Millions of people suffer from lower back pain and, whilst it’s true that the reasons are not always clear cut and obvious, there are a number of common characteristics that most people complaining of lower back pain share:
- They have weak or inactive gluteal muscles – either one side or both. These powerhouse muscles need to be working properly to take the load off the lower back.
- They have tight adductor muscles with the above – this imbalance predisposes instability and rotation at the pelvis, leading to compression around the bottom of the spine.
- They typically have at least one foot that is pointed out in everyday posture leading to over-pronation, with ankles and knees on that side collapsing inwards, causing the pelvis to drop and rotate, putting pressure on the lumbar spine.
- They very often have an anterior pelvic tilt as well (especially ladies who have gone through childbirth) – this causes them to overextend the lumbar spine, again causing compression of the discs.
- Apart from mothers, other categories very liable to complain of back pain I notice are cyclists (due to the postural difficulties of being on a bike), runners (improper absorption of ground reaction forces, as well as the issues already mentioned), hairdressers (frequently hunching forward), people who lead very sedentary lives generally, people who wear heavily built up shoes and many many more.
Of course there can be other reasons too, including traumatic injury, but usually I find it’s postural or habitual or occupational or sport related.
Most people don’t go for help until the pain becomes debilitating. Unfortunately, the main goal of their treatment typically is to remove the immediate pain without addressing the root causes and usually by zooming in on the area of pain itself, rather than looking at any of these wider factors.
Usually, but not in every case, I have found that by taking a global view of human movement and posture and starting to address the other lifestyle pieces, either eliminates the pain altogether or massively reduces it.
Just by educating people about how to stand and move and what activities to minimise, along with strengthening gluteals, giving some pelvic stability and releasing tight muscles etc., the NHS could easily save itself billions, million of working days would be saved to the economy etc. etc.
Unfortunately, as long as the only policy message is to move more and eat less (with the implication that neither the way we move nor what we eat matters!) then most people with lower back pain will continue to suffer unnecessarily.
This is all total madness!
If you have lower back pain, don’t accept that it’s just normal wear and tear, that it requires pain killers and that it’s just old age or bad luck, go and see a posture and human movement specialist and you might be astounded at how easily your back pain goes away – I have seen it so many times now that I believe it’s absolutely criminal that people are not being educated about this.
Email David at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07504439555 to get a free assessment.