Last Updated: September 2015
Early on in my career as a Physiotherapist I realised that what we were taught about lower back pain relief treatments was only partially correct. I was not getting the desired results with my patients, which created a lot of frustration. From that point on I decided to do my own research, try different treatment techniques, developed my own and devised different exercises to see what worked and what didn’t.
Physiotherapists, unlike Chiropractors & Osteopaths, learn about muscle imbalances but not in the way it should be taught. The exercises often taught by most manual therapists are too basic and do not address the real muscle imbalance problems. Thus NOT providing effective lower back pain relief long term.
Often people are being manipulated and told to perform a few simple back pain exercises. They will then be explained to come back in 2 months for another manipulation as their back will be out of alignment again or the joint needs loosening off again…?
…nothing could be further from the truth!
The Truth About How to Get Lasting Lower Back Pain Relief?
The best way to get effective lasting relieve from lower back pain is to deal with the source of the problem, which could be found in any of the 3 ‘pillars’…’the body’, ‘the mind’ and ‘the diet’.
Before I start to discuss how to get effective relief from lower back ache, I want to quickly go over the causes of low back pain.
Ligaments, facet joints joints and the sacroiliac joints when misused or injured, typically create back ache. Herniated disc, osteoarthritis (joint weakening), spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, cracks of the vertebrae and spine defects are the sources for causing pressure on the nerve roots, which inevitably results in pain in the back and ultimately sciatica.
Other sources which are much less usual feature:
- ankylosing spondylitis
- microbial infection
- spinal tumors
- paget’s disease and
- scheuermann’s condition.
So let’s get into the real issue of the truth about lower back pain relief. As I mentioned earlier most people seeking treatment get ‘spinal manipulations’ and a few simple exercises, which does not result in long relief of pain in the lower back. But to be honest I started off in the same way after I qualified 21 years ago.
At present I get many back pain patients whom have had this experience with other health practitioners and thus never got rid of their back pain. Hence they ended up in my Clinic to ask for help with lower back pain relief as their back pain had only worsened over the years.
Another challenge arose for me when I started to see a group of people not getting better 100%. Yes they showed improvement, but only to a certain level. It was at this stage I realised that there was more then just the physical side that needed addressing. Quickly I figured there were 2 other areas that are as important to be treated.
One is issues related to the mind and the other is various aspects of our diet. These ‘2 pillars’ as I call them, can cause ongoing pain when not addressed if needed…
The 3 Pillars to Effective Relief of Lower Back Pain
Personally I strongly belief that good health means that our body, mind and diet are all balanced correctly. If these 3 pillars, as I refer to them, are un-balanced our body can’t heal properly. Thus no lower back pain relief is found…
Your body is constantly striving to achieve and maintain equilibrium in all aspects, and oftentimes all it needs to heal is a gentle reminder of what “normal” is. In other words you often will find a combination of various causes, within each of the 3 pillars, that are all working together to keep you in pain.
Let’s have a closer look together at the 3 pillars to healing back ache effectively…
Pillar 1 – The Body
In today’s modern society you use your body in an unbalanced manner, which most of you are not aware of at all. To explain this a little further, let me take you back in time.
Our ancestors had to hunt for their food, work the land etc, thus they were walking, running, jumping from rock to rock, basically constantly using their body in many different ways.
The muscles and nervous system were constantly challenged in a variety of ways, but more importantly not constantly the same way. Most muscles in the body were used equally over time.
Now think about your own day to day life. You probably drive to work, sit in the office at your desk for most of the day, come home and sit down to watch some tv or read a book. Maybe you go out for a walk…
But overall you have been sitting most of the day and probably walked in total for 1 hour (or if you lucky 2 hours). Or you may have done some kind of activity that you generally do for most of the day.
So what happens is that certain muscles are not used much and others more day to day. Muscles that are not used much will weaken and those that are used more become stronger or even tighter.
Those tight muscles for example will pull your spine (your body) out of alignment with resulting in un-even stress being placed on various structures in the spine and eventually resulting in pain. But weak muscles can also cause excess stress in our joints etc.
Pillar 2 – The Mind
Let’s get one thing out of the way first… ‘You are not imagining the pain or it is not in your head’. If there is one subject I need to approach with extreme caution with my patients it is this subject of ‘the mind’, emotional related pain.
Few people want to be told that their pain is psychological or emotional in origin. Even though there is quite a bit of evidence that backs this up. Underlying emotional issues (like relationship problems, stress at work or unhappy at work, financial stress etc.) and repressed emotions can have a massive influence on your health, particularly as it relates to physical pain.
Personally I strongly belief, and other health professionals and scientists from various fields of medicine do, that your emotional health and your ability to effectively address your stress is an essential component of optimal health. Because this can have a major influence on whether or not you’re effective in eliminating your pain.
A very well known scientist in the field of the ‘mind – body connection’ is John Sarno, MD, professor of clinical rehabilitation medicine at New York University. Though Sarno doesn’t dispute that the pain is real, he believes it stems from repressed emotions that trigger tension in the body and ultimately deprive nerves and muscles of oxygen.
He believes that relief comes through understanding this link and by learning to deal with these unresolved emotions constructively. Using his theories, Professor Sarno has successfully treated thousands of patients with back problems without drugs, tools or surgery.
Pillar 3 – The Diet
How many of you reading this book have had discussions with their health professional about your diet in relation to your back pain?
Doubt it will be many of you whom had such discussions.
I am sure you have heard of the saying…
You are what you eat!
This is also true when it comes to dealing with back pain. Having a proper diet will make sure that your intake of calcium and vitamin D is enough to help maintain a strong and healthy spine.
Or drinking regularly water during the day, which I am sure you have been told many times before. But this is mainly based on the idea of good health and staying de-hydrated to make sure you can focus and function better day to day.
Suggestions to Relieve Pain In the Lower Back
This is usually the initial suggestion for an aching back. Activities such as aerobic working out, enhancing workout and extending workout work effectively in lower back pain relief. Cardiovascular workout help as they help condition the heart and other muscles and launches fast recuperation.
The second exercise is focused around the spine, belly and leg muscular tissues; in brief strengthening lesser back muscles. The even more pliable the muscles and various other assisting tissues are, the much less susceptible the individual will certainly be to trauma and discomfort in the lower back. This can be achieved by instilling stretching working out.
Exercises such as straight leg sit-ups, angled leg sit-ups, leg lifts, standing army press or bicep curls and toe touching while standing have the tendency to intensify pain in the back hence, have to be prevented. More information on other beneficial lower back pain relief physical exercises could be obtained from a doctor, together with details of those working outs which have to be prevented completely.
An additional natural procedure to soothe back discomfort was established by the Chinese society and it is referred to as acupuncture. Baseding on the Chinese acupuncturists, discomfort in the body is induced when the power is obstructed along the energy paths. This shut out electricity is unblocked by acupuncture needles that are placed along these paths. Acupuncture likewise delivers signals that assists calming the main nerves and hence lowering the pain.
There are certain items such as belts to sustain the muscular tissues, pillows for even more comfort while resting and neck supports that could be connected to a chair or driving seat. They are created to manage back pain. Other items like soft wedges that are made for relaxing the knees and foam cushions that keep the knees separate, help reduce the tension on the back.
There are unique soles which could be made use of in shoes and shoes for people struggling with pain in the lower back. These soles have certain stress factors that alleviate the discomfort while strolling.
What Next in Your Journey to Lower Back Pain Relief?
The ‘3 Pillars to Effective Lower Back Pain Relief’ is something that most Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, Osteopaths and other similar practitioners NEVER explain or deal with when they treat back pain. If that sounds familiar it may be that you are one of the many who still suffer back pain as not all ‘3 pillars’ are treated.
For those who are reading this, presumably because you are suffering from back pain on an ongoing basis, please get rid of your health professional. If after seeing him or her for a long time but the pain is still present or you are going back on an ongoing basis for yet another manipulation to get temporary pain relief, you should realise by now that whatever back pain treatment you get is not helping…
…You are being ‘manipulated’
At the end of the day you are in control of your body and only you make the decision that you feel is right for you. If you are seeing a health professional with very little benefit or you are making regular visits for another manipulation to ONLY have temporary pain relief…
Open your mind… “take control of your back pain”
If you found this article informative you should request a free copy of my lower back pain relief guide. In it you will find more information about the 3 ‘pillars’ mentioned above, as well as dozens of other tips that you can begin using right away.
Why continue to struggle with back pain or sciatica? You deserve to be pain free, and you must not sit around and wait for your body to fix itself, I am giving you the tools, now all that you have to do is take action…