So I was with a client today who came in complaining about her lower back pain… yes, there was yet ANOTHER person in my office with the same issue that I see over and over. This seems to be a recurring theme in my office lately and designed by a higher power to MAKE ME absolutely incorporate something that I’ve been selectively adding to my practice when needed.
As I see it, low back pain generally (but not always) falls into one of two categories: hypermobile and weak lower back (disc problems, sciatica, constant pain, etc), and low backs that are so tight that they are literally crushing the discs (pain, etc). Either way, the remedy is pretty straight forward (hmmm, you wouldn’t have thought this with all of the meds and surgeries going on out there) but requires a particular mindset to view the problem through.
The problem, you see, is that the spine needs to be viewed as a system of integral parts all working together in concert to produce the desired movement that a person is demanding of it. That means that each vertebra needs to move to accommodate ANY movement of the spine. That’s right, every part is a player on the team. The problem arises when some of the parts (or players as it were) of the spine stop moving as much as needed by the other parts.
Either way, the person is going to attempt the movement that he or she desires and so, over time, some parts of the spine begin to move less and to accommodate, some others begin to move more. In the more common case that I see (75% of the time) the lower back is weak from sitting too much (car, desk, home, etc.) and the lumbar curve has actually decreased…getting stretched out from all of the sitting.
In this case generally the upper back is fairly tight and does not move well. The remedy is twofold… loosen up the upper back, and tighten up the lower back muscles. This remedy brings back more of a UNIFORM tension along the spine and relatively, the movement of the vertebrae are more equal than before. As this progresses, the pain subsides, the discs go back into place, chronic muscular inflammation drops, and the client feels better.
What I have found is that this method works almost 100% of the time with only slight variations needed to accommodate varying degrees of pain sensitivity and inflammation.
The other 25% of the time is another story which I will tell you about later…
What has your experience been with back pain and what remedies have you found to be successful in relieving your pain? Please help me complete this post by posting your comments below.