Low Back Pain (The Flowist)

How breathing, mobility and endurance are impacted by the experience of pain

by Fréyja Spence for The Flowist

Low Back Pain (LBP) is increasingly common in our society in adolescents and adults alike. When left unresolved, it is associated with reduced tolerance for activities of daily living and a lower quality of life.

Although it was once thought that rest was pivotal to recovery, the opposite is in fact true: reductions in physical activity lead to negative consequences physically, mentally, and socially. Thousands of studies have been done to try and resolve the puzzle that is chronic LBP and while there is no clear-cut singular approach, we do know that movement is one of our best defenses.

Your lower back is not alone

First and foremost, it is helpful to understand that your lumbar spine (lower back) is not in this alone; it can be thought of as an important meeting point of bony, neural, muscular, ligamentous, and fascial tissues in the body.

From a structural standpoint, the lumbar spine is made up of 5 bones called vertebrae that are labelled as L1 through L5 from top to bottom. When viewed from the side, they form a “lordotic” (or inward) curve.

This section of your spine interacts directly with your thoracic (middle and upper back) and cervical (neck) spines above it, and your sacrum and pelvis below.

Your lumbar also interacts indirectly with your limbs via muscular and fascial connections. Keep in mind that this is without also considering the complexity of connections that are occurring via your nervous system!

Simply put, lumbar spine motion, or a lack thereof, can carry impact everywhere else within the body and vice versa due to the integrated interactions of all its parts.

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”          – John Muir