July 2, 2024 Dr. Danny Govenar

DOES THE ROOT CAUSE OF LOW BACK PAIN MATTER?

Low back pain affects millions of people worldwide, often disrupting daily life and diminishing quality of life. While it’s tempting to treat the pain with quick fixes, understanding and addressing the root cause is crucial for long-term relief and prevention. Here’s why finding the underlying issue is essential and how it guides the choice of proper exercises for recovery.

Understanding the Complexity of Low Back Pain

Low back pain can stem from a variety of sources, including muscular strain, herniated discs, poor posture, arthritis, or even stress. Each of these causes requires a different approach for effective treatment. Simply performing generic exercises without identifying the root cause can sometimes exacerbate the problem rather than alleviate it.

Why The Root Cause Matters

  1. Targeted Treatment: Identifying the specific cause of your low back pain allows for a tailored treatment plan. For instance, exercises that benefit someone with muscular strain may not be suitable for someone with a herniated disc.
  2. Prevention of Recurrence: Understanding the root cause helps in addressing the underlying issues that may contribute to future pain. Determining if we need to improve mobility, flexibility, strength or some combination of these 3 can be the difference between a quick fix or permanent resolution..
  3. Efficient Recovery: A precise diagnosis can accelerate recovery by focusing efforts on the most effective interventions. This targeted approach minimizes wasted time and effort on ineffective treatments.

Determining the Proper Exercises

Once the root cause of your low back pain is identified, we can recommend specific treatments or  exercises that address your underlying issue. Here’s how this works for different causes:

  • Muscular Strain: Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises can help alleviate pain and prevent further injury. Movements and exercises that focus on back and core strength, such as the cat-cow, child’s pose or glute-bridges are often beneficial. Acupuncture can also be used as a tool to speed up healing.
  • Herniated Disc: For disc-related issues, sometimes mechanical traction of the spine can address the root cause.  Also of importance are exercises that reduce pressure on the disc or decrease nerve irritation such as the McKenzie extension exercises or nerve glides. These exercises aim to centralize the pain and reduce nerve tension and inflammation.
  • Repetitive or Prolonged Postures: Corrective exercises that strengthen the core and back muscles as well as improve hip and low back mobility can help mitigate the negative effects of inactivity and staying in one posture for too long such as sitting at your desk.
  • Age Related Changes: As we age the spine needs motion and strength. Chiropractic manipulation can improve mobility and pain in the early stages of care.  Easing into intense exercises is best done with low-impact exercises such as swimming, walking, and bodyweight exercises.  These can help improve strength, maintain mobility, reduce stiffness, and prepare the aging body for more intense exercise if that is your goal!.

Conclusion

Finding the root cause of low back pain is a fundamental step in your journey toward effective treatment and long-term relief. By understanding your specific source of pain, we can prescribe targeted treatments and exercises that address your unique needs, ultimately leading to a healthier, pain-free life. If you’re experiencing persistent low back pain, don’t wait!. We are here for you!

Get in touch with us!