteus maximus and medius muscles improved biomechanical efficiency and reduced the risk of low back pain in individuals with a history of chronic low back pain. The study showed that exercises like the hip thrust and side-lying hip abduction targeted the gluteus maximus and medius muscles and increased their activation, resulting in improved hip and pelvic stability and reduced low back pain.
In addition to targeted exercises, movement re-education and postural correction have also been found to be effective in correcting faulty movement patterns and biomechanics. A study by van Dillen et al. (2003) found that movement re-education through feedback and instruction improved muscle activation patterns and reduced low back pain in individuals with chronic low back pain. The study showed that individuals who received movement re-education had increased activation of the transversus abdominis and multifidus muscles during functional activities like walking and standing.
Similarly, a study by O'Sullivan et al. (2012) found that postural correction through a specific exercise program improved muscle activation patterns and reduced low back pain in individuals with chronic low back pain. The study showed that exercises like the chin tuck and scapular retraction improved postural alignment and increased activation of the deep neck flexors and scapular stabilizers, resulting in improved spinal stability and reduced low back pain.
Overall, these studies suggest that correcting faulty movement patterns and biomechanics through targeted exercises, movement re-education, and postural correction can improve muscle activation patterns and reduce low back pain and sciatica.
Lower back pain and sciatica are common conditions that can significantly impact quality of life. While there are various treatment options available, proper biomechanics and neuromuscular recruitment have been found to be critical in correcting these conditions. Poor movement patterns and faulty biomechanics are often underlying causes of lower back pain and sciatica, and targeted exercises, movement re-education, and postural correction have been found to be effective in correcting these issues. Healthcare professionals should prioritize assessing and correcting faulty movement patterns and muscle imbalances in patients with lower back pain and sciatica to prevent future episodes and improve overall quality of life.
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