A common complaint among those with low back pain is the inability to stand for long standing. I will explain a little why it happens and what we can do.
The lumbar extensor musculature is essential to give stability to the vertebrae of the lower back. When we have a painful injury to the lumbar spine, the lumbar muscles lose strength and endurance. Because of this, it loses part of its capacity to guarantee this stability. So what happens? The injured person when he gets up and stands still at first does not usually have pain. This is because the musculature, although weak, is at first able to give stability to the lower back. As the minutes go by these muscles start to get tired. When they are tired, there begins to be a lack of stability and harmony in the movements of the vertebrae. At this time the inflammation is awakened in the injured areas that are subjected to greater stress than they are able to withstand.
The key is not to let the inflammation begin. Do not stand too long standing still. The ideal is to do something before the muscle runs out and the pain starts. And what can we do? The most obvious and simple thing is to sit down and it will be the best, but it is not always possible. Let’s give some alternatives for those moments where we cannot sit. Before this I want to make a qualification. Many patients tell me: “When I start to feel the pain I feel”. This is fine but not ideal, it is late. Ideally, sit down before the pain starts. For that we must take certain habits such as sit down from time to time or adopt positions such as the ones we are going to comment on now.
– Put one foot high on a bench or similar. While we are standing, we must look around us for a site or object on which we can support a foot. The gesture would be like the girl in the photo although the books are not the most appropriate to step on. Doing this happens two interesting things. First, stress is discharged into the lumbar area by shortening the psoas on one side. Second, in this posture only the extensor muscles are working on one side and, therefore, those on the opposite side are resting. If every minute we change from one leg to another, we are letting our muscles rest without sitting down. This way we will stand more time standing without pain.
– Separate the legs distributing better the shit of weights. When separating the legs when standing stopped we increase the base of support. This means that we are more stable, with better balanced weight and muscles need less tension to maintain the posture.
– Support the weight of the body on one leg and go alternating with the opposite. If we have no place to Standingsupport one foot as we said before we can do this. We rest all the weight on one foot raising the other foot as we see in the photo, as if we were to put to the paque lame. Every minute we change from one leg to the other.
– Make gestures of pelvic scale, taking the pelvis to retroversion. Learning to perform the pelvic retroversion gesture can help us to unload our back when we are standing still. To understand what brings us this position I refer you to the specific post in which I talk about the pelvic scale.
In short, standing still is a posture that requires muscle and joint balance so that it can be maintained without pain. The alterations in the lumbar zone make us more dependent on the muscles to be able to stand without pain. If we are long followed in the same posture the muscles will get tired and we will have problems. Every effort should be made so that the muscles do not get tired and give the necessary stability to the vertebrae.