Postural Low Back Pain
4 out of 5 people have low back pain, and one person out of 8 has suffered an episode of severe pain in the past month. Usually related to weak or poor posture, it can begin with an injury, accident or from long-term habits. Over time, low back pain can cause breakdown ( i.e. Arthritis /Degenerative Joint Disease) in the spine and other joints from the increased mechanical stress of daily wear & tear. Then, during a lifetime of moving certain ways habitually, along with any new injuries you suffer, your motion becomes restricted to certain patterns only, rather than through a full range of motion, and your body becomes more and more unbalanced.
Low back pain usually involves straining and even tearing of muscle fibers. When the muscle tearing is severe, ligament fibers can also tear under mechanical stress. The symptoms you feel--pain and spasms-- from irritated and strained muscles and ligaments--are made worse by weak, poor posture and moving, sitting or sleeping wrong. And contrary to what many who are selling back surgery would have you believe, the science shows most back pain is not from discs. See WHY MOST LOW BACK PAIN IS NOT FROM A SLIPPED DISC.
Since most low back pain is postural, you need to restore motion to what isn't moving, and then re-align and re-train the weak links in your body's chain of motion to move in alignment. The goal: strengthen your stabilizing (postural) muscles, so you not only manage and relieve back pain now, but you keep feeling and moving well so you can stay active and healthy.
Unless it's the first time your back has ever been injured, back pain is usually intermittent (sometimes it's agony and sometimes it's perfectly fine) or chronic (the sort of back ache that never quite goes away). And sooner or later, regardless of what caused the injury, most tears heal (which is why back pain often gets better with time). The problem is compensation: when you're in pain, you instinctively move differently to avoid the hurt. Unfortunately, to make it feel better here, you might put more stress there, which is why back pain often returns, or you develop a new problem, maybe a sore knee or a "bad" hip.
low back pain is usually positional-- it gets better, worse or different as body position changes. Frequently episodic, pain may come on after over-activity or without apparent cause, and is triggered as body adapts to mechanical stress, weak posture and inefficient motion. e.g.
- Excessive sitting or hunching over a computer for hours at a time
- Standing, bending or being in an “awkward position”
- Chronic posture stress such as carrying a heavy backpack, pocketbook, or child
You get better at doing whatever you do—right or wrong—as your habits shape your body. The modern sitting lifestyle most of us practice, where we drive to work, slump at a computer all day, then drive home and slouch in front of a TV, provides all of the ingredients for shaping your body in profound and painful ways. Maybe your head juts forward from staring at a screen and the traffic ahead, perhaps you slouch with poor posture while doing so, and/or your shoulders roll in from typing and holding a steering wheel. Those stresses, individually and especially when combined, can result in occasional or chronic low back pain. And when you’re in pain, you compensate and adapt your body motions in even more unbalanced ways, creating a vicious spiral that makes you weaker and more prone to injury.
See Posture Science for more info on body compensation, adaptation and how posture distortions tighten overused MUSCLES, weaken underused muscles, stretch and distort ligaments, and pinch and traction nerves teaching the body to move in uneven, stressed motion patterns.
Related Conditions: Slipped Disc; Sacroiliac pain; Low back syndrome; Herniated Disc; Sacro-iliac syndrome; Postural adaptive muscle strain; Pinched nerve in back; back attach; muscle pulls, back strain,
Self-Help Solutions: Low Back Pain Relief
>Do Posture Exercises every day to strengthen posture. Posture exercise can help restore the full range of motion your body needs to thrive. To mobilize low back kinetics and reverse posture adaptation, start with StrongPostureTM exercises such as FOCUSED PELVIC WALL TILT and progress to BALL TILT
>Be conscious of your posture
- Head tall and strong
- Shoulders back and chest open
- Pelvis Tucked and centered
>Change body position and posture frequently
- Adjust your chair,car seat or anyplace you spend time often during the day
- Alternate which arm you use to carry loads such as a pocketbook or child
>KEEP MOVING- The Body Is Made To Move
- Take frequent body-stretch breaks
- Stretch your body opposite to the way you have been using your body.
>Best Sleeping Position for Low Back Pain
- On your side, with a pillow under your low arm, and a contoured cervical pillow under your neck to keep head aligned with your spine.
- Consider memory foam or supportive fiberfill or waterfloat pillows.
- Change your sleeping position if you are a stomach sleeper!
>Avoid regular use of aspirin, NSAIDs (Advil, Ibuprofen, etc) and over the counter pain medication to avoid stomach, liver and kidney damage associated with frequent use of these drugs.
58% of people using NSAIDs more than 3 months have ulcers. NSAIDs cause 103,000 hospitalizations and 16,500 deaths/year (Wall Street Journal, 10/2006)
Try Topicals for equal or superior pain relief. Also, try alternating hot and cold compresses (15-20 minutes) to relax tight muscles and relieve pain.
Consult a professional if pain is severe or persists over two weeks
Doctors of Chiropractic relieve low back pain by freeing locked joints to restore full-range mobility and alignment. Chiropractors reduce mechanical stress to balance motion and nerve function.
Massage Therapists apply gentle pressure to relax muscle spasm and break up soft tissue & fascia adhesions to remove restrictions to full, balanced joint motion.
Osteopaths, Physical Therapists, Trainers, Coaches and other Posture Professionals also help sufferers of low back pain
FIND A PROFESSIONAL
SITE DISCLAIMER & Health Note : If there is no trauma and pain initially begins in the chest, if the pain is not affected by motion, or if there is fever, nausea, vomiting, uneven pulse, anxiety, a sick feeling, burning urination, loss of bowel or bladder control, or severe pain, call your Physician.