by THERESA LARSON, DPT, Marine Corps Veteran, CrossFit Coach
Do you have an athletic trainer who stalks you or is like your body guard? No? Really…why not? Just kidding — neither do I.
Regardless, you are not alone — millions of individuals in the United States suffer from acute low back pain for various reasons every year. Roughly $100 billion is spent every year on acute (7-14 days post-injury) low back pain injuries, according to the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association . Chronic (3-4 weeks and up to 6 months post-immediate injury) injuries are a whole different ball game and are also up there in terms of the billions of dollars spent in our health care system. Not surprisingly, these chronic conditions usually occur when the reason for the acute condition was not taken care of immediately.
Addressing Lower Back Pain
Acute low back pain symptoms can range from spasms, burning pain down the leg, a centralized pain in the low back and/or butt region, or aching pain at the base of the spine. The pain may feel like a hot spot or like none of the muscles in your back are working. We all can call our primary care physician and get the top ten list of what medicine to take for the pain – naproxen, ibuprofen, even Vitamin M (military term for Motrin). But what can you do aside from ingesting pills to help alleviate the immediate symptoms that sometimes take you out of the game and literally lie you flat on your back with disbelief? Of course there are positions and lifting techniques to master, but for this short period of time, when you feel like you are in the twilight zone or the pain cave, let’s get you moving correctly as soon as possible.
Keep in mind all that these techniques are intended to help get you back to moving correctly so you can function. It is merely a band-aid. The main issue to address is why this did happen in the first place: those reasons are overuse, poor form, too much weight, or any combination of all of the above.