Lower back pain is one of the most debilitating physical issues that can be experienced. It can be so bad as to make it impossible to even walk.
People often learn to live with the pain. In the morning they get up moving slowly until the stiffness gets worked out. They learn to be careful picking up even the smallest things. Everyday activities become a test to see if there is some way to do even the simplest activities or not.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
One reason muscles in the low back tighten up, and sometimes spasm, is a misalignment in the joints. Misalignments press on sensitive tissues causing pain. Muscles tense, nerves get compressed and the surrounding area becomes inflamed. With inflammation comes pain.
The most common low back issue comes from a combination of three issues. First, the fifth lumbar which is in the very lower back, goes out of alignment. Then, the illio-sacral joint, which is the junction between the upper hip in the back and the sacrum, goes out of alignment. The weakness allows the spine in the low back to get compressed, even locking the vertebrae together.
The illio-sacral joint is the load-bearing connection between the upper and lower body. Most of the weight of the entire upper body rests on this joint. When there is a problem here, especially when coupled with the other misalignments, there is no strength in the back. And, it is usually quite painful.
Root Causes of Back Pain
What is the root cause of most lower back problems? That is the real question. Back problems often return, so knowing the root cause is essential in treatment and prevention.
In most cases the root issue is stress. Time off is one of the best known treatments for low back pain. However, it often returns when people return to their usual lives.
Stress injures the body by putting excess strain on the adrenal glands which produce stress hormones. As the adrenals work harder and harder, they start drawing nutrients from other areas of the body to keep up with demand. Some of the nutrients they really need are the same ones that ligaments and tendons need to keep their tone. And, the lower back often is the first place go.
Dealing with the stressors is first. One of the worst ones that really harms the adrenals is sugar including honey, fruit juice, dried fruit and more. Processed carbohydrates release their sugar stores quickly, so they cause the same problems. Things like noodles, bread, chips both corn and potato, and other ‘health chips,’ white rice, bread of any kind and just about anything that comes in a package. These processed foods put a great deal of stress on the adrenal glands.
Another stress factor are emotions. This could be caused by any intense emotional experience be it work related, relationship, unfulfilled expectations, a great loss or any intense emotional experience. These issues need to be dealt with on different levels. Obviously, a release of some type is needed for the immediate issue. Then, the root, often from childhood, must be dealt with.
Emotions and Misalignments
On a physical level, emotional components can become lodged in the body. They usually cause some sort of problem like a tight muscle pulling a rib out of alignment resulting in chronic back pain. These issues can be cleared using a very gentle Applied Kinesiology technique.
After the underlying issues have been cleared it is time for realignment. This is facilitated by physical manipulations that put bones in proper alignment so that the joint is fully functional.
There are different ways to realign a back and other areas of the body. One is to go to a chiropractor or an Osteopath — a medical doctor who specializes in joint manipulation. Both often use forceful techniques that can cause other problems and sometimes even more pain. Not to mention the scary noises that happen as joints are forced back into alignment. Some Osteopaths and chiropractors do learn and develop more gentle techniques.
And of course, you can learn my Self Adjusting Technique. This is a simple method of doing gentle adjustments on yourself without the forcing that is common to so many chiropractic adjustments. It is a method of adjusting that I created because I couldn’t afford a chiropractor. Besides, they HURT! Self Adjusting Technique is so gentle you don’t even know something happened. You can watch my video about it here.
Stretching can relieve back pain as well as help prevent problems. Taking a yoga class is a good way to learn stretches that will help your back. It is best to tell the instructor before the class if you have any limitations. Often they can give you an alternative pose or a variation. With time you can develop a daily practice which many people use to eliminate back problems. I will be presenting some stretches that are specific to the lower back in the future.
Exercise is essential to good back health. Walking is one of the best exercises in the world. As well as working almost every muscle in the body, walking strengthens the core muscles that support the low back.
These are just a few things that can be done for any kind of back pain. There are many other treatments available. Now more than ever, we can be proactive with our health and with our treatment possibilities. Find what works for you, and above all else, listen to your body.