trickiest part about lower back pain is that you cannot always pinpoint its cause with utmost accuracy. The problem could be in the bone, disc, muscles or nerves. Can we blame our anatomy? Well not much, but yes we can blame the evolution. Did you know our spine was not designed for vertical use, meaning walking on two legs?
Coming to the more common ‘lower back pain’, it could be due to ligament injury, hip injuries, spondylitis, spinal disc injury, irritation of sciatica nerve (where pain travels from back to legs). Even your leg length could lead to back pain.
Broadly there are two types of patients: flexion sensitive (sensitive to forward bending) and extension sensitive (sensitive to backward bending). People who drive a lot or lift are also more prone to back injuries.
However, there is much that we can do to handle the situation. First and foremost, by keeping the posture in check. It is vital that your lower back has good support and right posture.
Here’s what Functional Manual Therapy (FMT) therapists from Vardan recommend.
For the uninitiated, FMT combines active movements and resisted contractions with a specific directional pressure by the therapist to produce efficient mobility. It provides the therapist an ability to assess the effect of limited mobility on function in both weight bearing and non-weight bearing positions:
If you are sitting awkwardly erect, know there is something wrong in your posture. A correct posture is one where your back is fully supported with the chair without you inclining backward. If you put all your weight behind, you will end up putting the body pressure on your tailbone. Your nerves have a sheath covering at the tailbone and when we lean back, we put unwanted pressure on it, which can cause further trouble. Another way to keep the posture correct is to have one leg forward and one a little behind. This will anchor you in a forward posture. Also take a 45-50 minutes break from sitting. Sitting is a silent killer!
Let’s do this simple exercise. Try to consciously stand ‘correct’? You will see how you push your chest out with your shoulders and knees locked tight (extra straight), putting your standing weight on your heels. In this posture, you will also be able to feel an arch in your lower back. Most of us don’t know that this is an incorrect standing posture. That arch in your lower back is taking the entire gravity pull on itself, gradually weakening its strength, thus, leading to back pain.
You should always have your chest and shoulders relaxed, with your tailbone dropped and the body weight should be more on the arches of the two feet and not on the heels. Your back should not be awkwardly arched.
If your back pain is related to your sleeping posture, the biggest factor could be your mattress. Always ensure that your mattress is soft and firm. It should neither be hard nor saggy and work as a support to the spine.