When back pain starts to affect your activities of daily life and flow over into your recreational time, or even disrupt your sleeping time, you may turn to different solutions.
The doctor may provide pain medication and muscle relaxants. The physiotherapist may use tens machines, ultrasound and joint mobilisation. The chiropractor may adjust the skeletal structure. The exercise physiologist may provide core exercises to stabilise the trunk. All good treatment modalities depending on what the problem is.
Eventually you may have Xrays, ultrasounds and even an MRI to try to get a handle on what is causing the chronic pain. Sometimes the technology will identify problems and sometimes the results will disappoint you because nothing seems to be out of place or obviously wrong.
If you are lucky someone might recommend you have some specialised soft tissue release, some clinical massage, to hunt for dysfunctional tissue that is not showing up in any tests.
Hunting for soft tissue dysfunction can find so many areas of the body that are “out of order”, finding muscles with compacted areas and ridges, some over-stretched and others short and tight. Great slabs of fascia can be taut and not pliable, resembling a body straight jacket and restricting normal actions and behaviours.
Connective tissue in general can be affected by poor posture, repetitive movements, gait problems, lounging around in a chair watching TV, long stints sitting in front of a computer. So many ways we can disrupt the incredible complexity of the body’s cladding.
Some parts of the body are more prone to seizing up, affecting adjoining body parts. One of these areas in many four legged animals is the rump, the area between the back and the back legs. Just think how powerful and necessary the hind quarters of a horse are. Problems at this site are going to create havoc in the back.
Similarly the bottom or gluteals in a human play a very important role in stabilising and mobilising the back. If the bottom is weak and the muscles are not providing support to the hip joints and the spine, it will need both prescriptive exercises to get some good muscle tone and strength, as well as clinical massage to give some relief to all the soft tissue struggling to keep the skeletal structure together.
If the bottom has no “give”, is too tight from sitting for too long and too often, over-used, generally abused and never stretched then it needs to be worked over.
Once the whole gluteal area softens up, hunting for the real problem areas in the bottom can begin. Finding the ridges, the fascial tightness and compacted tissue and releasing them allows the bottom to regain normal tissue consistency.
The back now has more chance of moving functionally. And the hunting process can then start on the back itself, the superficial and the deep muscles, the broad expanses of fascia, the connective tissue around the vertebra.
Bottom massage for the purpose of helping with lower back pain is a sensible, non-invasive measure to take before any other more drastic action. Sometimes it is the simple treatments that have the greatest effects and benefits.