Back pain is one of the most common ailments and also the number one cause of disability in the world. So when we came across MoveU, a revolutionary company whose mission is to help people move better and live pain free, we knew we had to work with them. Luckily, they agreed!

Below you’ll find their blog, Diagnosing the Three Types of Lower Back Pain:

A majority of people in the U.S. suffer from lower back pain at one point or another. In 2010, the CDC found that within 3 months of their study, 28% of people over the age of 18 experienced lower back pain. As society becomes more technologically advanced, an increase in sitting and a decrease in exercise have led to an increased prevalence of lower back pain. What you may not know is that the types of lower back pain each feel completely different, and they often occur in different parts of the back.

The Types of Lower Back Pain

The Sacroiliac Joint (SIJ), the lumbar discs, and the quadratus lumborum muscle are the primary culprits of lower back pain. In this blog, I will first go over how each of these conditions feel and where they often present in your lower back. Keep in mind that medical testing is the ultimate way to diagnose your condition. Postural analysis, MRIs and x-rays will often tell the story.

Sacroiliac Joint Pain

There are numerous joints in the lower back, but the Sacroiliac joint is usually the one that gets “locked” up, causing you to experience a SHARP twinge or stabbing pain very low on either side of the lower back. The SIJ is located to the right and left of the sacrum (the top of your butt crack!). The SIJ usually hurts when you move and change positions. In our office, we have patients recreate the pain by bending backward, while bending over to touch your toes. In this instance, a few chiropractic adjustments can help relieve the pain.

 

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Lower Back Disc Injuries

Numerous injuries can occur to the lumbar vertebral discs and the surrounding vertebrae, but the pain you experience from these different types of disc pain is often similar. Disc pain often presents as a sharp, achy pain in the center of the back at the spine. I can personally describe it as “a knife being dug into a wound and left there,” and many of my patients agree!

The major telltale sign that you are experiencing disc pain is if you have referred or traveling pain that shoots down into the buttocks, leg and foot. This is called sciatica and it usually only affects one side, but if the injury is severe enough, sciatica can occur down both legs. Touching your toes or curling into a ball make the pain exponentially worse in the lower back and can cause sciatic pain to increase. In some severe back injuries, bending backward will increase pain and send it down the leg.

The Quadratus Lumborum Muscle

This type of lower back pain is dull, achy and often hurts with prolonged sitting or standing. The QL muscle is often overlooked and we have a whole 3-part series written about it! We have detailed QL background information, QL stretching and mobility exercises, and QL strengthening exercises, all pertaining to the Quadratus Lumborum Muscle.

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