What Causes Low Back Pain?
The causes of low back pain are many and varied. For simplicity’s sake they can be subdivided into structural and functional. In straightforward terms this means that the cause is either to do with the structural alignment of the spine, pelvis and the rest of the skeleton or the way it all works together or (bio) mechanics. In reality, they usually occur together as one will inevitably affect the other!
When we look at the shape of the ‘spinal column’ we see that it has four curves. Two in going forwards (lordosis) and two backwards (kyphosis).
These curves dissipate the weight of gravity (your bodyweight+extra loads or stresses etc.) into the surrounding muscles and fascia. If we maintain an incorrect posture, particularly when lifting or bending, those forces are directed through the spine itself. The spine is not designed or strong enough to accept these forces. If repeated over time this causes injury to the spine, particularly the discs, ligaments and facet joints and result in PAIN.
Naturally there are other causes of back problems but most result from the bio-mechanical inadequacy described above. A less common cause involves disc herniation or prolapse. The soft centre of the disc can squeeze out and lie against the nerve as it exits the spine causing leg pain (sciatica) with pins and needles or numbness in the buttock, leg or foot.