Active Healing Centre

Low Back Pain

What You Should Know

by Edward Tonus, RMT

Do you ever wake up in the morning and say “Oh, my aching back!”

You think back and wonder how did I get into this predicament. All you know is that you have a sharp, shooting pain radiating down one side and cannot move. Any type of movement brings on excruciating pain, and you just want it to go away.

We don’t deal in miracles, but we can help you prevent another episode and get you back (no pun intended) to your normal activities of daily living.

In a situation like this, you usually present with a stabbing pain, which means you are in an acute phase and you’re probably walking with a limp. Call me Ilene, because we have all been there before.

Or, you’ve had it for a couple of weeks hoping it would go away and now it’s affecting your enjoyment of life. With the warm weather approaching, the last thing you want to worry about is your back.

There is a solution, as back pain, is easily prevented but we need to find out what the causative factors are:

Some things to keep in mind:
1. Do you sleep on your stomach?
This is the worst sleeping posture, as you put extra pressure on your stomach exacerbating the condition. The best position is either side or on your back.

2. Do you slouch or lean forward?
In this position, we make our back work extra hard to compensate for our neck muscles. We need to work on your posture next.

3. What’s your posture like (ie. locked knees, round shoulders, sway back)?
You want the opposite. Stand shoulder width apart, slightly bend your knees, drop your shoulders, and your neck falls into a normal position

4. Do you twist when you shovel snow?
You should twist your entire body and pivot on your heels

5. Does it bother when doing any gardening?
It’s best to get down on all fours to take the pressure off

6. Do you play any sports with a twisting motion (tennis, football)?
Do a warm up to limber yourself before attempting any activity

7. If you’re a woman, do you wear high heels?
The higher the heel, the bigger the pitch
At day’s end, take your shoes off and do the alphabet with your toe as the cursor

8. Men –are you keeping your wallet in your back pocket?
This position has the tendency to put pressure on your sciatic nerve

9. Women –do you cross your legs when you sit?
In this position, you twist your SI joint

Testing may be required, to determine whether it’s; muscular or skeletal, and then we can find the correct practitioner for your needs.

Pick the treatment that works best for you:
Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, Exercise, Chiropractic
Chronic back pain? New guidelines call for exercise, heat pads — painkillers a last resort.

You should also consider adding a remedial exercise component to your activity:
While lying on your back, bring your knees to chest and hold for 30 seconds
Getting on all fours, do a Cat/cow which will increase flexibility in your low back
While standing, tighten your buttocks together and hold this position
Or while lying down and face up, you can tighten your core and hold. In both of these positions, you are doing a pelvic tilt

Or some self-care:
Ice is effective in decreasing inflammation in the acute phase
Sleeping with a pillow under your knees, raises your knees above your hips taking the pressure off your low back
When exiting a chair, place your hands on the arm rests and with your good leg behind and weaker leg up front… PUSH away
And Get some treatment.

See your doctor if the pain persists or doesn’t go away within a day or two.
See your therapist if treatment is recommended.

Edward Tonus, has been a Massage Therapist since 1995 and still enjoys giving massage as much as you do in receiving it.