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Chronic Back Pain, Could Poor Posture be to Blame…

Poor posture could be to blame for our chronic back pain. Irritation to the nerves that emerge off the lumbar spine can cause burning and shooting pain down the legs and into the feetChronic back pain can also cause poor posture, making it difficult to walk, sit, drive, and perform routine activities such as driving, laundry, and dishes; to name a few.  Chronic back pain is a debilitating condition that will affect the majority of Americans at some point during their life.  In fact, chronic back pain is one of the leading reasons people go to the doctor and employees miss work..

Symptoms of chronic back pain can include the following:

  • Muscle aches.
  • Shooting and stabbing pain in the back or across the back.
  • Pain that radiates down one or both legs.
  • Numbness and tingling that can radiate down the legs – Impingement (compression) on these nerves can cause a lack of feeling or numbness and tingling throughout the lower extremities as well as profound strength loss in the legs and/or feet (a sign of an emergent problem).
  • Pain that gets worse in specific positions such as sitting, standing, and/or walking.

Chronic back pain is disruptive to both work and daily life, extremely debilitating and can progress to larger issues if not treated quickly and effectively.

While there are countless other reasons for chronic back pain, these are a few of the more  common ones:

  • It can be of traumatic origin, such as a car accident or a high impact fall.
  • It can be degenerative in nature, occurring as the vertebral bones become arthritic and the joints they form no longer move as well.
  • It can be postural, developing when poor muscle control causes nerves that emerge off the spine to become irritated.

Many of us have a wait and see attitude about pain and discomfort.  Back pain is no exception.  However, if back pain is not addressed, it may become more intense either in the back and/or the legs which would then indicate severe nerve compression, new numbness and tingling in the legs that you did not have before, and knee buckling and/or foot drop (the inability to pick up the front of the foot) which indicates severe nerve compression, and this can lead to a potential fall.

How Can Physical Therapy Handle Back Pain for GOOD?

Chronic back pain can be treated in different ways, but often times, those courses of treatment begin with physical therapy.  Physical therapy is a very effective treatment method for back pain.  Importantly, issues in the back can result in symptoms that go beyond simply feeling “back pain.”

  • Manual, hands-on techniques can relieve pressure and pain from compressed nerves, improve posture and improve flexibility.
  • Physical therapist-directed core and hip strengthening programs can target the weaknesses that often are responsible for the development of the pain; thereby curing it and preventing a future recurrence. 

By Jeremy Schain, DPT, CSCS

If you or someone you know is suffering from acute or chronic low back pain or the associated symptoms mentioned above, please CALL Loudoun Sports Therapy Center at 703-450-4300 and we would be happy to get you on the path to healing. CLICK HERE for more on how physical therapy can help.

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