Back pain is one of the most debilitating conditions experienced by a large proportion of the population, with many individuals being left unable to work or complete their regular activities as a result of either their acute or chronic lower back pain.
Common Causes of Back Pain
- Poor posture (sleep, sitting and standing)
- Incorrect lifting posture/technique (e.g. when picking up groceries or performing a squat)
- Repetitive/prolonged movements (such as when sweeping the house or bowling multiple overs during a cricket match)
- Genetic conditions (scoliosis, ankylosing spondylitis)
- Osteoarthritis of the spine
What structures are commonly affected?
- Intervertebral disc (the jelly-like structure located between the bones in your spine and are required for shock absorption)
- Facet joints (hinge-like joints located between each of the bones in your spine)
- Sacroiliac joint (the joint formed between your pelvis and your spine)
- Surrounding muscles (e.g. erector spinae, quadratus lumborum, gluteals)
- Surrounding ligaments (interspinous ligament, sacrotuberous ligament)
How Can I Relieve My Back Pain?
It has become well-established that back pain is complex and multi-faceted in nature, with various contributing factors. Here are some of our top tips for improving your back pain:
Strengthen your gluteal, back and core muscles through a combination of exercises prescribed by a trained professional who is able to modify your training according to your particular injury (these muscles work collectively to provide your back with support and stability as you perform various tasks throughout your day)
Adopt a sustainable posture when sleeping, sitting and standing (this is particularly important as this ensures our vital postural muscles don’t become “lazy” and allow us to fall into bad habits)
Safe Lifting Techniques
Ensure safe and effective lifting techniques are established (whether this be at work or at home, make sure you’re consciously aware of your positioning – it may be a lot heavier than you think!)
The Importance of Breaks
Take regular breaks when completing repetitive tasks – particularly those with repetitive bending and twisting (from anatomical perspective, we are most likely to do a disc injury during movements where there is excessive bending and twisting through our lower back – particularly under heavy loads or when we are fatigued)
What Does Research Say About Back Pain?
A large proportion of the population are walking around with asymptomatic disc bulges i.e. they have no pain! Therefore, research suggests that we take the “treat the man (your symptoms), NOT the scan (the MRI) approach”- whereby thoroughly assessing the factors contributing to your back pain to help improve your symptoms and overall function.