Category: Causes

Quick Video Outlining Several Back Pain Causes

If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you probably have read that I believe that most cases of back pain are caused by muscles strains from static postures, weak muscles, or over used muscles that are a result of having to sit all day at a desk or at a computer.

People don’t realize how many problems prolonged sitting can cause. This is because the body is not meant to stay in one position for extended periods of time. As humans, we were made to move frequently and throughout all our waking hours.

Being chained to an office or desk is actually contrary to our human nature, but, hey, what are you going to do? You have to earn a living right?

Well, one of the first things you can do begin to treat your back is to understand what is causing your pain.

This short video will briefly go over some of the primary causes of back pain and it points out the actual structures and how they can be affected.

 

You’ll notice that the first on the list in the video is muscular strain that comes from overuse. We we talk about overuse, it doesn’t have to be traumatic or strenuous. In fact, you really can’t get an overuse injury from doing something challenging or aggressive.

Overuse injury come from over doing small and simple movements over a period of time or days. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one overuse injury that most people have heard of. Typing or working on a computer is what most people think of when ask what the cause of carpal tunnel is. It’s the small muscles in the hands and forearms that get overused when a person is stuck typing all day or doing something similar.

But an overuse injury can come from working any muscle over and over again in small and simple movements. So, theoretically, you could have an overuse injury in most any muscle or group of muscles in the body. And this is what this particular video is pointing out.

For more information on over use injuries see this

More on Causes of back pain here

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Do You Hold Your Stress In Your Psoas?

Psoas-Stretch

When you hear fitness people talk about the core, what comes to mind? In almost every fitness or exercise commercial or advertisement there is some reference to it. However, no one really explains what they’re actually talking about. It’s taken for granted that people have a good understanding of what their “core” is.

When you actually think about it, the word “core” could mean any number of things. But, the general understanding is that it’s something, a structure perhaps, located deep in your body.

If that’s the case, why do personal trainers and fitness buffs refer to the abdominals when talking about a “core workout”? The abdominal muscles, while located wrapped around the midsection of each person’s body, is not actually at the center or core of the body.

Your Psoas Is At The Core

Thinking about this particular word may bring to mind the center part of an apple. An apple core, if you would.

You get to the apple core by taking away most of the apple and all of the meat that surrounds the core. When you’re done, you’re left with a very skinny piece of the fruit that is made up of the dense fleshy parts of the apple that surrounds the seeds or the heart of the apple.

I would suggest that our “core” is deeper than most people think and that the Psoas muscle plays a part in it. For a little deeper (no pun intended), understanding of this concept, let’s look at this article:

Holding Your Tension In Your Core

Much of the tension we store occurs in our muscles, one of them being the psoas muscle. This can result in an ugly downward spiral that becomes a source of anxiety and stress in and of itself.

The psoas muscle is the largest muscle in our bodies, running through the entirety of our trunk.

“Because the psoas is so intimately involved in such basic physical and emotional reactions, a chronically tightened psoas continually signals your body that you’re in danger, eventually exhausting the adrenal glands and depleting the immune system,” explains Liz Koch in her book, The Psoas Book. “As you learn to approach the world without this chronic tension, psoas awareness can open the door to a more sensitive attunement to your body’s inner signals about safety and danger, and to a greater sense of inner peace.”

A huge part of taking on a healthier lifestyle is commitment to daily practice that continuously works to heal, replenish, and relax you. A variety of yoga poses, for instance, can help you to release this stress, anxiety, and fear that gets built up within the psoas muscle.

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The article gets into the metsphysics of how our bodies work and how stress may influence our musculo-skeletal system. If you feel that you deal with a lot of stress during they day and don’t get much physical activity, if may do some good to explore ways to reduce it that don’t require medications or a trip to the doctor.

 

For more information on causes of back pain see this page.

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What Too Much Sitting Does to Your Body

thrillist.com

There are more and more people researching the effects of back pain and translating that scientific jargon and data into understandable articles for the reast of use.

This is a very good and concise read about the problems that too much sitting can cause in the body.

It mentions the problems that may build up over time as well as the near immediate effects of trying to get out of a flexed position that’s been held for several hours.

Long story short: Don’t get too tied up with what you’re doing at the desk and not move around every 30 minutes or so. You’ll feel better and maybe get even more work accomplished.

Sitting is such a paradox. After a long day, you relish the opportunity to plop down on the couch and settle in for the evening. But cozy up in that same position (more likely on a poorly designed office chair than a plush sofa) all day long and you suffer a stiff neck, tight shoulders, and back pain. What gives?

“Any position we hold for any length of time will eventually turn to pain because the body is not primed to do that,” said Joan Vernikos, former NASA scientist.

When you sit all day, you know what your glutes and calves are doing? Pretty much nothing — except slowly wasting away. This could make for a sore, wobbly walk home, when your legs finally start holding you up again.

“It’s not the number of hours sat that’s important, it’s how many uninterrupted hours of sitting that matters,” said Vernikos. …she found that standing up every half hour was enough to prevent the harmful effects of an otherwise immobile lifestyle.

“If you sit in one position long enough and you don’t move, the muscle contracts. As it contracts, it pulls the nerves it’s in contact with, so you go into a sort of spasm,” said Vernikos.

One big culprit of the pain from a compressed spine is the damage done to the cushioning between the discs. “The muscles have weakened and the vertebrae start collapsing, squeezing the padding and nerves between the discs. This is a huge source of pain,” Vernikos added.

Here’s the good news: Studies conducted by Vernikos and other researchers have discovered that adjusting your position every 15-30 minutes prevents changes to your lumbar discs. So go ahead and get a fresh coffee, gossip with a colleague, gaze out the window — do anything other than sitting a few times an hour, and you won’t feel so much pain later on.

“You don’t need to be running on a treadmill to condition yourself, you can tune your body to on-off movement throughout the day.”

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Why The Psoas Muscle May Be Contributing To Your Pain

You’re probably going to get tired of me saying this, but, I want to reiterate my belief that most cases of back pain are due to muscular imbalances in the lower half of the body.

These muscular imbalances involve a tight muscle(s) on one side of a joint and a weak muscle(s) on the other side of a joint. In this blog post, we’re going to look at the Psoas Muscle.

Short Video Explains Why Sitting Can Lead To Backache

I have found a good video that I want you to watch after you’ve finished reading this short article. It’s by a chiropractor named Jose Guevara. “Dr. G” as he goes by, does a good job of walking you through a quick introduction to this particular muscle and why it can cause you some problems.

Dr. G starts out by giving you a very brief lesson in the anatomy involved with this muscle. It attaches to front of each vertebrae in the lower back.  That’s at least 5 bones. Sometimes the muscle extends up into the middle back vertebrae.

He then goes on to tell you some of the actions and motions that the muscle does. The primary thing that he mentions in this video is that the Psoas flexes the hip. That simply means that it brings your knee up toward your chest.

In an exaggerated example, if you are climbing steps or a ladder and you’re bringing your knee toward your chest then it’s primarily the Psoas that’s doing the work. But it’s at work even when you’re walking. You don’t have to be climbing.

So, when your knee is relatively close to your chest, this means the Psoas is in a shortened position. When it stays in this shortened position, like when your sitting down. It tends to stay short even when you try to stand up.

Do You Sit Down For Long Periods Of Time?

If you’re someone who sits most of the time, and have been doing so for a long time, chances are your Psoas muscles (you have one on each side of your body) are tight and contributing to your back pain.

What doctor G doesn’t go over is the opposing muscles that are weak. These are generally the gluteus maximus muscle and the hamstrings. These are the muscle groups that round out this particular muscular imbalance unit that helps to cause your lower back pain.

What Is The Psoas Muscle?

Take a look at this video. Dr. G gives you a little stretch that you can do at the end. Try it and see what you think.

This is a very good concise overview of one of the primary causes of back pain in people who have to sit long hours at a desk or in a truck.

More on what causes back pain: click here

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