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How Your Muscles are Involved in Back Pain

The human body is very fascinating. It is connected from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, moving together to do some things while at the same time it can have different areas moving independently. That is until something gets injured or starts hurting. The most common five worst words you can use is “Maybe it’ll be better tomorrow.”

We can all agree if you have ever had back pain it can really slow you down or make you completely stop doing the things that you love and want to do/need to do. Whether it’s a pulled muscle, bulging disc, or chronic pain (pain that has been around a long time), massage is found to be very helpful in pain relief by relaxing muscles and relieving pressure.

Some people that have never had back problems don’t realize how important your back is to daily living. Your back stabilizes you while you are on your feet. Your body is constantly moving to keep you upright. You move less when you are standing still but your muscles are still firing to keep you upright, standing tall and balanced. To see this in action, try holding a full glass of water to your abdomen while walking. Did you spill some? More than likely yes. When you walk, your back and abdomen are moving in a fine circle that can also be seen as moving side-to-side. The circular side-to-side movement is to keep you from falling over or grabbing the nearest wall, chair or table for support. It’s amazing how our bodies just know how to do that without us thinking about it.

When your back goes out/starts to hurt and you can’t stand properly you start to compensate with other muscles which can cause more problems down the road. What causes back pain? Back pain or injury is not always disease-related. Back injuries result from damage or overuse/trauma to your muscles, tendons or bones. For example, if you sit for long periods of time you wind up leaning forward which causes your spine to round in the upper back causing those muscle groups to get weak/cramped and flatten in the lower back which causes those muscles become short/tight. Another example is lifting. We’ve all heard at some time or other to “lift with your legs and not with your back” right? Well, it’s true (surprise!) that when you lift with your legs you distribute the weight evenly. If you’ve been working for a long time you start to lose that proper posture which makes you start lifting more with your back and not your legs. That’s when you will generally start to feel pain in your lower back/shoulders from the strain and then your muscles start to flex/tighten up.

Fun Fact: Your spine has an exceptional memory. Your spine will remember and become used to your posture. This is why it can be hard to get out of the habit of bad posture, but once you make proper posture changes a habit your spine will remember it.

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