By: Anne Andrews, Licensed Massage Therapist
Most chronic low back pain is a direct result of poor loading bearing on the lumbar spine.
The way the body is designed, our bones hold us up and the muscles for the most part move us through space.
Barring accidents, illness, genetics or trauma, if your pain comes from poor posture and skeletal alignment it might be easier to correct than you think.
There are 3 curves in the spine to help transfer the weight of the head to the feet. Without these curves, it would be impossible to support the very heavy weight of the head on top of the shoulders and the pelvis,
In standing, the lumbar takes on most of the work for supporting the whole upper body. It is mostly responsible for bearing and transferring this weight down to the ground. It’s another reason why the 5 bones there are bigger than in the rest of the spine.
Their size and stability are designed for carrying the load of the upper body. The problem occurs when load does not transfer down to the ground proportionately creating discomfort in the lower back.
Most people have less than ideal posture and in their attempt to feel upright they have a tendency to lean backwards exaggerating the curve in the lower back. In my thirties when I worked in retail, my idea of proper posture was to stand military fashion, pulling my shoulders back and locking my knees.
This placed my back into extension creating an exaggerated arch in the lower back. If you stand like that long enough, pretty soon you begin to experience tension and discomfort. The muscles in that area get overworked and it causes a compression in the lower back. The low back and neck are the most vulnerable curves of the spine. If the vertebrae are overly flexible, if will be hard to have vertical stability on the spine without the vertebrae collapsing into compression. If they are too stiff, it will be difficult for the pulsations in walking to create a rhythmic wave that makes walking easier. These problems of over flexibility or over rigidity can be addressed by reinstating proportional flexibility with the right kind of movement exercises.
If you have chronic low back pain, consult with your health care professional. There is no reason why one should “put up with it” when in a lot of cases it can be resolved easily.
Anne Andrews is a licensed massage therapist MA38362, a certified Ortho-Bionomy® Practitioner and a Bones for Life® Trainer. She specializes in addressing chronic pain and bone loss due to postural imbalances. She also teaches a self-care program designed to properly “ stack “ your body when standing , walking, or sitting. She is a graduate from the Florida School of Massage and has been practicing since 2003. For more information you can contact Anne at 386-538-1918 or visit, www.SocietyofOrtho-Bionomy® International, or www.BonesforLife.com