The Truth About Low Back Pain
Did you know about 80% of Americans experience low back pain? That means about 260 million of the current 323 million citizens within the U.S. are living everyday with low back discomfort or extreme pain. The question is, why haven’t the doctors been able to solve this world-wide problem, that seems to be growing every year? The usual reasoning for the pain is “you’re getting old”, and the solution is “you’re going to need surgery for that”.
In some extreme cases, surgery is necessary but for a large percentage of the population with low back discomfort and no ruptured discs, there seems to be no solution. Let’s take a second and think about the one thing that keeps progressing within society, and increasing the demand for stationary bodies (sitting all the time).
As a society, we are constantly evolving and making new companies that require mass amounts of desk workers. Working on a computer and being seated for hours each day, will eventually lead to low back stiffness, and in most cases leading to more serious low back injuries. Not only does sitting cause a lot of compression on the spinal cord, it decreases the functionality of the body; creating muscular imbalances that load joints incorrectly during movement.
When you add up the compression of the spinal cord, lack of rotational ability from stiffness, and muscular imbalances all throughout the body; the lower back is one of the first places that will become over-loaded and weak during movement. Our bodies were designed to move and play, and being stationary most of our lives is destroying the beautiful natural functionality of the human body.
What are the most common muscular imbalances causing low back pain?
Although muscular imbalances are individual, and most of the time different for every person; there are some common postural dysfunctions we see that are the main cause of your low back pain. When muscles get to tight or strong, and opposing muscle groups get too weak; it causes excessive stress on the joint that is surrounded by the affected muscle groups.
In simple terms, the most common dysfunction is the whole back side of the body being much weaker than the front side. Lack of Glute, Core, and Posterior Chain strength is the biggest cause of most pains you are experiencing. Throughout the day, we are very “front side dominant”; we like to type on the computer with rounded shoulders, forward head posture, and tightened hips from sitting. A lot of us stay in that exact position described for hours each day.
The body will adapt to the positioning you put it in the most, soon your posture will start to look like your seated position, further leading to pains and aches down the road.
What can I do?
When it comes down to how to fix it, the answer is almost always “it depends”. The reason being, every single person is going to have slightly different issues and causes for their pain; and they will require individualized mobility drills, stretches, and strengthening exercises.
You can start by making a daily effort to:
- Sit less. Every hour of sitting, stand up and walk around for 5 minutes.
- Stretch for 10 minutes, 3x/day.
- Change your lifestyle to a healthy and active one.
- Hire a Corrective Exercise Specialist. (Contact us)
- Strengthen posterior chain – Glutes (Butt muscles), Hamstrings, Core, Lats, Rhomboids, and Rear Delts.
In summary, most lower back pains are not spinal, but start as a muscular imbalance issue. If the muscular issue is not taken care of, over-time it will develop into a serious spinal issue. Let’s take care of your issue before it gets to that point, contact us below for a complimentary Corrective Exercise consultation.