According to the third edition of ACSM “Exercise Management for Persons with Chronic Disease and Disabilities”, under the chapter “Lower Back Pain Syndrome”, page 266:
“Nonspecific low back pain, the most common form , is defined as low back pain not attributed to recognizable, known specific pathology (e.g., infection, tumor, osteoporosis, ankylosing syndrome, or cauda equina syndrome). Lower back pain may occur suddenly and be unclear in onset, and may result from major trauma or multiple episodes of microtrauma. It is characterized by variability in terms of its impact and recurrent episodes. Pain may stem from a variety of spinal structures, including muscle, joint, or disc (or more than one of these) and may have inflammatory, nociceptive and neuropathic components.”
I think that there are number of obvious answers to this question which can be beat like a dead horse. How about something that most people don’t typically think about…..
S T R E S S
After reading McGill, my eyes were wide open. I mean, I knew that there were a greater number of people who suffer from Low Back Pain, but what I didnt realize was the greater number of incidences that occurred were psycho-somatic.
It makes total sense when you look at the natural response to stress. As an animal, when we are placed in a fight or flight situation our insert postural reaction is to protect our genitals. We do this at the hip by tilting forward, arcing or lower and rolling our shoulders forward, and tilting or neck upwards. This makes our lower back do a greater amount of work to keep our spine erect. The result is pain.
So what do we do? As far as exercise practitioners, it is necessary to reduce the amount of tension that the body feels systemically. SMR, corrective stretching and strengthning are keys but without reducing ones stressors makes having a successful program hard to accomplish.