Lower back pain is no joke… it sucks and it affects almost all of us at some point! According to recent studies by the Canadian Medical Association roughly 84% of the adult population will experience low back pain at some point, and nearly 25% of these adults suffer from chronic pain (meaning it lasts longer than 4 weeks or recurs over the course of years).
Typically our first instinct when we experience low back pain is to ice, take some sort of pain medication, and then try to strengthen the low back muscles. Many people think the reason we get low back pain is because the back muscles are weak, so naturally they think strengthening them will fix the problem and prevent it from ever coming back. Some will take it a step further and try to strengthen their entire core in hopes of fixing the problem.
The sad truth is that this will likely accomplish nothing long term. Let me explain why…
The Real Cause of Chronic Low Back Pain
Since the pain is usually felt in the muscles, most people assume their pain is a muscle problem. When someone suffers a punch to the back, a fall, or a really awkward motion then yes they likely bruised or strained a muscle which causes pain. In these cases the muscles should be able to relax and the body should repair and recover within 1-3 weeks with rest and maybe some light stretching or massage.
Most cases of back pain aren’t like the above scenario. Oftentimes people will present to our office complaining of low back pain with an insidious onset - meaning they can’t recall a specific moment or event that caused the pain in the first place. Sadly, many people complain of pain that has slowly progressed over many years to the point that it becomes unbearable.
So If It Is Not Muscle, Then What Is Causing The Pain?
When it comes to chronic back problems, the source of the pain is usually the spine. More specifically, it’s usually caused by compressed discs and associated nerve pressure.
Life is stressful. Over the years our bodies are exposed to slips, falls, sports injuries, auto accidents, repetitive poor postures that come from desk jobs and smartphone usage, etc. All of these things take a toll on our spines and can eventually cause a structural shift. Left uncorrected, these irregular shifts in our spine lead to disc compression, nerve pressure, and early degeneration of the spinal joints. And because the spinal muscles are forced to provide extra stability they become overworked which leads to that dull ache you feel in your muscles that never seems to go away.
Secret Back Exercises You Need To Try
Rather than targeting the back muscles with strengthening exercises, try these secret back movements that are meant to target the lower spinal joints and discs. These movements will help to improve motion, lubricate the discs, and relieve tension on the nerves!
These disc movement exercises are usually given as complementary recommendation to the NeuroStructural Chiropractic adjustments we provide in our office. If you have specific questions about your pain or your spine please don’t hesitate to give us a call. 905-599-4804.
Canadian Medical Association Journal.
CMAJ Open. 2017 Jan-Mar; 5(1): E237–E248.