There are a wide range of causes for lower back pain, but one very common cause that can usually be treated is sitting at a computer for hours at a time.
In fact, 80% of adults have back pain at some point in their life. Why is back pain so prevalent? What kinds of stress are we putting on our bodies to cause these symptoms so frequently?
Some of these questions can be answered by taking a look at the modern workplace. Sitting for six to ten hours a day at a desk or computer is one cause, another is the physical nature of other jobs that constantly put wear and tear on joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments over a long period of time.
For those that sit at a desk, there is a very common condition referred to as Lower Crossed Syndrome, which describes the body mechanics involved in sitting for extended periods of time. When asking your body to maintain a seated position for the average length work day the muscles in your lower back, and the muscles that connect your spine to your pelvis often become tight, and shortened from contracting for so long. As a result the muscles that do the opposite function in your body become weak from not being used to the same degree that the opposing muscles are. This imbalance has negative consequences for the strain it puts on your back and ultimately your joints, which are the structures in your body that facilitate movement.
Lower Crossed Syndrome is a precursor to other conditions which result from the long-term strain on the body due to the muscle imbalances, these include Increased Lumbar Lordosis, Anterior Pelvic Tilt, Chronic Lower Back Pain, Piriformis Syndrome, Knee Pain, and Osteoarthritis (Joint Degeneration).
Management of Lower Crossed Syndrome includes first examining the muscles and joints of the mid and lower back, and hips to determine the severity of the symptoms. Treatment involves removing trigger points and adhesion’s (scar tissue that builds up as a result of the chronically shortened muscles), and joint manipulation/mobilization to restore normal motion to joints that are lacking full range of motion as a result of tight muscles. In addition other therapies often prescribed are Ultrasound, Electronic Muscle Stimulation, Strengthening Exercises, and Stretching.