e all experience lower back pain at some point in time during our lives. Lower back pain can be debilitating sharp pains or dull ache’s that consistently sit at a certain spot in your lower back, yet you can’t really put your finger on the exact point of pain.
Most commonly back pain is caused by tightness in certain muscle groups but every so often it can also be caused by something more serious. In this 2 part article we are going to look firstly at some of the serious conditions that could cause your lower back to hurt, but mostly we will focus on the common muscles that cause lower back pain and how massage therapy can help alleviate your lower back pain.
Lower back pain can include 1 or more of the following symptoms:
- Muscle aches
- Shooting or stabbing pain
- Pain radiating down your legs
- Pain that worsens when bending, lifting, standing or walking
Most back pain improve with rest and self-care in a few days to a week or 2 but if yours doesn’t improve in a few weeks, see a doctor.
In rare cases lower back pain can signal a serious medical condition. See your doctor immediately if the following occurs:
- If you experience bowel or bladder problems
- Is accompanied by severe and sudden weight loss
- If you experience persistent fevers
- Pain spreads down one or both legs, especially if the pain extends below the knees
- If you experience weakness, numbness or tingling down one or both legs
- When the back pain follows a severe fall or accident
Also see your doctor if you experience back pain for the first time after the age of 50, or if you have a history of cancer, osteoporosis, steroid use or excessive drug or alcohol usage.
If you experience any of the above over a week or more with no improvement we recommend you see your doctor as soon as possible.
At Vive Studios our massage therapists is trained and experienced in assisting you with lower back pain caused by muscular issues arising from sport, muscle imbalances or poor posture.
Sport injuries in the lower back are generally caused by a pulled muscle or ligament that causes acute pain in the area as soon as it happens. These injuries generally clear quickly following the correct treatment and rest. Massage will assist with blood flow to the injured area, assisting with the healing process and it ease pain and discomfort in the surrounding muscle tissue who generally tightens up to protect or compensate for the injured area. Other treatment can include ice/heat over injured area, anti- inflammatory tablets (if prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist and rest.
Muscle imbalances and poor posture go hand in hand due to the array of muscles that support the lower back and spine. These muscles need to be balanced in length and strength to support the spinal vertebrae correctly. Daily activities such as driving, picking up groceries or children, sitting in front of the computer or standing incorrectly for long periods of time can lead to muscle imbalances. These imbalances mean that the muscle and connective tissue on one side of your body is short and tight while the other side is long and weak. Imbalanced muscles can pull the spine out of alignment putting strain on the spine and causing pain.
The most common of these supporting muscles that cause lower back pain, instability and imbalances are:
- Quadratus Lumborum
- Gluteal muscle group
- Hamstring muscle group
In our next 3 blog posts we will look into more detail at each of these muscle groups and how they affect the lower back muscles. You can be assured that at Vive Studios we have your back with great massages and excellent knowledge to assist in relieving and healing your back pain.