The Overlooked Cause of Back Pain!
What causes back pain? The cause of back pain, regardless of whether you have upper back pain, mid back pain, or lower back pain is often one thing…
The majority of time the answer is MUSCLES! Yet muscles are rarely considered as a cause when searching for the solution to your back pain.
Back pain can also be caused by accident, trauma, or serious conditions that need medical attention such as tumors, or other life-threatening situations. Fortunately these more serious causes of back pain are rare when compared to the pain caused by tight muscles.
Your back is a symphony of overlapping interconnected, groups of muscles, tendons, and nerves. Each muscle merges into a tendon, which then crosses over a joint and inserts into a bone. When the muscle contracts it will pull on the tendon and the joint moves. Back pain is commonly caused by repetitively straining the muscles that insert into the vertebrae and ribs.
Your spine has 7 cervical vertebrae, 12 thoracic vertebrae, and 5 lumbar vertebrae, each separated by a gelatinous disk that acts as a cushion to separate the bones and protect them from wear.
Muscles span your entire spine, originating on various bones, crossing over a joint, and then inserting into other bones. Muscles are responsible for every movement you make.
- Muscles originate on the vertebrae and connect each vertebra to the next,
- Muscles originate on the ribs and insert into the vertebrae in order to move your spine in the infinite number of angles you can make with the trunk of your body,
- Muscles originate on your vertebrae and insert into moveable bones such as your shoulder blade and hip, enabling the bone to move so your shoulder and leg can move.
In order to move a muscle contracts and your joint/limb moves in the direction of the pull. In order to move in the opposite direction, the contracted muscle needs to relax to remove the strain from the bone, and the muscle on the opposite side contracts to pull the bone in the opposite direction. If the muscle that needs to release is in a spasm it can’t relax.
A good analogy is to think of playing a game of tug-of-war. When one side pulls the center of the line moves in the direction of the pull and the “opposing team” is also going in that direction. Then the team on the other side pulls hard, making the center of the line go in that direction, and the opposing team is being pulled along with it. Now consider what happens when both sides are pulling so hard that the center of the line isn’t moving in either direction. The strain on the rope is intense.
In your body, the center of the line is your back, your spine, any other joint, and the tight muscles are putting a severe strain on the bones, causing pain.
Spasms are knots of muscle fibers that refer pain to areas that may be a distance from the actual knot in your back. If one muscle has a spasm that won’t release, and the opposing muscle is contracting, you have muscles pulling in two opposite directions – and you have back pain.
Repetitive movement, which is also called repetitive strain injury (RSI), will cause spasms to form in the muscle fibers. Treating the spasm works, and a side benefit is that many times, when you are treating a muscle for one thing, you are also treating the source of a totally different problem.
Notice on this graphic that the spasms (blue colored circles) of the Erector Spinae muscle, will refer pain (blue shaded area) from the skull to the buttocks. While the spasms (red colored circles) of the Levator Scapulae will refer pain (red shaded area) into your skull, along your entire neck, your upper back, and into your shoulder blade. The referred pain area of the two muscles are overlapping each other, and the spasms are a distance from where you are feeling the pain.
When you treat the knot in one of the muscles, you are simultaneously treating the knot in the other muscle.
The 15 Minute Back Pain Solution has colorful charts that map the spasms throughout the body, and both pictures and descriptive text to demonstrate how to self-treat each of the points. The easy-to-do Julstro self-treatments have been successfully used by thousands of people worldwide, and they are now being offered in this logical sequence that you can do at home, whenever you feel the first twinge of back pain.
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