There are many different causes of low back pain.

"Mechanical low back pain" is described as pain generating from the overuse of normal structures in your low back. This can be muscle, ligament, or joint-related pain. It is commonly caused by some kind of accident, tackle, or some other injury we remember.

But sometimes we don't know where back pain comes from. For those who have not sustained an obvious trauma but have developed low back pain, there are often questions about how this happened.

There are many ways low back pain can begin.

Here are a few of the most common causes we see:

1. Cumulative Trauma Disorder

When we are constantly in the same position over time, such as sitting at a desk, we will begin to stress our tissues.  The tissues in our back (like muscles and ligaments) will be stretched in the same position day in, and day out. When this occurs, micro-damage can build up in our tissues and eventually lead to injury. How do we limit this risk?

We will cover that in the upcoming “Microbreaks” section of the course.

2. Poor Movement Patterns

We often don’t pay attention to our simple daily movements. Picking something up off the floor can result in increased strain on the low back if done improperly.

Commonly poor hip hinging leads us to compensate with lumbar (low back flexion) of the spine. This is a vulnerable position for us. Too much movement in the flexed position can lead to intervertebral disc injuries. 

3. Lack Of Movement Awareness

Many times, we see patients who experience an intense pain from doing something they do every day.

This is often due to a lack of movement awareness. An analogy I like to use is this: lifting the feather and not the TV breaks the back. When lifting something heavy (ie: a TV) we prepare ourselves properly.

We brace the core and lift from the legs.  When we are lifting something light (the feather) we will absentmindedly bend over to pick it up, ignoring proper lifting mechanics. 

This can result in injury. Back pain is the consequence.

Before going on, take a moment to reflect on which of the three causes of back pain explain what you're experiencing.

Write your answer on a piece of paper or make a note on your phone. Remember to talk to us about it at your next visit.

If you find you're in serious pain, don't hesitate to contact us and schedule an appointment right away.

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