26 Jul Flexion Inspection
Most back problems are not really muscular. It sounds weird to say, but so many people’s pain actually starts for no obvious reason, without any trauma. They might wake up with pain, or it might just start in their back after they’ve been sitting for awhile. It is really common to hear that back pain starts when someone stands up again after bending forward to pick something up.
In life, we all spend WAY too much time bending forward. That forward bending movement is called flexion, and think about it– whenever you sit, are you slouching much? Do you sit to get to and from work in a car or on transit? Do you sit at work? You certainly sit to eat your meals, and when you have a chance to relax you will likely sit more in front of the TV, or reading, or out for dinner or the movies. Pretty much all our entertainment is in back flexion. Then if you sleep on your sides, your hips and knees are bent, allowing your pelvis to tip backward, and hey, more flexion. Then you bend forward to brush your teeth, sit on the toilet, tie up your shoes, reach into the fridge, etc. You see my point: we live life in a flexed, rounded forward position. It is no wonder that eventually your back can have enough and freak out a little.
It is important to make sure you get out of this back flexion quite regularly: you can try sitting with a lumbar support, change your position at your desk often, get up and move around if even for short periods, and some will find that moving your back into extension (arching) is helpful relief.