Rebalance Physical Therapy is a pelvic floor and orthopedic physical therapy practice based in Philadelphia and on the Main Line in Pennsylvania.
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DISCLAIMER: This video is no substitute for in-person treatment and is for demonstration purposes only. If you suffer from any physical condition and illness, please consult your doctor before receiving any form of treatment.
Recently, a patient asked about a low back pain they developed. The sharp pain starts in the morning and improves as the day goes on, but then it comes right back the next morning. They’ve been checked by their doctors and done x-rays that don’t show anything. Muscle relaxers offer temporary relief, but the pain comes back without them.
The Anatomy of the Spine
To understand what’s going on, it’s important to understand the spine. The spine is made up of vertebrae. They are like blocks in your body. If you peel off all the muscles/organs, you’re left with the skeletal structure. The vertebrae stack like blocks. These are your low back joints.
The pain could be coming from these joints. However, these bones are also held together by tissue, which is called ligaments that stabilize or secure these blocks in place. On top of those ligaments are muscles, which layer on top of your back in various different layers.
What’s causing the pain?
The sharp pain could be coming from the joint either moving too much or too little. This causes irritation in the joints, which can irritate the ligaments and domino to cause the back muscles to spasm. Back pain can be a combination of all three of these things. Treating only one piece of the puzzle usually does not cause relief.
Finding Relief from Back Pain
The muscles of the back don’t work alone – they are connected to lots of other muscles that connect deep in to the spine, such as the diaphragm. All of these muscle connections can be contributing to the spasming in the back.
It’s important to address not just the muscles of the back, but all muscles that connect to the spine, which can include the rib cage, hip, pelvis and even the head and neck. All of these muscles need to be balanced to take the stress off of the ligaments and the joints.
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