The Low Down about Lower Back Pain
By Joanna Tan
Let’s crush 5 myths straight out of the bag:
- Back Pain is Abnormal. It’s not. It happens to the majority of us at some point in our lived and it’s generally nothing to be overly concerned about.
- Treatment is Complex. It should be simple. Appropriate education and guidance toward previous function should be the top priority.
- Diagnosis is Simple. We shouldn’t ever be attributing back pain to a single factor. You know how you might be more susceptible to the common cold when you are overworked, stressed, lacking sleep, and exposed to more sick people than you’re used to? Well, you “MIGHT” be more susceptible to back pain when you’re overworked, stressed, lacking sleep, and exposed to more physical demands than you’re used to. It’s complex, and multi-factorial.
- Bio-mechanics and Imaging Don’t Matter. Of course they matter. The problem is that they are often overemphasized and discussed alongside a fear inducing narrative.
- There is a Best Exercise. There is no best exercise. It’s unique to the individual and their goals. Education is key, but here are some potentially helpful movements.
- LUMBAR MOVEMENT – Get yourself moving in a comfortable manner. There is no inherently bad positions.
- TRUNK EXERCISES – Weak cores don’t cause back pain, but these are still great for the back and help build confidence.
- LEG EXERCISES – How strong is strong enough? Do enough match your needs and goals.
- THORACIC MOBILITY – Might be helpful to share the load if you are sensitive to global spinal movements.
- LEG MOBILITY – Flexibility doesn’t necessarily provide a protective role. Just get enough range of motion to do the movements you want to do comfortably.
- HIP HINGE – Lumbar flexion ISN’T bad. Hinging may simply be a useful strategy to learn if you are temporarily sensitive to bending.
- WALKING – Often one of the most beneficial exercises that can be performed 2-3/day for 10-15 mins at a time.