The number one symptom that people who come to see me have is lower back pain. I read a statistic recently in a newspaper that it was the leading cause of disability in the world. I’ve had clients where it is a mild annoyance, to clients where it is ruining their lives. Why is lower back pain so common? In this video I try to explain why I think so many people suffer from it and why I think in many cases posture correction exercises could help get them pain free.
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A good place for us to start is to remember that as frustrating and as horrible as pain can be, it really is just a warning sign, a signal from your body telling you that something is not right. For you the ‘thing’ which is not right could be a disc bulge or herniation, stenosis, a strained muscle or ligament, degeneration of the spine or muscle spasms, or a myriad of other medical conditions which affect the lower back. If a client knows what medical condition they have then that can be useful information, but I always want to find out if possible why that condition happened in the first place (of course I’m not talking about an acute injury from an accident such as getting hit by a car). This is something I don’t think modern day healthcare spends enough time looking at. There tends to be only a focus on treating the symptoms, rather than the root cause of the symptoms, and I think this often leads to costly ineffective and extreme treatments being offered, which may not help at all, might help temporarily or might even make things worse.
Age, normal wear and tear, and it’s just one of those things are sometimes given as explanations, but I think this is very rarely the root cause of chronic pain in the clients who I see. If you’re in pain, aren’t there people who are older than you and don’t have lower back pain?
So what could be one possible root cause? Well, your body has a certain posture and that posture is held together by muscles. Nowadays, our lifestyles are so different from what they used to be thousands of years ago. We spend so much time sitting down either as adults or when we were children at school. We have appliances that do so much for us. We just don’t use our bodies in the varieties of ways that we used to. This can cause our muscles to go out of balance, and because muscles position our posture, our bodies can go out of alignment. This results in excess wear and tear through certain parts of the body, such as your lower back. If your spine has lost it’s natural curvature this can eventually result in a condition within the lower back and you might experience pain. If you only target the symptom you have, and not the reason why that symptom happened in the first place, then you may only get temporary relief, or no relief at all.
So what’s the solution? Well you need to go after the root cause, and in many cases I think it’s because your body alignment has gone out of balance. To get it in balance, you need to do daily posture correction exercises that get your muscles working in balance from left to right, and from front to back. This should over time improve your posture and thus take the strain away from your lower back.
Ameet Bhakta BSc, DipHE
I’m a posture correction specialist certified by the Egoscue Institute, and founder of Health Through Posture.