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Abdominal pain vs Back Pain

Happy New Year!!! as we settle down to work lets kick it off with ‘The core issue’ i.e. the core muscles specifically the abdominals.

Did you know that the abdominal muscles (stomach muscles) can cause you terrible back pain?

Abdominals and back muscles work together to support the spine when we sit, stand, bend over, and pick things up, exercise and more.

They offer protection in two ways: by limiting excessive rotation of the lumbar spine and by controlling the tilt of the pelvis.

Since the abdominals work hand in hand with the back muscles, if you have weak abdominals, they fail in supporting the spine hence the back muscles overwork by compensating. These back muscles with time become tight resulting in low back pain. This is because the back muscles in question attach on the lower spine hence directly cause tension and in extreme cases cause disc compression.

Weak abdominal muscles also affect the alignment of the pelvis by causing an anterior pelvic tilt. This leads to an increased lumbar curve with a forward-leaning posture. With this posture, they can cause the spine to be out of balance and place stress on the spine leading to low back pain.

DIAGNOSIS

  • Lower back pain.
  • Poor posture- slouched, slumped positions, in turn will strain your muscles.
     
  • Bad balance - one can test this by standing on one leg with eyes closed and hold the position for at least ten minutes.
  • General weakness. 

PREVENTION

  1. Stretch regularly: Since many of us spend most days sitting at a desk, stretching for a few minutes a day may be very beneficial mostly to the back muscles.
  2. Lose weight if necessary: Being overweight puts extra strain on your back. It also means you have weak abdominals.
  3. Maintaining proper postures: you should always maintain an upright posture whether standing or sitting.
  4. Strengthening the core muscle: It's important to incorporate exercises that involve all of your abdominal muscles equally.
  5. Be sure to get enough sleep: Aim for 8 or more hours of sleep every night. As with your mind, your spine needs rest, too. It supports the weight of your back, so make sleep a priority.
  6. Incorporate proper techniques when lifting something: Use the strength of your legs instead of your back to lift.

 

  TREATMENT

If you already have back pain, it’s time to see your physiotherapist.

He or she will help you;

  • To Release and activating the tight muscles.
  • Will also take you through an exercise prog-ram to strengthen the weak abdominals.

 

Compiled by :Naomi Wausi / Physical therapist

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