Tuesday, May 18, 2021 Lower Back Pain

Over the past 5 - 10 years, an increased understanding of spinal anatomy and muscle function has led to a recognition of the important concept of core stability, in the prevention of lower back pain.

There is now a general consensus that the deep trunk muscles (particularly transversus abdominis and multifidus) play an important role in spinal function. They are also essential in exercise programs which are designed to prevent recurrent lower back pain.

The ability to activate these muscles at the right time during everyday activities such as lifting, is important in the treatment of some typers of lower back pain. A prescribed exercise program can become the appropriate environment within which skills can be practiced, perfected and automated, allowing for more dynamic movement. This is why Pilates style exercise programs have become so popular.

However it is very difficult to recommend specific exercises or activity regimes to help prevent lower back pain in everyone.

Programs need to be individualised. Exercises that suit a particular individual will depend on a number of factors, including fitness level and individual training goals.


Research shows that, following an episode of spinal pain, the stabilising muscles of the lower back inevitably weaken and become unable to adequately support and protect the lumbar spine.

This results in ongoing pain, slow recovery and a greater chance of re-injury. It is therefore necessary to modify physical activity and posture until the function of these muscles has improved sufficiently. This is why rehabilitation programs following lower back pain should aim to recover stabilising muscle function before commencing strengthening exercises.

Chiropractic patients often experience unexpected improvements in many aspects, of their health after commencing treatment. Patients who have received chiropractic adjustments over a period of time will often claim they feel more relaxed, have more energy or a greater sense of wellbeing.

Although a patient may first consult a chiropractor for a particular complaint, such as low back pain, other areas of their health may improve along the road to recovery.

Part of the reason for this is cause co­morbidity (associated health problems) is common with low back pain.

One Norwegian study looked at this trend by examining 457 patients sick-listed for 8 to 12 weeks because of low back pain. All subjects filled out questionnaires. The subjective health complaints in the study group were compared with those in a normal Norwegian population.

Compared with the normal population, patients with low back pain had significantly   more low back pain, neck pain, upper back pain, pain in the feet during exercise, headache, migraine, sleep problems, flushes / heat sensations, anxiety, and sadness / depression. The prevalence of pain in arms and shoulders, plus tiredness, was also high.

The researchers concluded that patients with low back pain suffer from what may be referred to as a 'syndrome' consisting of muscle pain affecting the whole spine as well as the legs and head, with accompanying sleep problems, anxiety, and sadness / depression. With treatment, improvement in many aspects of the patient's health can therefore be expected.

Chiropractors explain this phenomenon as being due to the spine's relationship with the nervous system. The spinal cord, protected by the spine, connects the brain with the body and is responsible for maintaining health and order in the body. When the spine is out of balance (subluxated) due to injury, poor posture or other causes, transmission of nerve messages can become distorted. This may have a spill-over effect to other areas of the body and manifest as a wide variety of symptoms.


Individuals with recurrent or prolonged lower back pain can easily slip into a de-conditioned state.

This is why an exercise program needs a component of general aerobic and strengthening activity as well. Aerobic activities such as walking or swimming help activate the supporting muscles without putting too much stress on the joints.

An individual strengthening program needs to target all the major muscle groups as well as putting extra emphasis on leg strength. Leg strength is important for developing a good lower back posture during normal daily activities such as lifting, etc.

Good lower limb flexibility is also necessary to reduce excessive spinal motion. It is important that you work very carefully with your chiropractor to develop your own personal core stabilising rehabilitation exercise program. This is essential to prevent further problems.

Ideally, exercises should challenge muscles but not impose excessive loads on the lumbar joints. Another important point is that “endurance” is of greater protective value than “strength.” Doing more repetitions of slowly performed high quality exercise is better than exercising with quick movements and heavy loads, particularly in the initial stage.

To challenge the abdominal area, several variations of curl up and stomach ‘crunches’ should be performed, rather than full sit ups. No single abdominal exercise challenges all of the abdominal muscles.


Your chiropractor is here to help!

If you’re struggling with low back pain, consider booking an appointment with us, Centenary Chiropractic Centre, your local chiropractor for Camira and surrounding areas. Give us a call on 07 3381 0440 or book online here:



Dr. Steve Hodal is committed to providing high-quality, individualized chiropractic care in a comfortable and relaxed environment. He is dedicated to providing evidence-based treatments that are tailored to each patient’s individual needs, allowing them to achieve optimal health and wellbeing. Contact us to know more about this disorder or Book Online.