“What causes low back pain?” is one of the more frequently asked questions these days. To understand what causes low back pain, some research maybe required since there can be many factors involved in an individual’s pain. Being a Back Pain Expert and Fitness Professional, I hear from a lot of adults who’re being affected by lower back pain, sciatic pain, and other types of aches and pains… and sorry to say, these individuals are typically misinformed about what causes low back pain.
Obviously, part of determining what causes low back pain means understanding how the back works and knowing your own body. One thing I’m consistently hearing from people is “I’ve got a bad back “or” just my old tennis elbow acting up”. Actually, this frustrates me because these back pain and discomfort sufferers are misled and are frequently suffering pointlessly. Clearly, my frustration is not with the person struggling with the problem, but with the health and medical industry as a whole! These patients are frequently diagnosed with problems they don’t have like Arthritis, Osteoporosis, and a multiple of other conditions. Nearly all of the aches, pains, and injuries patients suffer from are due to muscle imbalances! We believe that the majority of what causes low back pain has to do with muscle imbalances.
Fundamentally, the leading reason back pain and discomfort, sciatica, or slipped disc sufferers experience these problems are because specific muscles are pulling the body out of an acceptable alignment. To start with, you need to understand some basic human physiology. Most importantly, how does a muscle work? Muscle tissues are attached to bones in two spots, the insertion along with the origin. In order for movement to transpire the muscles have to contract or shorten, which pulls on one end or attachment.
Two things may cause a muscle to pull too much while it is not being asked to contract. Probably the most run-of-the-mill reason is poor posture or positioning. An example of this would be how the hip flexor muscles (the muscles in the top front of your thigh that bring your leg forward) contract during sitting. The more time one spends sitting the more the hip flexor muscles will tighten. What’s worse is that almost everyone spends a lot of time sitting. Whether or not it’s while driving, while at the office, watching television, or in your own home on the computer, these everyday activities can set you up for back pain.
The other cause is a corresponding weakness, or insufficient use within the opposing muscle groups. For instance, the hamstring and gluteus muscles do not get worked nearly as frequently as the hip flexors and quadriceps, unless of course one walked backwards. The pull of these muscles directly affects the positioning of your pelvis. Imagine a muscle imbalance as a tug of war. If one side is more powerful it can overpower the other muscle group. The contraction of the hip flexors pulls the front of the pelvis downward causing the lower back to arch excessively. This puts unnecessary compression on the discs and also the muscles of the lower back. These imbalances really are the leading cause of low back pain and discomfort and strain.
Not only do imbalances affect each joint of one’s body, they also affect your internal organs. Here is an example. What do you think happens to the space between your internal organs when your lower back muscles are pulling you to a correct position? Your overall health is affected by muscle imbalances. I’ve worked with multiple individuals who have been diagnosed with so called conditions and are now pain and discomfort free within just two or three weeks! In nearly all instances, all I had them do was stretch the muscles that had been pulling too much and strengthen the ones that weren’t pulling enough.
Maybe you have been to a Chiropractor, Physical Therapist, or Orthopedic Surgeon. Did they explain the cause of your issues? Did they explain to you which muscles were pulling too much? Did their therapy plan remedy your condition, or did they only treat the sign or symptom? The major problem is that the majority of medical specialists never examine your body as a whole. They zoom in on your problem region (symptom), in our instance the lower back. The cause of the issue is almost always the tightness of the hip flexors and quadriceps muscles, which are in the front of one’s body. Before you accept any diagnosis, make certain you have checked out every possibility.
Determining what the cause of your issue is (or will trigger one at the end of the day) is somewhat uncomplicated. An intensive physical assessment might be carried out, which incorporates testing of muscular strength, overall flexibility, and operation. Also, gait (walking) and bio mechanics should be assessed to note any deviations which are the result of current muscle imbalances. In the end, once you understand which muscle groups are too tight and which are too weak you then know how to go about fixing those imbalances. All it requires is some stretching and strengthening of the appropriate muscles, which can take just a couple of minutes a day!
Written By: Updated: July 20,2011