Low back pain is so common, it’s considered a ‘normal’ experience and is often associated with aging and physical activity. Most of us will experience low back pain at one point in our lives and many of us will suffer from chronic bouts. Low back pain can be uncomplicated, meaning that there are no other associated symptoms. It can be dull, sharp, stabbing; it can occur while in certain positions or during movement. Low back pain can be experienced with a number of other secondary conditions like shooting pain into the front or back of the legs, up into the midback and shoulders and it can also show up with numbness and tingling and in emergency situations, it can be accompanied by a loss of control over bowel and bladder functions.
Generally, low back pain is caused by an alteration (distortion) of tissues either in a joint, in a muscle, compression or stretching of a nerve or the disc. Other less common causes are visceral feedback from organs such as the colon, intestine, kidneys, prostate, ovaries and uterus.
In looking at different causes of low back pain, it’s important to note that low back pain itself is a secondary condition and the distortion of the tissues is Neuro-Structural in nature. In assessing the nature of the distortion in the tissues, one needs to assess not just what’s happening at the site of concern. It’s also important to look at what’s happening in the whole structure. Is the low back hurting because it’s been carrying too heavy of a load for too long? Is it related to posture in that there is anterior head syndrome and the neck is pulling on the low back? Is it because the hips are too tight and the low back is compensating? Is it due to poor digestion? Is it all of the above?
Most common approaches in dealing with low back pain look at what’s happening in the area of concern. This is the difference with the Neuro-Structural approach: We look at what’s happening in the area of concern and we look at what is contributing to this from different areas of the body. The Neuro-Structural approach takes it a step or two further as well. After helping the low back heal, we look at what habits in the person’s life are contributing to this. It could be postural, and often, quite often, it’s related to patterns of thinking. Assessing how the mind/body connection is playing into the symptoms and the body’s ability or inability to heal, is a strength of the Neuro-Structural approach. It’s kind of like the Mike Holmes approach to home construction and renovation. Do it once and do it right. That way you avoid problems down the road and you have peace of mind.