Low Back Pain: Part 1 - Flexion Based Pain
Did you ‘throw your back out’? Does it hurt to try to bend over, or has sitting become your worst enemy due to pain? Have you been plagued by chronic low back pain with no long-term results coming from medications and rest?
This guide will help you become educated and empowered to deal with your back pain today and for years to come. Low back pain effects over 80% of people at some point of their life and last year, we spent $62 billion on back pain care alone.
The typical medical model has led many people to believe that they have a ‘bad back’ or that they are sentenced to a life of pain and fragility because of a ‘herniated or bulged disc’.
Well that’s just not the case.
The idea that humans are these fragile and easily broken creatures flies in the face of thousands if not millions of years of evolution. Humans are resilient and supremely adaptable organisms, albeit extraordinarily complex. When it comes to back pain, it is really no different than any other injury, we just happen to have adapted to a cultural standpoint where our environment can wreak havoc on a low back as well as the rest of the human body. A culture based around sitting, days devoid of movement and nutrition that is typically subpar has left many, many…many people in pain and looking for answers.
So whether you hurt your back deadlifting or your ‘back went out’ picking up a sock, we hope you find some relief with the following suggestions.
SHOULD I REST?
In short…NO. It has been shown time and time again that movement is a game changer with low back pain, especially when it is incorporated early & often in the injury cycle. The most common question we receive as clinicians in regards to low back complaints as well as many other injuries is, ‘will I damage something more by moving/exercising?’. When we are talking about discogenic or pain coming from a disc, even though your pain may be an 8 or 9 out of 10 movement is still your best friend.
Damage is typically not being exacerbated by movement, instead the opposite is most often true with directional or preferential movement decreasing symptoms better than pain killers or muscle relaxers (which tend to be the most common treatment utilized by primary or urgent care centers).
SHOULD I ICE/HEAT?
Ice and heat can make us ‘feel’ better, but that doesn’t mean that they are actually doing anything for the components of chemical or mechanical low back pain. Again, it is far more beneficial to again turn to movement, and when we look to movement we need to talk about graded exposure. This simply means that we want to introduce small amounts of movements, stress and load in order to get our nervous system to respond positively.
Try the following exercises for the a few days and see what kind of changes occur. As with any online suggestion it may be necessary to seek the advice of a medical professional, we know of a few right here in Birmingham! (click here to schedule now)
Lumbar Extension - 3 sets of 10
Diaphragmatic Breathing - 10 breaths feet resting/10 breaths feet elevated
Hip Hinge - 10 reps no weight/10 reps light weight (if no pain with first set)