1/25/06, Issue #002

The Cause of Lower Back Pain... Five Primary Problems

It is often stated in conventional literature that the cause of lower back pain cannot be precisely identified. This perspective derives from a mechanistic, non-integrated view of the body which has been our legacy since the scientific revolution. When the body is viewed as a collection of isolated parts rather than an elegant, integrated whole, the causes of lower back pain remain a bewildering thing.

However, a holistic view of the body can begin to sort out the confusion. By evaluating the relationship between the body's overall structure in gravity and it's function in movement, the causes of lower back pain begin to reveal themselves.

A holistic perspective guides us to one of the most overlooked sources, not only of lower back pain, but chronic pain in general. That source is skeletal muscle.

As Drs. Janet Travell and David Simons made explicitly clear in their exhaustive 2-volume work, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, a vast proportion of chronic pain in the body is not due to problems with damaged nerves, disrupted bursae, and degenerative joints, but dysfunction in the soft tissue, especially skeletal muscles.

The cause of lower back pain can be broken down into five primary problems associated with skeletal muscles. The following breakdown is adapted from the St. John Neuromuscular Therapy training, a method of postural analysis and clinical massage therapy focused on musculoskeletal alignment and treating compensatory muscular patterns.

The five primary problems are:

1) Ischemia
2) Trigger Points
3) Nerve Compression/Entrapment
4) Postural Distortion
5) Dysfunctional Biomechanics

Read a detailed description of each of the five primary problems at Lower Back Pain Answers.

Wishing you lower back relief!

Published by Stephen O’Dwyer,CNMT
Lower Back Pain Answers
1 Mill St. – Ste 226
Burlington, VT 05401

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