Lower Back Pain: Causes of Pain & Useful Exercises

Lower Back Pain

Know what are the exercises to strengthen the Lower Back (Lumbar Area) at a muscular level and prevent low back pain

Lower Back Pain: Causes of Pain

Below the dorsal area – also called thoracic – we find the lumbar area. These are 5 vertebrae of different sizes that end by meeting the sacral area (in turn made up of vertebrae fused together) to end in the coccyx. This area is also defined in rapid diagnostic terms as L1-L5. Usually, we often hear about problems at the L5-S1 level (between the fifth lumbar and the sacrum) or in the area of ​​contact between the articular discs of the last lumbar vertebrae and the first sacral vertebrae, where slips, pressures, hernias, protrusions, slips, pains of various kinds can occur not infrequently. These 5 are undoubtedly the largest and strongest vertebrae in the spine and support the body weight on the back, including that of the skull.

Together with the cervical one, the lumbar is defined as lordosis or secondary curvature, as the cervical lordosis is formed when the newborn begins to have control of the head and neck, while the lumbar lordosis is formed when the newborn begins to stand and manages to take the first steps. The movements that the person is able to perform at the level of this area are favored flexion-extension movements, due to the conformation of the articular faces placed on a para-sagittal plane. Limited rotation, which reaches a maximum of about 1 ° per vertebra. The movements in side bending occur in the form of hybrids between rotation and flexion extension.

Possible Causes of Lower Back Pain

Depending on the symptoms, various lower back problems can occur and one of these is called stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal. It is a form of somatic dysfunction that is expressed through low back pain, pain in the buttocks, and inflammation of the sciatic nerve. Sometimes it is associated with tingling, swelling, a stiff and slow spine, and loss of balance.

In addition to narrowing, one of the causes of lower back pain extended or bar there are also alterations in the articular physiology of the lumbar spine due to dysfunctions or hypermobile yield of the iliac and sacrum bones (which torsion anteriorly or posteriorly, influencing the course of the overlying vertebrae); these alterations also modify the step according to Fryette’s law which regulates the movement of rotation and flexion. To understand these dynamics we must distinguish between long constricting muscles (with space between origin and insertion of about 3 vertebrae) and short constricting muscles (with space between origin and insertion of 1 vertebra). The former mainly creates a lateral flexion movement and determines the phenomenon whereby, starting from a neutral position, if one flexes on one side, a rotation on the opposite side automatically occurs. (Fryette’s first law). If from a neutral position instead a minimum of 3 vertebrae tilts on one side, there is a rotation of the same on the opposite side due to the short constrictors that generate rotation then inclination on the same side of the individual vertebrae (Second Law of Fryette), when starting from a degree of maximum flexion or extension of the spine. The third law instead establishes that the movement of a joint in one plane decreases the possibility of movement in the remaining planes.

We, therefore, consider that, if this physiology is altered due to dysfunctions of the cervical spine or the sacral area, it immediately reflects on the lumbar vertebrae, with consequences such as crushing, disc protrusions, or, in the worst cases, hernias.

Exercises for Lower Back Pain

We remind you that in case of pain it is necessary to observe rest, even if not total, in order not to weaken the muscles in the long term. Significant efforts must also be avoided and a habit must be made of flexing the knees to pick up even heavyweights from the ground. In the acute phase, no weights should be loaded in any way and excessive effort should not be made, but the application of cold packs can give relief from pain. If the pain occurs only once and there are no structural problems but perhaps fatigue and generalized tiredness, you could use a pain reliever cream to spread on the lower back.

Among the best exercises, if there is pain that is not too acute and not due to trauma, we find the flexion-extension to be performed standing, with the knees slightly flexed and the chin towards the chest to align the neck; you can bring one hand to the belly and one to the sacrum and inhale arching and exhale pushing the pubis forward, without going to contract the shoulders. You can also perform this exercise on your back, with your knees bent, feet on the ground, and shoulders relaxed.

Still on the ground, on a mat, lie on your stomach, bend your legs, grabbing the thighs under the knees until they bring them slightly towards the chest. Hold the position for 10-15 seconds while maintaining long, deep breathing.

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