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Causes of Low Back Pain

Every day it seems I get a call or see a client regarding back pain or an achy back. They turn to me for relief and often times they don’t even know how or why their back hurts.

Although my scope of practice allows me to only work on muscles and soft connective tissue, I have come to learn that many factors can contribute to low back pain. Some may include strained muscles, others strained "nerves."  For example, think about any time you injured yourself while lifting and twisting a heavy load. From experience, you know this most definitely can lead to low back pain.

Even the regular course of aging can cause degenerative spinal changes and I’m not talking about “grandma” age, either. These degenerative processes can start as early as your 30’s! So to familiarize you on the most likely causes of low back pain, here's a quick list:

1. Overuse of muscles and ligaments, caused by a competitive or repetitive movements and commonly called a "strained" or "pulled" muscle. Think an overzealous tennis match or an ambitious day in the garden.

2. Disk injury, tears or other damage to the "shock absorbers" between the spinal bones (vertebrae).

3. Disk degeneration, the wear and tear, shrinking, and collapse of disks that can be more common with age.

4. Degenerative spondylolisthesis, changes to spinal structures, which allows a vertebra to slip out of alignment with the next vertebra.

5. Spinal stenosis, narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, which puts pressure on nerve roots.

6. Scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine that may cause pain for some people.

In all of the above cases, massage therapy can help in managing the symptoms of pain, but first check with your doctor on medical treatment and other options for reducing low back pain and maintaining mobility. You may be surprised at all the options available to you and the techniques you can learn about how to live pain free.

As always – enjoy your life.

John Aaron Villarreal


Bio: I am a Houston based, male massage therapist and wellness coach specializing in pain management and health programs for individuals over the age of forty. I laugh - a lot. I'm quirky but sincere. And, while I'm not a counselor, I do listen and I do care: Except for the times that I don't. That’s a joke - Did I mention that I like to laugh? Anyway, visit my website, call or email me and let's get together to talk about you, and the many ways to live life better!

The Legal Stuff: I write to inform, inspire and encourage my readers to enjoy all that life has to offer.
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise, diet or wellness program. 

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