FAQ – Lower Back Pain

What causes lower back pain?

There are may theories out there. Some people claim that back pain is caused by psychological pain stored up in the body. This theory suggests that you have a lot of repressed emotions and this is manifested as actual physical pain in the body. While I do not dispute that this can be a factor, I have seen far more physical reasons for lower back pain. In my experience, your posture is the definitive cause of back pain.

For example, if you sit most of the day, don’t work out very much and hardly ever stretch, your chances of getting back pain are extremely high. And since, that is most of us, it should not surprising that most of us have back pain. There are some main postural distortions that occur over time, but the more important point is that they do occur. I can see them as clear as night and day on people and you will need to identify your own postural issues if you really want to address lower back pain so you can get rid of it.

Take a look at your hips from the side, preferably by using a mirror. Imagine there is a bucket of water resting on your pelvis. Now, your hips are the bucket. Looking at your hips, can you see if the bucket would be spilling water out the front or in the back? If so, you have a postural shift that can definitely cause significant back pain. By the way, it can also cause upper back pain, neck pain and shoulder issues. Once your hips are out of balance, the rest of the body has to compensate for it.

Take a few moments to analyze how you look. How do you stand? How do you sit? Become more aware of how you hold your body throughout the day. You will be surprised how often it is in unnatural and unhealthy positions. So, to become aware of this is the first step. Then, you can begin to counteract the damage.

How can I get out of Lower Back Pain?

Okay, so now you need to actually do something to get out pain, right? Well, depending on how you stand and sit, you will need different exercises. We want to stretch the muscles in your body that have gotten inflexible and add strength to the areas that are overly weak. And everyone is slightly different. It all comes back to your posture, because that is a tell tale sign of what muscles are too weak or too tight.

As a general rule, you will probably want to strengthen your core no matter what. This includes doing exercises for your lower back, abdominals and psoas. Most people have incredibly tight and/or weak psoas muscles and this usually directly affects the lower back. So, start working on making your core stronger with good stabilization exercises.

Then, get to work on the muscle imbalances that are causing your postural problems. As I said, you want to strengthen the weak muscles and stretch the tight muscles. Generally speaking, if you have kyphotic posture you want to stretch the muscles in the back of your legs and strengthen the front. If you have lordotic posture, you will want to strengthen the muscles in the back of the legs and stretch the muscles in the front. Of course, it is a little more complicated than that, but that is the general rule.

How can I protect myself from a back Injury?

In addition to getting out of pain, you will also want to protect yourself from future pain and injury. You don’t want to be a shut in your whole life, afraid of sports and exercise. And the great news is that you definitely do not have to live that way. By fixing your postural distortions and muscle imbalances, you can get back to life in a healthy and natural way. As you learn to move properly, you will be protecting your back and learning to move in a very functional way. And that means dramatically reducing the risk of future injury and pain.