Lower back pain is probably the most common type of pain we suffer from, if only closely ahead of neck pain. Why is it so common? Most likely because of our lifestyles: we tend, as a society, to sit in front of a computer for a large portion of the day, and even when we do get some exercise it’s not likely to be targeted to undo the damage we’ve done. That is, most exercise focuses on general muscle building with some cardio - what we need to be doing is working out the right tight spots and strengthening the right spots elsewhere. The best way to determine what’s best for you is to get treatment from a qualified chiropractor, physiotherapist, or another manual therapy practitioner who knows what they’re doing.
What causes back pain?
Back pain can originate from muscles, nerves, bones, joints or other structures in your spine. This type of pain can be chronic or can occur suddenly, can be constant or intermittent, dull or sharp, and may or may not radiate into your arms and hands, or down your legs. There may exist alongside your back pain other sensations such as weakness, burning, numbness, or tingling. The area of your back most at risk to injury is your low back, because it has the greatest curve and supports much of your body's weight. The most common cause of back pain is improper lifting or a sudden, awkward movement. Risk factors for this pain include:
- arthritis (especially spondylosis, which is osteoarthritis of your spine)
- herniated disc (see sciatica)
- muscle imbalance (from inactivity or bed rest)
- tumor or infection of the spine (rare)
What Can You Do?
If you’ve got a recent (acute) injury or something that’s been bothering you for a while (chronic), you’re going to benefit from some manual therapy like chiropractic, physiotherapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, or osteopathy. Any one of these might work for you - often the best way to find out what’s best is to try one and see how you feel. And if you’d like, feel free to contact us to set up a free consult, either over the phone or in-person. Someone on the YG team will be happy to give you some answers and (hopefully) helpful suggestions.