Unable to Stand Up Straight due to Lower Back Pain? ONE Easy Exercise to Address the Root Cause

Are You Unable To Stand Up Straight Due To Lower Back Pain?

Watch the video to learn a common, but often overlooked reason why people become unable to stand up straight due to lower back pain. Plus, learn an easy exercise to help you stand upright without back pain.

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The Hidden Reason You're Unable To Stand Up Straight Due To Lower Back Pain

If you've been looking around the internet to find out why you're unable to stand up straight, you've likely found that that stiff hip flexors can cause you to have difficulty standing up straight.

(If you haven't, check out this post)

Unable to stand up straight when walking due to lower back pain? Try these tips

But there's often an underlying reason why your hip flexors get stiff in the first place.

That can be from too much sitting.

However, another often overlooked cause is from stiff calves.

Your feet and ankles are the foundation of your body.

Just like any building or engineering structure, if you don't have a solid foundation, then the structure isn't going to be stable.

The same thing applies to your body.

If you have stiff ankle joints or calves, it throws your center of gravity backward.

If you were to stand upright, you're just going to fall over backward.

Therefore, your brain will counterbalance by leaning your trunk forward.

Since we don't like to stand bent over like this, you'll likely compensate by arching your lower back so that you feel more upright.

However, that arching of your lower back jams the joints in your lower back together.

facet joints

That in turn can cause lower back pain, especially if you have degenerative disc disease or lower back arthritis.

Another way your body can compensate for stiff calves is by flattening your feet

This causes a knock-knee position and an anterior pelvic tilt.

That in turn causes your lower back to arch, which again can cause lower back pain when standing upright.

Excessive back arch can cause lower back pain when standing upright

If you want to stand longer, more upright, and more comfortably, you need to stretch out both your hip flexors and often your calves as well.

Fortunately, there's one very easy exercise that can help you stand up straight without lower back pain.

Exercise To Help If You're Unable To Stand Upright Without Lower Back Pain

Start by bringing your feet out so your hips, knees, and ankles are all in alignment.

Unable to Stand Upright Due To Lower Back Pain Exercise - Step 1

Don't allow your feet to flatten or your knees to go inward.

The next step is to roll your pelvis underneath you.

Unable to Stand Upright Due To Lower Back Pain Exercise - Step 2

Don't allow your lower back to arch as you're doing this.

Don't let your lower back arch when standing upright

As you roll your pelvis under; you should feel like your glutes (butt muscles) working.

That helps flatten your lower back in a neutral position.

If you have stiff calves and hip flexors, you'll likely feel a stretch in the back of the calves and in the front of the hips or thighs.

You'll also probably feel like your glutes are getting a good workout.

Standing like this and practicing it is a good stretch for both calves and hip flexors at the same time. That's how you can stand more upright without lower back pain.

But how do you stand up straighter when walking?

Exercise To Help If You're Unable To Walk Upright Without Lower Back Pain

To walk, you not only need to have your ankles at a 90-degree angle; you actually have to get farther than that to progress your body weight forward.

Therefore, you need a little more flexibility in your calves to take a step.

Start out by taking a step with the heel of your rear foot flat on the floor with the arch lifted.

calf and hip flexor stretch with arch doming

Roll your pelvis underneath of you until you feel a stretch in both your calf and your hip flexors.

calf and hip flexor stretching exercise for walking

Hold that position for about 10 seconds, then take a step with the other leg.

Again, keep your arch lifted, heel flat on the floor, roll your pelvis underneath you, and hold for 10 seconds.

Repeat for 5-10 steps with each leg.


Hopefully this post helps you to stand up straight and walk upright without without lower back pain.

If you need more help for back pain and live in the St. Louis area, tap the button below to request an appointment with one of our specialist physical therapists.

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