Back Pain For Dummies

Back Pain for Dummies

So, you suffer with back pain and you’ve decided to start educating yourself on this “complex” topic. Well, let’s start with the basic causes of back pain and go from there!

1. Sedentary lifestyle

Working at a seated desk, driving for long periods or being a professional couch potato causes massive compressive forces through the spine – but what’s worse is we adapt our spinal position and almost become the position we spend most of our time in. 

Spending too much time sitting without “undoing” that position causes a weakening and imbalance in important structures in the spine, such as discs, muscles and ligaments. 

The best way to mitigate this daily damage is to get up once per hour and take a 1-2 minute walk around. Do some chores, and have a quick stretch before returning to your seat. This will encourage blood flow to your low back and reduce overall stiffness.

2. Lifting with poor technique

Keeping the spine straight and using the powerful muscles of the hips and mobility of the knees to lift is generally advised. Lifting with a flexed spine can also be helpful when done correctly to help strengthen weight-bearing tissues in the spine. However, without initial professional supervision, I would not recommend it.

When we lift with a flexed spine we cause large amounts of “shear forces” (upward force of the lift against downward force of gravity and weight when the lever/spine is at an oblique angle) to travel through the low back. Over time, with inadequate rest, stress, poor diet, etc. this can lead to a degeneration in the tissues of the spine. Finally, something as small as a sneeze can act as “the straw that broke the camel’s back”

3. Previous Injury

Previous injuries cause compensation movement patterns in the body that cause excessive, imbalanced forces to consistently travel through the spine. An old sprained ankle that caused a limp or a sprained knee would be a prime suspect. But similarly, a significant shoulder injury can cause an uneven distribution of weight throughout the back. This eventually leads to fatigue, degeneration and potential injury.

The Good News

The good news is that almost all injuries, weaknesses and worries in the low back are recoverable. Not only that but they can become your greatest strength. I have seen this with countless patients. 

With the right advice, exercise and lifestyle changes, your back pain will be a thing of the past!

As an Osteopath, Strength Coach and Yoga Teacher I am qualified and experienced to help you overcome this hurdle.

Get in contact for an appointment at

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