Chronic low back pain, stiffness, and tightness is one of the most common things I see and treat in the clinic on a daily basis.
If you are currently experiencing low back pain, stiffness, or tightness that just doesn't seem to go away. You are not alone. In fact, millions of people deal with this issue unfortunately on a daily basis in the United States.
Many misconceptions about low back pain exist from individuals giving generalized recommendations. In today's article, I will discuss 3 common reasons why you're still experiencing pain, stiffness or tightness in the low back that not many people talk about.
If you have ever been to the Doctor and been given diagnosis such as: degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, etc. you'll want to be sure to read all the way through. Too many healthcare clinicians give out diagnosis but don't ever explain what's going on and why your experiencing the current issues in the first place. If your going to try to solve a problem, wouldn't it make sense to first understand what the problem is?......
Reason #1 ) Your body craves stability and control. If you are unable to provide it with enough control actively (using your muscles) then it will find a way to do it passively (bones, joints, ligaments, etc). Muscles have a much greater capacity to recover than passive structures, especially in the long term.
Reason #2) Does it feel like you are constantly arching your back? Take a look at the picture above. See how the hips shift forward, the beltline points downward, and the ribs point upward. This is a position of extension and compression. Which in and of itself is not a bad thing. We just don't want to live there 24/7.
Anyways, you will find people who frequently stand, sit, walk, etc. in this position. As you can see from the lines drawn, this puts a lot of compression on the low back structures and creates a lot of tightness in those low back muscles. Said another way, if you are in that position frequently, you are relying on passive structures to support your body frequently.
Reason #3) Let's look at this position a little more.... Below is a picture of a pelvis and low back model with the joints in "neutral". Neutral is a relative term, because when you move so does your joints.
However if you are relying on passive support systems and compression to create control then your body defaults to that positional strategy. Which is the picture below. Notice how the hips flare further out to the side and the back hip bones start to approximate toward midline reducing space.
Hopefully these pictures provide some clarity for you. Holding a pelvis model in one hand and taking a picture in the other is not an easy task, but I think you get the point....
Frequent extension, compression, and passive support lead to feeling achy, sore, stiff, and tight. On Track Physiotherapy is your solution to finding an active way to provide relief and stop the daily annoying nuisance your back is currently experiencing.
Not yet ready to come in for a visit, no worries. But please get started doing something....Click below to get your free report on Low Back and Hip Pain.
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About the Author: Dr. Greg Schaible is a physical therapist/strength coach specializing in athletic performance. He attended The University of Findlay, graduating in 2013 with his Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT). As a Track and Field athlete, he was as a 5x Division II All-American and 6x Division II Academic All-American. Greg is the owner of On Track Physiotherapy in Ann Arbor, Mi. You can stay up to date with helpful information and news on Facebook.