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Insights to Lower Back Pain

In this day and age, it seems almost everyone has either experienced low back pain or knows

someone who has. Lower back pain (LBP) is becoming more prevalent in the United States, with over 50% of employed Americans reporting LBP every year. Researchers anticipate that nearly 80% of US citizens will experience back pain at some point in life.


There are a multitude of reasons why a person can experience LBP. Though it may be possible to determine a particular event or timeline that led to pain or discomfort, for many, the answer is unclear. Since movement dysfunction often precedes pain, it helps to start with a simple self-evaluation of your movement history,  similar to what you would do with a health professional.


Examples of questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you an athlete, or used to be one?

  • If so, how does your body feel after playing the sport? Are there aches and pains? Or do you feel pretty good the day after?

  • Do you perform repetitive tasks daily, such as picking up a baby or toddler, working at the computer, reaching overhead repeatedly, stooping to the ground to put things away, etc.?

  • Do you find yourself sitting most of the day or is your day full of movement and physical activity?

  • Day to day, are you moving in a way that helps you move better the next day?

 

Though there are many different causes of pain, the answers to these questions may help you determine the type of movement, or lack thereof, that contributes to pain. Movement dysfunctions are highly associated with the cause of lower back pain. This is why exercise is so important. A good training program allows your entire body to be tested and then addresses any issues that arise; such as tissue restrictions, poor motor control, or both.  All kinds of people can experience LBP, from high-level athletes to sedentary individuals. The key to preventing LBP is training consistently and exposing your body to a variety of healthy movement patterns. Even in sports, we tend to focus only on selective movements to reinforce abilities, neglecting the fulfillment of multi-planar movement. Addressing all movement patterns in training builds deeper connections to your body and the way it moves. This makes it easier to notice when something doesn’t feel right before the issue develops into pain.


Now that you’ve considered these questions, take note of how you feel day to day. Does your current approach to daily movement or training result in feeling better or worse the next day? Remember, pain is a way for the body to tell you something is not right. If you are experiencing lower back pain, do your research from reliable and valid sources and develop a great support team. We advise consulting a doctor for any type of pain and working with an exercise physiologist to explore training methods you are unfamiliar with. Be responsible for yourself and be safe!

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