Understanding Lower Back Pain

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By Dale Powell

Lower back pain can be a real pain in the…well, back I suppose. Do you ask yourself, ‘Why me?’ It might be comforting news for you that lower back pain is a very common issue, as 80% of people will suffer its wrath at some time in their life.

It is said that people between the ages of 35 and 65 will suffer lower back pain more than any other age group. No matter what age you are, lower back pain can strike. Often, it is simply caused by our lifestyle and daily habits, underscoring the importance of maintaining a healthy and active life to reduce the likelihood and severity of back pain.


Do you play a sport? Do you sit for long periods of time? Ever had a car accident or other injury? It is these kinds of factors that can trigger the onset of lower back pain.

I have played an impact sport for years, starting from the age of 11 and remember the day I experienced my first bout of lower back pain. I became stiff, rigid and restricted in my movements, and had no idea what was happening to my body.

For years I played at an amateur level, but once I moved ‘up the ranks’ to semi-professional, I was introduced to physiotherapy, chiropractic and sports massage, as these services were all part of the normal semi-pro lifestyle.

It wasn’t until these treatments became part of my lifestyle that my lower back pain became a nuisance of the past.

What is Lower Back Pain?

As mentioned, lifestyle can be a contributing factor to pain in your lower back, but what is actually going on in there?

The pain is often caused by muscle strains, tendon or ligament damage, built-up scar tissue, inflammation, alignment issues or damage to other structures in the back.

Signs and symptoms include:

  1. Stiffness
  2. Muscle spasm
  3. Reduced range of motion
  4. Pain aggravate by walking, sitting and bending


Once lower back pain is experienced, I have found it helpful to stop any activity that causes pain in your lower back and rest for 2 to 3 days. If the back pain is significant, ice packs can be very helpful. Apply the ice for 20 minutes every 3 hours for up to 72 hours after injury.

Once the pain has subsided, light stretching and increasing moderate activity can be performed to reduce the stiffness and speed the healing process. Use NSAIDS such as ibuprofen to assist in reducing inflammation if required, but always seek the advice of a medical professional beforehand.

If the pain does not begin to improve in a week, or if it becomes severe, you should consult with a medical professional at your earliest opportunity.

I hope you don’t have lower back pain, but chances are you will sooner or later, and these homecare steps often can help your body naturally heal and get you back on your feet!

Dale Powell is a health and fitness enthusiast who has played sports at the amateur and professional levels. He has studied health, fitness, and nutrition, and writes to help others with similar goals and interests. You can reach Dale at https://www.facebook.com/coachdale.bobcats and https://twitter.com/DalePowell44

Reference/further reading: http://www.synergyhealthclinic.co.uk/

Image courtesy of Lower Back Photo

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