Tip 2 Discover how to use your hip joints correctly
“I can’t walk or stand all day but also can’t sit all day.”
Did you know that most of the back pain suffered by the public is lower back pain? If you have lower back pain, it’s a red flag that something is going wrong with your bending, lifting and carrying.
Where do you bend from in your body? If you are pointing at or thinking of a place around your belt line, like the photo above, then you are probably bending incorrectly! It’s a big problem. Many people think that they bend from their waist. No. There is no bending joint at the waist. That’s a back pain red flag!! Keep bending there and it will keep hurting you.
Tip number 2 is “Find your hip joints avoid those back pain red flags.”
Alexander Technique is about organising our movement differently. Sometimes, it’s worth going back to basic body mechanics to set your mind straight. You need to bend from your hip joint NOT from your waist. Unfortunately, many of us have gotten it wrong and then fixed that wrongness as a permanent pattern. We habitually bend at the waist. Are you ready to undo this pattern? You’ll need to find your hip joint and then you’ll need to remind yourself how it is when you bend at the correct place. The guy in the gif above is bending correctly. See how he uses his knees ankles and hip joints together. It’s a good example BUT wait….don’t try and bend all the way to the ground like him until you are ready.
Let’s start in sitting.
Find a chair and sit on it. Stick your hand under your bottom and you should feel a big bone on each side. That bone is called the sit bone (ischial tuberosity). Even if you have a big bottom, you can still feel those bones. For some people, the sit bones are a big discovery. They’re called sit bones because they are great to sit on. See the second drawing. The sit bones are represented by the green section.
Now you may not be sitting on your sit bones. You could be curling down onto the tail bone.
May I suggest you try, as an experiment, sitting on your sit bones? Keep your feet on the ground.
Now rock forward on your sit bones with your whole spine going with that motion. Doing that movement involves your whole body rotating around the hip joint. Can you feel how your pelvis rocks around your thigh bones? That’s where your hip joints are.
Does this help with back pain? Yes, using your hip joints rather than your spine to bend ensures you won’t hurt yourself bending forward.
Congratulations, you’ve found your hip joint. Using your hip joint, rather than your waist, takes a great deal of pressure off from your lower spine. Look at this short gif on bending to lift.
If you had trouble with that experiment, time to see an Alexander Technique teacher. They can help you recover your hip joints and relieve low back pain.
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