Body Compensation & Lower Body Pain

  • RIttenhouse Physical Therapy and rehab fitness training can help lower back pain

Body Compensation & Lower Body Pain

As mentioned in an earlier post, here at The PrivatGym™ | Rittenhouse rehab fitness training has become an important part of our practice. And if you’re a rehab, “pre-hab” or a fitness client, we always monitor our clients’ physical condition.

One problem that concerns the team and causes pain: posture compensation.

Technical types call this “Upper Cross Syndrome” and “Lower Cross Syndrome.” (Learn more here). Both involve mis-aligned joints and muscles. And, they both cause pain and discomfort.

Tim Hampton our Partnership Director has taken the deep dive to help explain the problem.

So, you might ask:

How do you define posture compensation? And what’s the impact to our health?

Posture compensation emerges from the fact that we live in a fast pace, work-first environment. But our days don’t involve much physical activity. For many of us, our multi-tasking lives are very sedentary.

So what happens?

First, when we work at a desk we tend to slump. This causes our neck to roll forward and our chest to contract.

Second, since we sit so much, our front hip muscles tighten. Then when we walk, we pitch forward. All of this contributes to Upper Cross Syndrome.

Third, we try avoiding pain and discomfort.  As we move and walk our pelvis and hips re-align to deal with the upper body compensation.  This helps cause Lower Cross Syndrome

Lower Cross Syndrome constricts the muscles of your front lower body. And weakens your rear lower body muscles.

Your muscles in the front lower body become overly tight and active. At the same time, the lower back extensor muscles have grown much stronger and tighter than the abdominal flexors.

And because we might not be moving and walking enough, our hip flexors overcompensate. They become stronger and tighter than the posterior muscles. These are the Hamstring and Gluteal complexes, which weaken and appear to flatten. All of this creates and accentuates a forward pelvic tilt.

The end result is excessive stress on the lower back. That often means pain. Your knees, calves and front of the thigh muscles also experience tightness and stress. This stress manifests itself in lower-back spasms, weak abdominal muscles and difficulty walking. Lower cross syndrome can also lead to flat-footedness and knocked-knees.

What does The PrivatGym™ | Rittenhouse rehab fitness training do to correct the problem?

As we mentioned earlier,  it took time to develop the problems and it will take time to correct them. A steady program of exercise can help.

For Lower Cross Syndrome, at The PrivatGym™ | Rittenhouse we focus on strengthening your gluteal and abdominal muscles. And, we strengthen your hamstrings. Simultaneously, we work on stretching your hip flexors, quadriceps, calves and lower back.

For the 99% of the time when you’re not at the gym, you can put in place some simple lifestyle changes. First, add some more movement into your day. Take a few short walks. Get up from your desk and flex. Second, add some stretching too. We particularly encourage stretching your lower back, hip flexors and shoulders.

Again, patience is a virtue here. And, remember, if you need some help with a program or encouragement we’re here. At The PrivatGym™ | Rittenhouse rehab fitness training is part of all of our team’s background.