This hit home! I have periodic lower back pain and have had little success in resolving the issue. It comes and goes much like the article suggests. For anyone that has experienced this type of physical issue I highly recommend taking a look see at the article below…
In Part 1 of our series on lower back pain, we took a look at the problem from the perspective of evolution: why are human spines so prone to things going wrong, and does something about the modern lifestyle make the problem even worse than it has to be?
Of course, some back pain has an obvious cause: specific injuries or other problems, and in that case the solution is to treat the problem causing the pain. You can eat your way out of a lot of problems; a torn ligament is not one of them.
But a very large chunk of lower back pain is nonspecific, which means that there’s no obvious injury causing it and nobody really knows where it comes from…but it hurts. Most of it goes away on its own within 6-12 weeks, but it often comes back. Herniated discs and other MRI abnormalities don’t explain this pain – as this paper explains, many people without pain have abnormal MRI findings, and many people with pain have nothing wrong on the MRI.
In Part 2, we’ll take a look at some interesting findings about exercise for low back pain, and then a fairly new model of nonspecific back pain that might point to some helpful lifestyle and dietary interventions: the biopsychosocial model . Exercise and Back Pain
For people who have nonspecific pain (pain that isn’t obviously caused by some identifiable injury), a few reviews have concluded that exercise: barbell vs cardio exercise therapy as much as the pain allows is probably helpful – Pilates is one example of an exercise program that may show some benefits, although there’s no clear evidence that it’s any better than anything else; this is just the one they decided to study. Walking also seems to be as good as other non-pill interventions. This study found that specific exercise treatment for a particular subgroup of lower-back pain patients had no advantage over general exercise treatment.
This suggests that the benefits of exercise may not actually be a function of strengthening one particular muscle or another – if one exercise works as well as another, then it probably isn’t the specific benefits of one particular type.
So why does it help at all then? One study suggested that exercise may actually be effective because of its effects on inflammatory markers. That was just one study – but if there’s anything […]