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  • lower back pain: muscle imbalance?

    so I've been trawling the forum messages here about lower back pain and I'm wondering if anyone has a similar experience to mine.

    I have a sore lower back: 2/10 pain scale maybe, the kind where I'm always aware of it and constantly stretching but rarely completely debilitated by it. it's right above my pelvis and gets IMPOSSIBLY sore (like groan out loud and fall to the ground sore, especially on the left) if I lie on my back for any length of time. it gets less sore when I stretch my glutes, quads and hamstrings, but that relief is pretty much instantaneous only and goes away as soon as I stop stretching. very occasionally it's gotten so bad I've rushed to get treated (chiro worked) but those treatments don't seem to work in the long term--they change the pain from acutely awful back to daily manageable but never get rid of it.

    so my question is - how to get it to daily NONEXISTENT? I do lots of core workouts, have very strong abs and glutes and hamstrings, and I have very good flexibility, so I am wondering which bits of me I should be targeting.

    thanks in advance.

  • #2
    edit
    Last edited by Chapstick; 11-13-2011, 09:37 AM.

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    • #3
      When you sit down or lie down, it puts stress on the lower back. When you sleep on your back, try putting a pillow under your knees to raise your knees higher than your hips. If you sit all day at a desk at work, then try converting your workspace to a standing desk.

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      • #4
        check out this guys stuff.

        MobilityWOD - Part 2

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        • #5
          Hey. Massive back injury girl here with zero pain.

          I totally agree with the person above who said to get to a physical therapist. It's not that you're wasting your money on a chiropractor (I still go weekly), but you will never really fix your problem unless and until you get to the root of the situation -- which is muscular conditioning.

          I highly, highly recommend the book Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move With Confidence. It's all about getting away from the traditional/old-school way of dealing with back pain: strengthening the core. This is about strengthening the posterior chain, including most especially the smaller stabilizer muscles of the back. It's revolutionary, and I'm not exaggerating when I say this has the power to change your life in a very short time. Lots of high-level athletes are getting on the bandwagon with this now.


          Watch this channel below, 14 videos showing the exercises.

          http://www.youtube.com/user/DoAFounder#g/u


          The book:
          Amazon.com: Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move with Confidence (9781609611002): Dr. Eric Goodman, Peter Park, Lance Armstrong: Books


          Ideally, you should find a PT who is on board with the method of strengthening/conditioning. It's cutting-edge, so you might have to search for a while, and maybe you won't even be able to find someone locally and you'll just have to forge ahead on your own, as I have done.
          Last edited by TigerLily; 09-03-2011, 12:59 PM.
          "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bananabonobo View Post
            I have a sore lower back: 2/10 pain scale maybe, the kind where I'm always aware of it and constantly stretching but rarely completely debilitated by it.
            Have a look at this Bananabonobo (I know it's 53 minutes but I'm sure you won't regret it):


            I hope that's some help.

            PS
            It sounds like your abs are fine... but do your erector spinae, obliques, and all the other related core muscles match up? If not that could be the source of the problem (as in asymmetry Vs. symmetry). I hope that makes some sense... it's late and I've had some wine.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TigerLily View Post
              Hey. Massive back injury girl here with zero pain.

              I totally agree with the person above who said to get to a physical therapist. It's not that you're wasting your money on a chiropractor (I still go weekly), but you will never really fix your problem unless and until you get to the root of the situation -- which is muscular conditioning.

              I highly, highly recommend the book Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move With Confidence. It's all about getting away from the traditional/old-school way of dealing with back pain: strengthening the core. This is about strengthening the posterior chain, including most especially the smaller stabilizer muscles of the back. It's revolutionary, and I'm not exaggerating when I say this has the power to change your life in a very short time. Lots of high-level athletes are getting on the bandwagon with this now.


              Watch this channel below, 14 videos showing the exercises.

              http://www.youtube.com/user/DoAFounder#g/u


              The book:
              Amazon.com: Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move with Confidence (9781609611002): Dr. Eric Goodman, Peter Park, Lance Armstrong: Books


              Ideally, you should find a PT who is on board with the method of strengthening/conditioning. It's cutting-edge, so you might have to search for a while, and maybe you won't even be able to find someone locally and you'll just have to forge ahead on your own, as I have done.
              I tried the videos last night - I was sweating like crazy. I've been looking for ways to strengthen my back - thanks for the link!

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              • #8
                thanks guys - that's given me some great material to sort through! i knew i'd get the best ideas here!

                as for my obliques - i THINK they're pretty okay? at least, i work them hard at least three times a week. (i do pretty comprehensive interval training with weights and sprints, plus a little bit of jogging when it feels good. for fun! not chronic!!!) my back muscles, however, could definitely use some help. i tried doing arch-ups on the edge of a bed this summer (i had people lie on my legs while i bent over the edge at my hips, then did like an upside-down situp) and i was definitely the worst in the room at them. already those foundation exercises have given me a place to start, and i'd heard of esther gokhale elsewhere. SUPER useful to see the video!

                hopefully i'll be able to get a consult on this with someone knowledgeable soon... i'll take my bf cos he's got the same problem - only he's had his for 15 years and i've had it for 3! he claims "just getting old" but there is no WAY i'm accepting that!

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                • #9
                  What shoes are you wearing?

                  This has always been a key to how bad my back pain is (it's an injury, but it gets worse and better).

                  I've had to go completely flat--not even an athletic shoe's heel, but I'm not ready for all this barefoot stuff yet. When I tried the pain in my back (and my feet) increased. I don't blame the barefoot; I think it has a lot more to do with me jumping suddenly from inserts for years, to nothing. So for now I'm running around in converse and inserts, and using multiple exercises to strengthen my feet.

                  An easy way to tell if it might be your shoes, just change them for two days. If you're wearing athletics, or some other shoe, loose them. If you've suddenly switched to barefoot, try putting some shoes on again. . .

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                  • #10
                    it's definitely not my shoes - been in and out of barefoot and conventional all my life; no effect either way. i'm useless in high heels though! i danced last year in a pair that had the heels positioned directly under the backs of my heels (as opposed to just under the fat parts of the heels, like some shoes) and that just about destroyed the lower back muscles that are bothering me - so now i know better than to ever try to pull any of that nonsense again!

                    i just started out with the foundation videos so we'll see how that goes!

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                    • #11
                      BB: Of all the exercises on that Foundation channel, I found this one to cause very real improvement in my body very quickly. Three days of this, and I was moving differently. It's also particularly effective for lower back pain, and I believe from your description, this exercise will work the muscles you are talking about that are so weak.

                      It looks simple, but it is not easy. I shake like a leaf when doing them, and I bet you will too. Traditional core exercises do not target these muscles -- quadratus lumborum, multifidus, and erector spinae -- even though these are the stabilizers for the back. (Makes no damn sense that we keep on, keep on, keep on working our abs.... (hey, I was doing it too!))

                      "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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                      • #12
                        Hi to all. I have also lower back pain problem from last two weeks. I don't know why. I feel lot of pain when i sit more than 1 hour. Is it a serious problem? Kindly give me some tips to get rid of this pain. Thanks in advance.

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                        • #13
                          Tigerlily & everyone who suggested Foundation: I've done like 3 days of foundation exercises and my back already feels waaayyyyy better. Not Super 100% I-Am-A-Five-Year-Old better, but way better, like pain almost gone and I can ACTUALLY lie on the floor while talking on the phone and then get up again. You guys are serious lifesavers.

                          Re the MWOD guy - kind of harder to follow. I'm trying though!

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                          • #14
                            I sugest squats... good old free weight back squats.

                            Start with just the 45 lb bar at first until you have the form down and can get low enough to have the tops of your quads parallel to the ground and keep your core tight and not lift your heals...

                            Then slowly add the weight.

                            This will work your whole body (ok well like 90%) and will improve elasticity (stretch lower back) and bring back muscular ballence.

                            My one friend cured his scoliosis from squatting... then he got into powerlifting.. Just some food for thought.

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