Chronic low back pain is nothing other than low back pain that is prolonged over time or repeated periodically. It all starts with a first episode of low back pain that we had never had. We usually heal reasonably well from that first episode but after a while we fall. And every time we fall, it hurts more and lasts longer until it happens to us. What is happening? Let’s go see it.
Chronic low back pain is closely related to the lumbar muscles. And this is so for the following reason. When we do an injury to the lumbar spine, it causes us pain. This triggers a process in the body that causes the muscles that stabilize the lumbar spine to lose their strength and endurance capabilities. The main muscles that stabilize the lumbar spine are the muscles that are in the back area, they are the extensor muscles. They are muscles that jump from vertebra to vertebra, in such a way that when they contract they stabilize the whole area. It has been seen in numerous studies how this muscle weakens with low back pain episodes. It has also been seen how people with chronic low back pain clearly have a decrease in strength in these muscles compared to the healthy population.
It all starts with a first injury that causes two things:
1 – Damage is generated, such as a herniated disc or a ligament injury. This leaves an injury that does not have to cause problems but that “leaves scar”. If we have a bad gesture, we get fat or we are weak (due to illness or lack of exercise) we can cause that region to re-ignite. That is, we are going to have a little more ease to return to having low back pain.
Lumbar Musculature2 – We lose strength in the lumbar muscles. As we have commented, the lumbar extensor muscles (shown in the photo) become less strong and resistant. If we do not change this situation, we will have some ease to fall into the future. This will happen because we return to our habits without thinking much and sometimes our back will not be strong enough to endure it. Something as simple as taking a 40-minute walk with our dog can be an undue strain on a depleted lumbar muscle. And when the muscles are exhausted they will not hold us well. And if they do not hold the lumbar spine well, there will be abnormal movements that will rekindle the previously damaged areas and cause inflammation again.
Regardless of the injury we do to the lumbar spine, there is a risk of chronic low back pain. As can be deduced from everything discussed, there is a way to try to prevent this from happening. The good thing about the muscles is that we can work with exercise. If we think of other structures, such as a ligament, we have to trust it to heal properly, but with the muscle we have the opportunity to do something.
By properly training the right muscles, we will reduce this risk significantly. Even in cases where we do not avoid chronic low back pain, the low back pain that we are going to suffer will be much milder and will last less time. No doubt training the muscles is worth to live without pain.
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