Terry Talks: Low Back Pain

Terry Talks: Low Back Pain

Hello and welcome to Terry Talks! My name is Terry Moore and today we will be talking about low back pain. 

What is the main cause of low back pain?

The main cause of low back pain is typically muscle (soft tissue); if muscles are tight they can go into spasm and can actually pull vertebrae together and affect discs.  If muscles are constantly pulling on vertebrae it can cause calcium deposition and eventually, bone spurs.  That is why it is so important to manage muscle to take care of your back.

Why is low back pain often associated with aging?

We often hear that you are expected to experience some low back pain with aging, and often the stereotype refers to men.  To prevent low back pain, it is important to maintain good abdominal strength.  Men, once they settle down, maybe don’t always keep their abdomen in as good a shape as they could – the proverbial “beer-belly”. The other cohort who can experience low back pain is actually women, often during and after childbearing.  New mothers generally have weakened abdominal walls because of abdominal growth during pregnancy.

As we mature, we have families and we just can’t be as physically active as we should.  We simply do not have the time.  So people need to learn fast simple means of keeping their muscles in good shape – both stretched out in the back and strong in the abdomen.

People who are getting older (even older than me, so now we’re getting into some dangerous territory) often experience some loss of muscle strength in the legs.  This can occur because the low back is contracting so hard it’s actually starting to pinch off nerves and cause weakness in the legs.  So for aging and safety with aging, it is imperative that the low back be looked after.

How is low back pain generally treated?

Passive techniques (such as stretching) can reduce back pain, but ultimately, if there isn’t strengthening of the muscles, it will be temporary.  You have to build strength.  If muscles become too short in length then they will lose strength and will be unable to regain that strength until they are first stretched.  So to maintain good back health, you must learn how to stretch your back correctly and strengthen both the abdomen and the back.  This is important because you can’t have support from just one direction; we are three dimensional creatures.  We cannot be passive in our health.

I’m glad you were able to join us again for Terry Talks!  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the clinic and we can discuss it.