Back pain and specifically low back pain is a problem most of us will experience. But we don’t have to live with that In fact, over 80% will deal with one episode of low back pain and over 60% of us will have 2 episodes of serious low back pain.
How does low back pain start and what’s the cause?
Low back pain can be caused by a wide variety of issues, sometimes it’s a major traumatic experience such as a fall or a car accident, other times it can be a internal (visceral) issue, but most of the time low back pain is caused by repetitive stress. Basically, most people do something on a regular basis such as sitting all day or bending over at work that leads to poor bio mechanics or in other words poor posture.
Incorrect bio mechanics of the low back leads to compensation by the body, creating muscle imbalance, fascia adhesions, muscle spasm, nerve irritation, fibrotic tissue, inflammation, changes in the position of the spinal column and then ultimately pain.
One the most common causes of poor bio mechanics of the low back is due to the anterior pelvic tilt. An anterior pelvic tilt occurs when the pelvis (3 different bones) moves forward in relatio
n to where it normally should be, which is neutral. Common symptoms of an anterior pelvic tilt include low back pain, groin pain, tight hips, inner knee pain, and stiffness in the morning or after activity, tightness in the muscles in the low back and groin region. The image Figure 1 shows the difference between a neutral and anterior pelvis.
As a result of anterior pelvic tilt, you will generally have tight hip flexors (illopsoas) and tight low back muscles (lumbar paraspinals). These tight muscles create added stress on the low back joints and spine, causing pain, inflammation, spasm and tenderness.
So if you have anterior pelvic tilt, how do you correct the problem? Well it depends on many factors. However, for many, a weak core and glutes (butt) can be a common issue. Strengthening the abdominal region along with the gluteal region can help balance out the pelvis in many cases. In other cases, muscle weakness is not the issue, but rather muscle inhibition, meaning muscles are strong in the right areas, they are just not working in the way they are designed to or firing correctly. Sometimes an anterior pelvic tilt is due to structural imbalance, an example of this is the hips are not moving correctly (no range of motion) causing the pelvis to compensate. Often a pattern in this is due to compensation from prolonged sitting. This often shortens the psoas muscles and creates imbalance in the quadriceps and firing pattern issues in other muscle groups.
If you are dealing with low back pain talk to us, we are specialists who not only treat low back pain, but locate the source of the imbalance and work with you to return that balance. Properly getting assessed is the first step towards resolving your pain. We can help treat not only low back pain, but low back pain due to an anterior pelvic tilt.