One of the most common complaints to therapists is lower back pain. While there can be some more serious underlying issues depending on the kind of pain, there are generally speaking some very basic answers that allow us to treat and help the problem.
1. Im sure you have heard it before, sitting is the new smoking! Posture is everything and sitting down at a work station is not healthy for long periods of time. As a mobile therapist during the pandemic and post-lockdown, I can see that many did not take advantage of their workplace to replace their chair and have hence come out of the crisis with worsened posture and back ache.
Having a suitable desk that adheres to DSE assessments are important, the future of your back relies on it!
2. Most lower back pain actually stems from tense legs, mostly the hamstrings. Muscles that pull down your glutei take its toll on your quadrum laborum and erector spinae. Deep tissue massage and regular stretching can help relieve this. The best stretches I find are lying down and stretching your leg to one side across your body. Rollers are also useful for this. The reason for tense legs can come down to general posture or alignment of your hips. We all have slight inconsistencies and imbalances, leaning on one side more than another so this is something to have an awareness of. Deep tissue or even sports massage is great for relieving lower back issues by relaxing the muscles on both sides of your leg by performing some lengthening techniques.
Other reasons for lower back pain can include overstraining in exercise or something such as a herniated disk. Whilst therapists can treat this, we may need a more rigorous assessment incase it is more appropriate to see a physiotherapist while a more acute injury.
Sciatica is also something that is treatable, and an unfortunate side effect of one of your nerves being compressed. It is also quite common in pregnancy.
Regular stretches, movement and hydration is key. Maintaining a healthy weight and diet also has an essential role in keeping the body balanced.