The quadratus lumborum muscle, known as the QL, is an important lower back muscle that connects your spine to your pelvis. Pain in the QL can be due to overuse, stress, and strain because muscles cause pain and stiffness when they're weak or too tight. Activities such as sitting for long periods of time can reduce blood flow to an area, especially in the QL and surrounding areas.
I often get bewildered looks when a patient complains of lower back pain, and I start to examine their neck, shoulders, and feet. The patient thinks that since they are suffering from lower back pain, the problem lies in their lower back. However, more often than not, this is not the case.
I like to use the analogy of the lights going out. There could be a localized problem within the lightbulb itself, but it’s more likely that you blew a circuit breaker. Think of an electrical problem that overrode the system and caused power outages in multiple areas. Back pain is just like a circuit breaker. Most people aren’t experiencing pain in just one specific area, like a lightbulb, but are likely having pain in multiple areas, like a circuit breaker.
A cause of the “circuit breaker of back pain” could be stress, poor posture, or digestive upset. If you don’t fix the underlying circuit breaker issue, you will constantly be replacing the bulbs. I have three guided resources to help determine what could be causing your back pain. Click here to take my structural assessment, here to take my emotional assessment, and here to take my digestive assessment.
Eastern cultures that created acupuncture views the body as having energy sources. This is an approach that I certainly subscribe to! This shift in approach can really make a difference in understanding your back pain's causes and solutions.
Who do you think has more back pain and worse posture: The farmer, who spends his day plowing a field and shoveling manure, or the office worker, who works at a desk for eight hours a day? The answer - most likely, the office worker.
After working with back patients for about 20 years, I have discovered why many patients don’t achieve back pain relief or perfect posture. To fix back pain and correct your posture, I have to focus on a patient’s structural, emotional, and digestive issues to get to the truth. Unfortunately, most doctors don’t pay attention to what the rest of the body is telling them about a patient's pain. A single-approach structural treatment plan may apply if a patient is a certain type of back pain sufferer, but may not work if an individual is a different type of back pain sufferer. In today’s post, we will focus on potential structural issues that are causing your back pain and poor posture.
In my previous posts, I discussed that when I work to fix back pain and correct a patient’s posture, I focus on a patient’s structural, emotional, and digestive issues to get to the root cause. After decades of practicing, I know what to do/not do to help my patients. Below, I have listed what I believe are the most significant back pain studies that have informed my treatment process.
Core imbalance wreaks havoc on people of all shapes, sizes, and occupations. The following is a synopsis of two of my patients, who had very different lifestyles:
Patients come into my office often complaining of neck and/or back pain, and many are certain there is some structural cause. When patients take my structural, digestive, and emotional assessments, they frequently find there is no structural cause, but rather, the pain is caused by stress. Stress causes muscles to tighten, which can cause serious back and neck pain and also can lead to poor posture.
“My back hurts” is a regular complaint that I hear from patients, and it sounds simple. Even before I attempt to diagnose the cause of the pain as structural, digestive, or emotional, it’s crucial that I understand how long you’ve been suffering and what you have done to try to help yourself. And if you haven’t done anything, I need to know why. Everyone can suffer from back pain - even great athletes struggle with back pain.
I have learned that I have to listen to patients’ structural, emotional, and digestive issues to get to the truth of back pain. While there are thousands of studies on how nutrition impacts muscular function, very few health professionals have connected the dots from digestive function and nutrition back to back pain. In one study published by the Asian Spine Journal in 2014, 31% of women and 24.6% of men who were suffering from back pain also suffered from gastrointestinal complaints such as abdominal pain or food intolerance.