Today we’re going to talk about commonplace mechanical pain in the lower lumbar spine (the lower part of the back where it attaches to the pelvis). This type of pain is common in patient populations 50 years of age and older due to mechanical wear and tear. We’re going to discuss the origins of this type of pain, why it comes about from an anatomical perspective, as well as what classically goes awry day-to-day. Then we’re going to talk about how we can alleviate a lot of this mechanical pain via improved functional mobility as well as appropriate changes with posturing and mechanics.
Low Back Pain Symptoms
Symptoms with this scenario classically arise along the belt line. We’re all aware of “good posture” but what commonly happens is we tend to “collapse” our backs – whether it’s standing around the center island in the kitchen, or with lifting a load. Sooner or later there is muscular fatigue and we rely on bony structure in the bottom of the spine to allow us to continue. The microtrauma, prolonged use, or improper lifting and loading can create focal symptoms that can endure.
Back Pain from an Anatomical Perspective
If you look at joint structure through the lower lumbar spine, the joints are orientated in a forward direction. If we tip posteriorly, you can load them. The service of the joint approximates to a degree and it will serve as a grade class 1 lever (bone against bone). One can appreciate that forward bending will gap open these joints and most people with this condition feel relief if they’re bending forward (by bringing knees to chest or by placing a foot up onto a box). Nerves that innervate or tell us what’s going on in this general region innovate or go to the gluteal along the tailbone. So people initiating focal pain symptoms often experience referred pain into the proximal buttock and tailbone.
For stretches to relieve this type of back pain, visit this article.