Treatment for lower back pain

Treatment for lower back pain.

Let’s talk about muscle pain today and because the most common type of muscle pain is lower back pain let’s make that todays area of focus.

Just about everyone suffers from lower back pain at some point. Modern life pretty much guarantees that. Even when we exercise regularly, the things we do to excess during the day contribute to our most important muscles malfunctioning. This results in lower back pain.

The most significant muscles governing locomotion and stability are the glutes. The tight sling of muscles we all know as the buttocks.  Yet every working day in Ely, Cambs I can be almost certain that I will see at least one patient with problematic glutes complaining of lower back pain, usually more than one.
The glutes are central to the posterior chain. It is vital for them to work efficiently otherwise other muscles are recruited to do their job. The whole body then loses strength and balance and lower back pain can develop as a consequence.

So, you’re one of the good guys. You get up early to get to the gym before work. Excellent. Then you spend an hour sitting on your glutes on your commute to work. Not so good. You get to work and spend most of your day sitting in meetings, at your computer or on the edge of someone else’s desk with your body contorted at a strange angle whilst you exchange ideas. Bad. Then another commute before later, worn out, collapsing in front of the TV, very bad. It gives me lower back pain to just contemplate a day like this.

All that sitting overstretches the glutes. They get used to being lengthened for excessive periods. So much so that the muscle spindles re-set themselves in the lengthened position, so that when you stand up and ask them to work they simply don’t have enough tension in them to do the job they are supposed to do. The result of this lack of support from the glutes is often lower back pain and over tightened hip extensors which causes hip pain too.

So what can you do about it, you can’t give up work and it’s a pretty long cycle ride to get there. The answer is to re-balance the central stabilisers with stretching, exercise and massage.
How do you know if your glutes are weak? The quickest way to tell is to stand sideways to a full length mirror. Do you have a flat rear? It may look small  and neat but chances are if it doesn’t protrude much further than the line of your back, then your glutes are lacking tone. Does your pelvis tip forward slightly? Do you get low back pain? Time to do some work on your deep muscles.

Your first port of call should be your doctor to ensure that there is nothing amiss. If he or she says you are ok then you can start working on your recovery. When I see a patient we look at ways of putting this into action and work towards getting back to a body which is mobile and pain free.

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