Low back pain is very common, but a precise cause is often not found. Researchers found that 60-80% of people will experience uncomplicated back pain at some time in their life which includes:

Lumbar Strain: strain or microscopic tears of the muscles and ligaments.

Facet Joint Syndrome: joints can be injured from a sudden force where the back is twisted or arched, or where the spine is repetitively placed into extension.

Herniated Disc: the soft “shock absorber” disc stricture becomes swollen and pinches nearby nerves.

Degenerated Disc: the discs have narrowed due to increased muscle tension and have therefore lost moisture and function.


TRAUMA –  injury to the lower back from a physical source, e.g. sports injury, slipping on a wet surface, motor vehicle accident, repetitive strain injury, twisting or turning, or lifting a heavy object.

REPETITIVE STRAIN INJURY – can occur from activities which require excessive muscle force, a high rate of repetition, or from maintaining fixed, awkward positions for extended periods of time.

POOR POSTURE – excessive lordosis (sway) is the most common cause of postural low back pain.  It may result from pregnancy, slouching, wearing high heels, or from standing in a rigid military posture.

TENSION – the musculature of the low back may be tight and inflexible due to stress and emotional tension.  This reduced flexibility makes the individual more susceptible to low back injury and pain, and can be a result of everyday occurrences such as sneezing, coughing, or getting out of a car.



While Standing – place a box or stool under on foot.

While Sleeping – lie on your back on a firm mattress with a pillow underneath your knees, or sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs.  Sleeping on your stomach increases the lordosis of the lumbar spine and forces the neck into an awkward position.

While Sitting – sit straight back in chairs with lumbar support.  If there is no lumbar support, place a small pillow in the small of the back to maintain the natural lumbar curve.  Your feet should be flat on the floor with thighs horizontal.  You might need to lower or raise the chair, or place a stool under your feet.

While Lifting – when lifting or bending below waist level:

  • Bend knees to reach object
  • Hold object close to your body
  • Straighten your legs to bring you to erect posture



Consult your physician for a comprehensive diagnosis in order to decide on the best Treatment Plan.  Your Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) will assess, evaluate, and provide a treatment plan for your specific condition.  Massage Therapy plays a key role in low back pain, rehabilitation by decreasing muscle spasm and pain, restoring pain-free range of motion, releasing active trigger points, minimizing adhesions, correcting muscle imbalances, and eliminating inflammatory by-products.  RMTs provide postural and relaxation techniques as well as active therapeutic exercises which patients can consciously apply to break the stress/tension/pain cycle.  Treatment of low back pain varies depending on the individual needs of the person and whether the condition is acute, sub-acute, or chronic.

ACUTE LOW BACK PAIN is a sudden onset of severe pain with accompanying muscle spasm.

CHRONIC LOW BACK PAIN  is recurring pain or pain which has persisted for three months or longer.

RECURRENT LOW BACK PAIN  is  pain which recurs in the same area periodically.  The pain may occur following an injury or due to poor posture, muscle tone, or spinal alignment.

Research studies show that Massage Therapy is effective in the treatment of soft-tissue disorders.  According to the Quebec Task Force on Spinal Disorders, “Massage (therapy) is the most frequently used therapy for musculoskeletal problems, and is particularly useful in controlling pain”.*

Fifty-two patients with back pain, most of whom had tried other therapies without success, received eight Massage Therapy treatments over a one-month period.  Eighty-six percent said they felt dramatically better following treatments.**

*qtf on Spinal Disorders, Spine 12, no 7, Suppl; (Sep 1987):s.59

**Weintraub, 1994

Registered Massage Therapists may help to:

  • Improve function and mobility
  • Decrease pain
  • Decrease muscle tension
  • Improve circulation

Achieve, regain, and maintain a healthy active lifestyle

Your good health is our priority at Body Smart Health.
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