Your back is aching again. You assume that you slept wrong, or have been sitting for too long with your back in a poor posture. But what if the pain is actually coming from elsewhere?
Back pain might not be in your back
The body is a complex thing! Every muscle, tendon and ligament is connected to different areas of the body. So just because you feel pain somewhere, doesn’t mean that is where the problem lies. In fact, it’s often the muscles that are overcompensating for weakness elsewhere that get sore.
So let’s have a look at a few causes behind your back pain that aren’t your back.
A weak core
The “core” muscles are more than just your abs! In fact, the core is made up of many muscle groups, including your superficial abs, deep abs, obliques, back muscles and pelvic muscles.
Often, if you have a generally weak or imbalanced core, it can lead to one part of the core – the back muscles – to take on more strain. And this means pain.
Try: Talking to a personal trainer for a personalised program to strengthen your core muscles. Better yet, see your friendly local myotherapist who can assess which muscles need strengthening!
Weak or tight front chain
For those who aren’t up on anatomy lingo, the “front chain” is a chain of muscles that run down the front of the body. This chain, also called the anterior chain, is made up of muscles like your chest muscles, abdominals, quads and shin muscles. We also have a posterior chain, which includes the back.
These two chains need to be balanced in order for the body to work optimally. If one is tight, the other gets stretched out, and if one is weak, the other picks up the slack. So when the front chain is weak or tight, the back is one of the muscle groups to cop the strain.
Try: Balancing out your workout and stretches. Both the front and posterior chains need to be exercised AND stretched out to keep the body in balance.
Hips and pelvis
It’s all in the hips! Or at least, it might be. As mentioned, the pelvis plays a part in core strength. So if it’s out of alignment, so is the rest of your body.
If the muscles in the hips and pelvis are too tight, pain can radiate up the back. Or if they are out of alignment and muscles are weak, the back will pick up the slack.
Try: Using a foam roller to release tight hip muscles. It will probably hurt – but you’ll feel better afterwards!
No matter where your back pain is coming from, I’m here to help. To get your body balanced again, book in for an appointment, and we’ll put together a plan that addresses the issue.
Mel is a Myotherapist based in Ferntree Gully.