The solution to fix your back pain will be individual to you and will change from person to person.
However here are the most common problems I see and the common solutions to these problems:
Problem - Weak / under-active core
When the core is weak or not engaging correctly this can put the lower-back in various unstable / compromised positions.
Solution - Learn to breath & brace the core properly plus strengthen the core properly
Problem - Tight illiopsoas & inactive glutes / hamstrings (Anterior pelvic tilt)
When the pelvis is chronically in an anterior tilt, the lumbar spine is chronically extended, this can cause a vast array of issues ranging from sciatica to facet joint irritation.
Solution - Activate & strengthen hip flexors & glutes, tie them into movement
Problem - High stress plus the associated fatigue & inability to hold good posture
When we are in a state of too much stress for too long our bodies ability to recover and function optimally becomes significantly reduced, too much stress negatively impacts the body in so many ways.
Solution - Implement better stress management strategies, look at lifestyle changes
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Problem - Restriction in the ankle, hip, thoracic spine or shoulder creating compensation
When the foundational areas of movement within the body are not functioning properly, other areas of the body get more force placed on them than they should - the lower-back is one of these areas.
Solution - Improve mobility deficits and tie these into correct movement
Problem - Pathological issues (disc bulges, spondylolisthesis, spondylosis, stenosis, sciatica, muscle strains or spasm)
Pathological issues such as the ones above are a little more complicated and require very specific action which will be dependent on the individual. Its essential that treatment also addresses the reason why the pathological issue happened in the first place (otherwise its just a bandaid - like pain killer drugs) and will not fix the issue long term.
Solution - Allowing recovery / regeneration, alleviating the cause of the issue, Deeper level corrective rehab
Problem - Too much sitting with poor posture / awareness of the shape of your spine
When we are sitting our spine already has more load though it than when we are standing, pair that with too much flexion or extension in our spine and things will start to go wrong. Having our hips in this seated / flexed position too much also begins to form mobility deficits / imbalances with hip mobility which will cause compensation in our lower-back & issues if not managed.
Solution - Learn better sitting posture, improve desk ergonomics, create a management strategy
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When Dr Don came to us he was in quite bad shape - in severe pain all over his body, depressed & just wasn't enjoying life like a newly retiree should be.
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Dr Don was a General Practioner for over 30 years.
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Problem - Depression / mental stress & the poor posture that is a byproduct of this
Being in a state of depression & carrying heavy emotion puts us in a lower that optimal emotional state. When you are in a low emotional state your body language and posture completely change & quite often it can be really hard to find the energy or value in yourself to create the required changes.
Solution - Work on mindset - shift beliefs & perspectives that are keeping you stuck
Problem - Poor movement quality / awareness when bending forwards
The ability to bend forwards (hinge from the hips) is an essential movement that most people will use everyday throughout their lives - therefor it is worth being good at, and also being strong at hinging from the hips.
Solution - Learn better hip hinge movement
Problem - Gastrointestinal issues / bloating resulting in inability to engage core muscles
When our gut is in a state of inflammation, swelling occurs which can cause distension at our abdomen area putting our abdominal muscles in an un-optimal position to engage properly, when we can't engage our core our lower-back becomes vulnerable.
Solution - Identify cause of stress in the gut and fix this, then teach how to engage core properly again
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Problem - Lack of foot & hip stability / coordination
The foot creates the base of support for the whole body, an unstable foot/ankle means an unstable body. The hip is the next most important foundational joint for stability - if these two are not working well together many different issues can arise up the chain from there.
Solution - Implement foot and hip stability / coordination strategies into your training program
Problem - Weakness & poor intramuscular coordination of the lateral pelvis and trunk stabiliser muscles
When when the pelvis and trunk are not laterally stable too much uncontrolled movement can occur and too much stress can be placed on certain muscles / structures within the spine.
Solution - Find the weak links, activate, strengthen and then integrate them into movement
Problem - Inability to differentiate movement of the hip to movement of the pelvis & lumbar spine
The hip and the lumbar spine are 2 complete separate structures, they have completely different structures and functions when it comes to human biomechanics, they should be able to move and operate independently of one another.
Solution - Learn correct movement & build awareness around both the hip and the pelvis / lumbar spine