WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR
While most back pain is mechanical in nature, some back
pain may be occurring due to a more serious medial condition.
Please consult with a physician if:
- You are experiencing severe back pain that is stopping
you from being able to walk and function.
- Your back pain does not diminish in any position,
even lying down.
- Your back pain gets worse when trying to sleep.
- You should see a physician immediately if you are
experiencing any of the symptoms below
· Pain in one or both legs that starts in the
buttocks and travels down the back of the thighs and
legs, often referred to as sciatica.
· Numbness or tingling in the groin, inner
thighs or the buttocks (the same area that would be
in contact if you were sitting on a saddle).
Otherwise known as saddle paresthesia.
· Incontinence: unable to control function
of bowel or bladder.
· Weakness: loss of muscle strength or sensation
in one or both lower extremities.
· Reduced or absent lower extremity reflexes.
The symptoms in item #4 may indicate Cauda
Equina Syndrome , a serious medical condition that
requires immediate medical attention. Please see a physician
immediately if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
Do not use the internet as a substitute for medical
advice! Consult you’re your doctor or physical
therapist if you have specific questions about your
pain, health status or medical condition.
do I place an order?
If you are suffering from Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
and/or Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction and you would like
to order an ACTIVE SI BELT®, you may place an order
with us, or you can contact one of our online distributors.
causes back pain?
Most back pain is mechanical in nature when excessive
and/or prolonged stress is placed on the structures
that make up your spine due to poor control of spinal
stability. Associated mechanical causes include: improper
lifting techniques, poor posture, abdominal/back muscle
weakness, lower crossed syndrome, trauma, auto injuries,
sports injuries and work injuries. Another common cause
of low back pain is muscular imbalances where a muscle
group like the hip flexors or hamstrings is shortened
or tight and another muscle group like the abdominals
is weak. Over time, these imbalances place great stress
on the ligaments, discs and muscles in your low back
and can result in back pain and/or sacroiliac joint
pain. Spinal disorders such as arthritis, degenerative
joint disease, degenerative disc disease, disc herniations
and stenosis can all cause back pain. Many people who
have not taken care of their back problems earlier in
life may develop these types of spinal disorders over
While mechanical stresses are the most common cause
of back pain, occasionally, low back pain may indicate
a more serious medical problem. Pain accompanied by
loss of bowel or bladder control, pain when coughing,
and progressive weakness in the legs may indicate a
pinched nerve or other serious condition. People with
diabetes may have severe back pain or pain radiating
down the leg related to neuropathy. People with these
symptoms should contact a doctor immediately.
What structures make up the back?
The back is an intricate structure of bones, muscles,
and other tissues that form the posterior part of the
body’s trunk, from the neck to the pelvis. The
centerpiece is the spinal column, which not only supports
the upper body’s weight but houses and protects
the spinal cord — the delicate nervous system
structure that carries signals that control the body’s
movements and convey its sensations. Stacked on top
of one another are more than 30 bones — the vertebrae
— that form the spinal column, also known as the
spine. Each of these bones contains a roundish hole
that, when stacked together with all the others, creates
a channel that surrounds the spinal cord. The spinal
cord descends from the base of the brain and extends
in the adult to just below the rib cage. Small nerves
(“roots”) enter and emerge from the spinal
cord through spaces between the vertebrae. Because the
bones of the spinal column continue growing long after
the spinal cord reaches its full length in early childhood,
the nerve roots to the lower back and legs extend many
inches down the spinal column before exiting. The spaces
between the vertebrae are maintained by round, spongy
pads of gel filled cartilage called intervertebral discs
that allow for flexibility in the lower back and act
much like shock absorbers throughout the spinal column
to cushion the bones as the body moves. Bands of tissue
known as ligaments and tendons hold the vertebrae in
place and attach the muscles to the spinal column.
What do you mean by the term Spinal Stability?
When you have good spinal stability or stabilization,
you are able to prevent your spine and pelvis from going
into positions of excessive and/or prolonged flexion,
extension and rotation during normal functional movements
including, squatting, bending, reaching, twisting, lifting,
playing sports, work activities, sitting, etc. In the
absence of ‘good control of spinal stability’,
repeated movements will cause back injury and pain due
to the excessive and/or prolonged stresses on the structures
that support your spine – spinal discs, ligaments
and muscles. Having spinal stability means that you
are able to prevent or at least minimize the stress
on your spine thereby minimizing or even eliminating
low back pain. As Dr. Shirley Sahrman (noted physical
therapist and educator) has said “the dog should
wag the tail, not the other way around”. What
Dr. Sahrman means is that if the position and movement
of your arms and legs are controlling your spine and
pelvis, you are probably going to develop back pain.
You want to develop spinal stability because it will
allow you to support and protect your spine even if
you have less than ideal flexibility or body mechanics.
How is back pain treated?
Exercise may be the most effective way to speed recovery
from low back pain. It is most important to develop
good control of spinal stability through development
of core strength and better posture with exercise. Maintaining
and building muscle strength is particularly important
for persons with mechanical low back pain to prevent
more serious spinal degeneration (see ‘Degenerative
Cascade’ below). A routine of back-healthy activities
may include spinal stabilization exercises, stretching,
swimming, walking, and movement therapy to improve coordination
and develop proper posture and muscle balance. Any mild
discomfort felt at the start of these exercises should
disappear as muscles become stronger. But if pain is
more than mild and lasts more than 15 minutes during
or after exercise, patients should stop exercising and
contact a doctor.
Can back pain be prevented?
Recurring back pain resulting from poor control of spinal
stability, improper body mechanics or other non-traumatic
causes is often preventable. A combination of exercises
that focus on development of neuromuscular spinal stabilization,
maintaining correct posture, and lifting objects properly
can help prevent injuries. Many work-related injuries
are caused or aggravated by stressors such as heavy
lifting, vibration, repetitive motion, and awkward posture.
Applying ergonomic principles — designing furniture
and tools to protect the body from injury — at
home and in the workplace can greatly reduce the risk
of back injury and help maintain a healthy back.
What does it mean to have “Good Posture”?
When you have good posture it means that each section
of your axial skeleton including the head, neck, upper/mid
back, lower back and pelvis are aligned or at least
close to their neutral resting position. The head should
be balanced on top of the neck. In the neck it is important
to have a slight inward curve at the back of the neck,
this is called lordosis. In the upper and middle back,
a slight outward curve or kyphosis is necessary for
normal function. In the lower back a slight inward curve
(lordosis) is needed to protect the lumbar discs and
a neutral pelvis is required to be the foundation upon
which the spine and head balance.
Why is my back pain worse in the morning?
There are several reasons why you may have increased
back pain in the morning including:
- Sleeping with your spine in an unnatural posture,
placing abnormal stress on your spinal discs, ligaments
- Arthritis of the spine can cause increased pain
or stiffness in the morning.
- Your spinal discs will enlarge somewhat as you
are sleeping so herniated discs can become more painful
Why is my back pain better when lying down and worse
Decreased pain when lying down and increased pain in
standing usually indicates that your spine is “load
sensitive” which means that you have difficulty
stabilizing your spine against the force of gravity.
In other words you have poor control of spinal stability
(usually due to weak abdominals and/or back muscles)
and are unable to keep your spine in good posture when
in an upright position. Treatment for load sensitivity
involves developing good control of spinal stability
with abdominal and back muscle exercise, postural retraining
and body mechanics education often with a physical therapist.
Why does bending at my waist hurt my low back so
Back pain with bending at the waist usually occurs due
to poor control of spinal stability along with tightness
in the hamstrings and hips. Simply put if your hips
are too inflexible to bend, and you have poor control
of spinal stability, your spine is going to bend excessively,
placing great load on the spinal discs, and great tension
on the spinal ligaments and muscles.
Why does lifting cause so much back pain?
The problem is usually poor control of spinal stability.
Protecting the low back / sacroiliac joints from lifting
injury and pain requires great flexibility in the hips/legs
and good control of spinal stability. Specifically,
the hips need to be flexible enough to allow you to
squat without your back moving out of good posture and
you must maintain a lumbar lordosis – or slight
inward curve of the spine when lifting. Your low back
then needs to remain fully erect and stable for lifting.
This requires great strength and stability of the abdominals
and back muscles. When you do not possess these correct
physical attributes while lifting a heavy object, low
back injury or sacroiliac joint injury becomes virtually
Why do I have so much back pain in sitting?
The majority of sitting related back pain happens due
to rounding forward of the back while seated. While
this may seem like a natural position, our bodies were
never intended for prolonged sitting. In fact your body
is the same physical structure from many thousands of
years ago when our ancestors were hunting and gathering
- not driving cars and sitting at computers. So when
you sit with your back rounded backward you are placing
enormous compression on your spinal discs, which can
cause herniated discs, along with great tension on the
spinal ligaments and muscles of the low back. If you
want to decrease back pain and prevent yourself from
developing a herniated disc, sit with good posture!
What causes back pain when I am standing for a
Most back pain during prolonged standing occurs because
of “sway back posture”, where your upper
spine leans back with belly protruding forward and your
head hangs forward due to poor control of spinal stability.
Usually this happens with an increased curve in your
low back (lordosis) and other times this will happen
with a decreased curve in your low back. In either position,
excessive stress is placed on the discs, ligaments and
muscles of your low back resulting in back pain. Painful
sway back posture often occurs in people who also have
back pain in sitting.
What is the best exercise that I can do to get
rid of my back pain?
This is a trick question because there is no ‘best
exercise’ for treating low back pain. The best
long-term solution for back pain is to develop good
control of spinal stability (meaning that you develop
the ability to prevent your spine and pelvis from going
into positions of excessive and/or prolonged flexion,
extension and rotation during normal functional movements)
through proper exercise. This usually means progressively
training the abdominals and back muscles with pain-free
movement patterns. In the short term, the best immediate
treatment for back pain is to place the spine in a pain-free
position, usually where there is a slight curve in the
small of the back. This should relive pressure on the
spinal discs and take tension off the ligaments and
spinal musculature. The next step would be to begin
pain-free spinal stabilization training of the core
including the abdominals and back muscles. Please contact
a doctor or physical therapist specialized in treating
back pain for assistance if you have specific questions
regarding exercises for your back pain.
What is meant by the terms ‘correct body
mechanics’ and ‘body mechanics training’?
One of the best solutions for treating back pain is
to develop correct body mechanics which means learning
to move in a way that places minimal stress on your
spine and low back. This is done through developing
good control of spinal stability, improving lower body
flexibility and then working to improve techniques of
lifting, bending, pushing, pulling, climbing, etc. After
having back pain for many years, many people literally
need to “re-learn’ how to move correctly.
Can I change my posture even if I have been standing
and sitting the same way for many years?
No matter what your age you can change your posture!
The process is simple, but not necessarily easy. Put
plainly, it can be done but it takes work! You need
- Improve your flexibility enough to allow your back
to be placed in good posture/alignment.
- Develop good control of spinal stability so that
you can maintain the improved position of your low
- Consciously think about how you are sitting/standing
over the next few weeks.
- After about three weeks your improved posture can
become a new and healthy habit.
You may need a physical therapist to help you with
this process because everybody has different areas that
need to be stretched and strengthened. You may also
need some guidance regarding what is good posture and
the correct exercises for untrained muscles.
What is a herniated disc?
Also known as a protruding disc or ruptured disc. The
intervertebral discs are under constant pressure. Pressure
on the discs is increased with poor posture, especially
rounded back or slouched posture, poor lifting techniques,
especially with combined twisting/bending, poor control
of spinal stability, etc. As discs degenerate and weaken,
disc material can bulge or be pushed back into the space
containing the spinal cord or a nerve root, causing
low back pain and sometimes pain down the legs (sciatica).
Studies have shown that most herniated discs occur in
the lower portion of the spinal column. L5-S1 and L4-L5
disc herniations are most common.
What is Degenerative Disc Disease?
Degenerative disc disease or spinal degeneration occurs
from disc wear and tear due to poor control of spinal
stability. As the discs degenerate, they lose their
water content and narrow. This narrowing causes the
spinal vertebral bodies and facet joints to come into
closer contact with one another causing joint inflammation/arthritis,
back pain and immobility. Smoking, poor nutrition and
obesity have been shown to contribute to disc degeneration.
A person with spinal degeneration may experience low
back pain and stiffness upon awakening or may feel pain
after standing or sitting for a long time.
What is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is often the final stage of the degenerative
process in mechanical spinal disorders. Over time, poor
control of spinal stability can cause more than just
back pain. Disc herniation will often lead to disc degeneration,
which can lead to narrowing of disc spaces & facet
joint arthritis. When disc space narrowing and facet
joint arthritis has become so severe that there is excessive
pressure on spinal nerve roots, a patient can have pain
into both legs simply from standing. There will often
be increased pain after walking for a certain amount
of time and less lower extremity pain will be felt when
sitting. Essentially, the spine has ‘collapsed’
at that intervertebral segment. Over time this ‘collapse’
can occur at multiple segments and eventually lead to
neurological dysfunction including lower extremity weakness,
loss of sensation, loss of reflexes and severe disability.
Progression of spinal stenosis occurs over many years
but often begins with poor control of spinal stability
and mechanical back pain. This "Degenerative Cascade"
(see figure below)
was first described by William Kirkaldy-Willis who
conceptualized and published his theories in the textbook
"Managing Low Back Pain" in 1983. According
V. Burton, M.D. , this original work still remains
the single most brilliant correlation of pathophysiologic
observations on spinal dysfunction and back pain.
Another cause of spinal stenosis is that some people
are simply born with a narrow spinal canal, which can
predispose them to pain related to degenerative disc
disease, leg pain and sciatica.
Does osteoporosis cause back pain?
Osteoporosis is a disease marked by progressive decrease
in bone density and strength. Fracture of brittle, porous
bones in the spine results when the body fails to produce
new bone and/or absorbs too much existing bone. Women
are four times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis does not directly cause back pain but poor
control of spinal stability together with osteoporosis
can be debilitating with vertebral deformity and severe
forward curvature of the spine.
Can Scoliosis, Kyphosis or Lordosis cause back
Any skeletal irregularity or curvature that produces
strain on the vertebrae and supporting muscles, tendons,
ligaments and discs can be a cause of back pain. These
irregularities include scoliosis, a curving of the spine
to the side; kyphosis, in which the normal curve of
the upper back is severely rounded; and lordosis, an
abnormally accentuated arch in the lower back. Each
of the above curvatures will be worsened with poor control
of spinal stability and should be addressed with spinal
stabilization training along with traditional therapies
for back pain.
Can Fibromyalgia be associated with back pain?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by
widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and multiple
“tender points,” particularly in the neck,
spine, shoulders, and hips. Additional symptoms may
include sleep disturbances, morning stiffness, and anxiety.
In some people, mechanical back pain can aggravate their
fibromyalgia, therefore amplifying the pain experienced
from this condition.
Does Lower Crossed Syndrome cause back pain?
Another cause of lower back pain is “Lower Crossed
Syndrome” which results in poor control of spinal
stability. Vladamir Janda, a physical therapist from
the Czech Republic, first described this very common
pattern of muscular imbalances. It is a combination
of tight hip flexors, shortened lower back muscles,
weak abdominals and weak gluteal muscles leading to
excessive arching of your lower back, protruding abdomen,
and rounding forward of the middle and upper back. Over
time this condition will place great mechanical stress
on the spine causing lower back pain, upper back pain
and neck pain.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a condition often associated with lower
back pain in which the sciatic nerve (the large nerve
that extends down the spinal column to its exit point
in the pelvis and carries nerve fibers to the leg) gets
irritated or pinched from a herniated or ruptured disc,
sacroiliac ligament inflammation or tight muscles in
the back of the hip (piriformis syndrome). Associated
causes of sciatica include poor control of spinal stability,
poor posture/body mechanics, prolonged sitting and repetitive
lifting. Sciatic nerve compression and or irritation/inflammation
causes burning low back pain combined with pain, numbness,
tingling or burning through the buttocks and down one
leg to below the knee, occasionally reaching the foot.
In the most extreme cases, when the nerve is pinched
between the disc and an adjacent bone, the symptoms
involve not only pain but numbness and loss of motor
control over the leg due to interruption of nerve signaling.
The condition may also be caused by a tumor, cyst, metastatic
disease, or degeneration of the sciatic nerve root.
Why do I have leg pain that gets worse when my
lower back hurts?
There are two types of pain into the legs that can be
associated with back pain:
- Radicular Pain – Anything that places stress,
tension or pressure on a spinal nerve root can cause
radiating leg pain, also known as radiculopathy or
radiculitis. Radicular or radiating leg pain travels
into the thigh, calf, and occasionally the foot along
the course of a specific spinal nerve root. Common
causes of radicular leg pain include herniated discs,
arthritis, bone spurs and spinal stenosis. Radicular
leg pain must be addressed quickly to prevent progression
to a pinched nerve, which can cause neurological dysfunction
in the leg including loss of sensation, loss of reflexes
and/or leg weakness. The most common lower extremity
radicular pain affects the Sciatic Nerve although
other nerves can be affected including the Femoral
- Referred pain – Another cause of leg pain
from the back is known as referred pain. Conditions
such as facet joint syndrome, spinal arthritis or
sacroiliac (SI) joint irritation can cause referred
pain into different parts of the legs. This pain is
usually a more deep ache, rather than the burning
pain most often associated with radicular pain.
How can leg weakness result from a pinched nerve
in my back?
A pinched nerve results after prolonged compression
of a spinal nerve root that damages the nerve so that
it no longer carries adequate quantities of the electrical
impulses needed to power the muscles of your legs. Sciatica,
numbness, burning, tingling, and leg pain will often
precede leg weakness secondary to a pinched nerve. Areas
of weakness will depend on the specific nerve that is
being compressed, and can include the quadriceps, hamstrings,
calf, and foot. Get your leg pain treated early to prevent
this problem from progressing. Common causes of leg
weakness from a pinched nerve include herniated discs,
arthritis, bone spurs and spinal stenosis.
What is Piriformis Syndrome?
There is a muscle that is responsible for rotating your
hip, located deep in the back of your hip (piriformis)
that can be a cause of hip pain and sciatica (see above
for sciatica definition). Piriformis syndrome can occur
with or without low back pain and is often associated
with sacroiliac joint dysfunction or SI joint pain.
This ‘external rotator’ of the hip can get
tight and compress the sciatic nerve after it exits
out of the sciatic notch at the back of the pelvis.
The causes of piriformis syndrome are similar to the
causes of low back pain: poor control of spinal stability,
poor posture, reduced flexibility in the hips and poor
How does Spondylosis cause back pain?
Spondylosis (spinal osteoarthritis) is a degenerative
disorder that can cause back pain along with a loss
of normal spinal structure and function. Much spinal
degeneration and related low back pain is the result
of poor control of spinal stability. Although closely
associated with aging, the location, rate of degeneration
and degree of back pain is individualized. Over time,
the degenerative process may impact the cervical, thoracic,
and/or lumbar regions of the spine affecting the intervertebral
discs and facet joints causing progressively more back
Does Spondylolysis or Spondylolisthesis cause back
Spondylolysis (different from the above spondylosis)
is a condition where there is a crack in a small piece
of bone in your spine called the ‘pars interarticularis’.
We have a “pars” on each side of each of
our vertebrae. These bones are what connect the front
of an individual vertebra, to the back of the vertebra.
When a spondylolysis occurs on both sides of the spine,
Spondylolisthesis can result where the top vertebra
slips forward on the one below, and great pressure and
stress is placed across the spinal segment, causing
pain at the facet joints, spinal ligaments and discs,
as well as the back muscles. Spondylolisthesis can cause
low back pain over time as changes occur to the bones,
joints, and ligaments that hold the vertebral column
together. This condition is a common cause of back pain
in children secondary to a congenital defect in the
spine or as the result of repetitive micro-trauma during
childhood. Despite the congenital nature of this disorder,
symptoms are made worse with poor control of spinal
stability, poor posture/body mechanics, prolonged sitting
and core weakness. Some sports are thought to make children
more susceptible to developing spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis,
including gymnastics, diving, and football.
What are the symptoms of Spondylolisthesis?
The symptoms of spondylolisthesis can be wide ranging
from no symptoms at all, to severe back and leg pain
with nerve damage. Back pain is often worse when hyper-extending
(arching) the back. When the slipping vertebra pinches
the nerves exiting the spinal cord, or the spinal cord
itself, back pain or nerve symptoms can result. Common
nerve symptoms seen are similar to symptoms seen with
a herniated disc. The symptoms include:
- Leg pain
- Electric shock-like pain traveling down the leg
- Numbness or tingling in the legs and feet
- Muscle weakness of the legs
- Other symptoms can occur.
If you experience any symptoms of problems with bowel
or bladder function, or any numbness around your inner
thigh and buttocks, you should alert your doctor immediately.
These symptoms may be a sign of cauda equina syndrome,
and may be a medical emergency.
What is the treatment for Spondylolisthesis?
Treatment of spondylolisthesis is wide ranging and is
most dependent on the age of the patient, the type of
slip, and the symptoms experienced by the patient. In
many cases, treatment is very similar to caring for
mechanical low back pain and is focused on developing
good control of spinal stability. Treatment can include
physical therapy, exercise, use of back support belts
and braces to surgical stabilization of the spine.
How common is back pain during pregnancy?
Back pain and sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction is common
during pregnancy and should be expected to some degree
by most women. Back pain may be experienced during any
point of your pregnancy; however, it most commonly occurs
later in the pregnancy as the weight of the baby increases.
Pain can disrupt your daily routine or interfere with
a good night of sleep. The good news is there are steps
you can take to manage your back pain (see below).
What causes low back pain during pregnancy?
Back pain during pregnancy is related to a number of
factors. Some women begin to experience lower back pain
with the onset of pregnancy. Women who are most at risk
for back pain are those who are overweight or had back
pain prior to pregnancy. Here is a list of potential
causes of back pain or discomfort during pregnancy:
- Poor control of spinal stability – despite
the changes your body is going through, some of your
back/sacroiliac pain may be the result of inadequate
postural/core control of your spine during functional
- Hormonal changes – hormones released during
pregnancy allow ligaments in the pelvic area to soften
and the joints to become looser in preparation for
the birthing process of your baby; this loosening
of ligaments may affect the normal level of spinal
stability your back normally has.
- Center of gravity – your center of gravity
will gradually move forward as your uterus and baby
grow, which causes your posture to change, often causing
an increased lumbar lordosis.
- Additional weight – your developing pregnancy
and baby create additional weight that your back may
have difficulty supporting.
- Posture or position – poor posture, excessive
standing, and bending over can trigger or escalate
the pain you experience in your back.
- Stress – stress usually finds the weak spot
in the body, and because of the changes in your pelvic
area, you may experience an increase in back pain
during stressful periods of your pregnancy.
How can you treat, minimize or prevent back pain
There are a number of things you can do to treat, minimize
and prevent back pain during pregnancy.
- The best prevention is to develop good control
of spinal stability through development of core strength
and better posture with exercise before your pregnancy
- Use Ice or Heat
- Use exercises approved by your health care provider
that support and help strengthen the back and abdomen
- Squat to pick up something versus bending over
- Avoid high heels and other shoes that do not provide
- Avoid sleeping on your back
- Wear a support belt under your lower abdomen
- Use a physical therapist skilled in treating pregnancy
related back pain
- Get plenty of rest
If back pain occurs during pregnancy when should
you contact your health care provider?
Back pain by itself is usually not a reason to contact
your health care provider, but there are situations
where contacting your provider is necessary. You want
to contact your health care provider if you are experiencing
any of the following:
- Severe back pain
- Increasingly severe or abrupt-onset of back pain
- Rhythmic cramping pains; this could be a sign of
- Also: Severe back pain may be related to pregnancy-associated
osteoporosis, vertebral osteoarthritis, or septic
arthritis. These are not common, but it is something
your health care provider will examine if you are
experiencing severe back pain.
What can I do to prevent back pain, back injury
and sacroiliac joint injury?
- Develop good control of spinal stability through
an exercise program focused on core strengthening,
postural correction and development of better body
- Work with a physical therapist or trainer to get
strong and flexible. Generally most people need abdominal
& back strength/stability, along with flexibility
in the hips, hip flexors and hamstrings
- Learn how to lift, sit and stand: see a physical
therapist to learn about correct body mechanics, lifting
techniques, good posture and alignment
- Get in better shape: each pound of extra weight
on your body is an extra pound that you have to move
around every time that you lift something, run, play
a sport or even get out of a chair. Those extra pounds
place added stress on your body and back.
- Evaluate your workstation or desk: Correct posture
while sitting is critical because most people sit
much longer than what our bodies were designed for.
this website for correct sitting posture and office
- Always stretch before exercise or other strenuous
- Don’t slouch when standing or sitting. When
standing, keep your weight balanced on your feet.
Your back supports weight most easily when your body
is in a balanced posture.
- At home or work, make sure your work surface is
at a comfortable height for you
- Sit in a chair with good lumbar support and properly
position seat height for the task. Keep your shoulders
back. Switch sitting positions often and periodically
walk around the office or gently stretch muscles to
relieve tension. A pillow or rolled-up towel placed
behind the small of your back or under your buttocks
can provide some lumbar support.
- Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes
- Sleep on your side to reduce any curve in your
spine. Always sleep on a firm surface
- Ask for help when transferring an ill or injured
family member from a reclining to a sitting position
or when moving the patient from a chair to a bed
- Don’t try to lift objects too heavy for you.
Lift with your legs, stabilize your core, keep your
back straight and keep the object close to your body.
Do not twist when lifting.
- Maintain proper nutrition and diet to reduce and
prevent excessive weight, especially weight around
the waistline that taxes lower back muscles. A diet
with sufficient daily intake of calcium, phosphorus,
and vitamin D helps to promote new bone growth.
- If you smoke, quit. Smoking reduces blood flow
to the lower spine and causes the spinal discs to
- Ask your doctor or physical therapist for a list
of low-impact exercises appropriate for your age and
designed to strengthen lower back and abdominal muscles.
How do I find a Physical Therapist, Physician or
Chiropractor who specializes in the treatment of low
back pain, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, pelvic girdle
problems or symphysis pubis dysfunction?
Start with Find
a Specialist to search the Directory of Certified
Clinical Specialists in Physical Therapy.
Search under Orthopedic, to find a PT that is an Orthopedic
Certified Specialist – who specializes in low
back pain, SI joint dysfunction, pelvic girdle problems
or symphysis pubis dysfunction.
Additional Search Tools
a PT, from the American
Physical Therapy Association.
a Physician or Find
a Chiropractor from Spine