Millions of people around the world suffer from low back pain, making it one of the most common medical problems. Low back pain can be caused by many different things, from muscle strains to herniated discs. While there is no one-size-fits-all cure for low back pain, there are steps you can take to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. If you’re dealing with low back pain, read on for tips on how to manage it.
Our spine wasn’t designed for standing upright
Our spine is made up of these structures that fall under two categories. Static structures include ligaments and intervertebral discs. Dynamic structures include muscles and tendons. We will be circling back to this later.
When we were all quadrupeds, walking around on four limbs was how life evolved. At some point in time though- quite early for human beings perhaps due to their preference for eating plants over animals – many people began standing upright and eventually evolving toward our current design with two feet that allow them better balance while carrying more weight above ground level than ever before.
The amazing aspect of our body is it has strength and flexibility all at the same time. It can help us hold things stiffly and can also very fluidly move our arms at once. This means, there has to be this beautiful concert between the muscles and tendons to create movements. This applies to the ligaments and joints as well when they create pivot points throughout the body so that movement can happen without it falling apart.
We have over fifty different joints in our bodies. All of which sit upon the sacrum (or bone) that goes from your hip to your spine. The human backbone is a fascinating structure made up of seven spinal bones and twelve more behind us, supporting what’s called “the chest.” This area also houses many vital organs such as the heart or lungs because they need constant support while you’re alive so their placement right next door was quite fortuitous indeed.
Our ligaments act like a superglue. These bands of tissue can hold our joints together. Then we have tendons that connect muscles to the bones. The muscles and tendons are what make us move. The only way for them to work is if they have strong points that they can pivot off.
If you imagine the spine, there are ligaments in it that help hold your body in a standing position. That means that when you are just standing still, you rely on those ligaments to hold you up. When you bend and lift, all these muscles pull on attachments that attach to the ligaments. These attachments are in places where the ligaments can take the stress from the muscles and move it away from your body.
The ligaments and muscles work together very well. If one thing is not working right, then everything goes wrong. That is what I mean when I say that you have static structures, which are your ligaments, and dynamic structures, which are these muscles and tendons that help keep your spine mobile.
The reason you experience back pain
When you think of a face, what comes to mind? For many people, the first thing they think of is a beautiful, perfect canvas that can be painted any color. But if you look closer, there’s an underlying structure hidden beneath this layer: ligaments! These flexible tissues help us express ourselves without words. But if they’re not taken care of, they can wrinkle over time and become less sturdy until they eventually give way and cause pain and discomfort.
One of the first things that happen in low back pain is when muscles above your sacral area get tighter. They constrict to prevent you from wiggling and wobbling, which stresses out those discs up there on top (the ones who provide compression). But they’re not very good at shear forces like if the one we’re moving forward and backward against another; these would be more harmful than helpful for us!
You can imagine if any one of these ligaments becomes loose in weakly, the first level of compensation is for these muscles to contract. They will then create a rigid stable spine and that can help for a while. The problem now is that the configuration of the spine has changed. Normally, it should be an S-shaped springy structure. There is a reason why the spine takes this structural form. That is so that it bounces every time we take a step. Now, if the muscles there are stiff and they cannot move loosely and dynamically, the configuration of the spine being similar to a spring becomes something more like a lever.
This “lever’ hinges at its base. Most people will have low back pain because it’s hinging that segment right there at the lower back. These segments are medically known as L4 – L5 (lumbar) and S (sacral) segments.
Disc degeneration will cause arthritis. This happens because the spine is trying to compensate for any one of the 25 segments that could become loose. The spine has to use the back muscles to make everything stable. This all hinges at that spot. Once that domino effect starts, people start developing arthritis.
Arthritis can cause discs to become compressed and degenerate, which can make arthritis thicker over time. This can lead to stenosis or a narrowing of the space inside the spinal canal. When people start to get stenosis, we can talk about surgery and fusion. The goal is to intervene before it evolves into all of that.
Low back pain? Prevention is key!
If you notice your back pain early, it is possible to prevent 90% of the pain from low-back pain. The key thing here though isn’t just treating the symptoms but rather preventing them from happening at all by taking care and paying attention so we can stop this before surgery becomes inevitable!
A lot goes into testing that out – like making sure everything actually may be ligament versus something crazy dangerous such as psychiatric illness or another disease process (like cancer).
The “Heal Methodology”
- Hear the message your body is trying to convey with pain
We can go through a process, we call the “Heal Methodology”. It revolves around the idea of hearing the message that your body is trying to convey with pain. We use this process to find the source of your pain. We do this by looking at the different parts of your spine and seeing if they are working correctly or if they are compensating for a problem somewhere else in your body. Once we build that “pain map”, then we can build a long-term plan that starts to address the root of the problem instead of just the symptoms of many different problems.
2. Envisioning what your life is meant to be like
Now we’ve got a good idea of how pain can be mapping, we will then proceed to the second component. It is envisioning what your life is meant to be. This will include:
- Setting your goals for healing
- Determining the things that you’re not able to do because of pain
- Alleviating the symptoms
All the while that we’re starting to work on fixing the underlying problem, we want to make it a more functional, manageable condition.
Your body is an amazing healing machine. We need to harness the power of our natural tendency towards self-healing to fix any damage and get back on track with our lives. That is the most important step in the Heal Methodology.
People who have chronic pain often find it hard to overcome their problems. This is because the pain has lasted for a long time. If we can understand where the injury is not getting better, we can help it get better with exercise. We can also use different types of injection therapies or treatments that help promote healing in the injured areas.
We hope this article has helped you understand the causes and possible treatments for low back pain. If you are suffering from chronic pain, know that you are not alone. Millions of people around the world experience similar problems daily. Fortunately, there are steps we can take to address our pain messages. The Heal Methodology is one approach that may be able to help get your life back on track. If you’re interested in learning more about how the Heal Methodology could work for you, please schedule a free discovery call with us today. We would be happy to discuss your situation and see if our program might be a good fit for you. Thanks for reading!
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DISCLAIMER: The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional