Therapy Thursday: Low Back Pain

Meet the Author:

Hey everybody, my name is Glenn. I am a licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Functional Movement Screen specialist, and a certified personal trainer through American College of Sports Medicine and American Council of Exercise. I have been helping people alleviate pain for over 10 years.

Back again for another installment of keeping the body healthy. This week I want to talk about low back pain. Now at one point or another we all have had this problem. Whether it was acute or chronic, each has a different problem associated with it. Obviously, there are many contributors to this problem and I can't address all of them.

Acute pain can be from sitting too long, improper movement or even lifting, among many other things. The main problem I want to address is chronic or long-term low back pain. Again there are many contributors of this, but a couple of the biggest culprits are tight hamstrings, hip flexors and glutes. Believe it or not, it can be that simple.

Normal hamstring flexibility should be about 90 degrees of flexion at the hip with the leg straight. If you are far from that, that could be a contributing factor to your pain. This is a big problem, again, from sitting for long periods of time. Hitting a few good stretches and foam rolling are good activities to perform to loosen up those muscles.


Foam rolling helps break up the facial tissue that covers the muscle. That tissue is what is tightens up, not so much the actual muscle. By breaking up the tissue then stretching, it will help loosen up those areas and give you some relief.


Another thing to consider to help prevent low back pain is proper breathing. When you are lifting, you hear a lot of different ways to breath. Take a breath in then perform the exercise then breathe out on the way up or on exertion. This is potentially right, but if you are lifting a little heavier, this is not proper. The best way is to take a big diaphramatic breath (from the belly) then hold it through the whole range of motion. What this does is create a balloon like sack of air that helps support the lumbar spine (low back) to keep it stable throughout the movement. This will help keep your back safe while exercising and performing big lifts. Now if you are only lifting 15-20lb dumbbells, then just breath. Keep up with the homework and be consistent. Doing it once will not solve the problem.

The best way to reach me for questions and consultation is by phone at 440-477-6167.

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