Statistically, most people (estimated to be about 90%) will seek care for Low Back Pain (LBP) at some point in their lifetime. What people often dont realize however, is how closely low back pain is tied to balance, or the lack therof.
Balance is a skill that is learned as we developed. Intially, as infants, we have not developed the "neuromotor pathways" or, sequence of signals between the brain and our toes, feet, ankles, knees, hips, and so on. The constant flow of sensory information recieved and processed by the brain prompts motor messages to be sent back to our limbs and allows us to move in a progressively more coordinated manner as we develope. This natural progression of developing motor control starts with crude, rather uncontrolled movement of the fingers, hands, arms, legs, and feet; and soon, we learn to hold up our head, scoot, roll over, crawl, stand, and eventually walk (usually during the first 12 months of life). The learning process of recognizing sounds, voice quality and inflections, and words occurs simultaneously. This bombardment of sensory information to the brain leads to the ability to gradually perform highly integrated functions including walking, running, jumping, and dancing. As part of that learning process, falling frequently occurs. We all recall the challenges of learning how to ride a bike, swim, do a somersault, climb a tree, swing, dance, do gymnastics, ski, and on and on. As time passes and we enter middle age, we become more sedentary. As a result, we start losing our "proprioceptive edge" and become less steady, leading to more frequent balance loss and falls. Eventually, we have to hold on to hand railings or the wall in order to keep our balance and falling occurs more frequently. Couple this gradual loss of balance with bone demineralization (osteoporosis) and the risk of a fracture, such as a hip or vertebra, increases as well.
So the question arises, what can we do to slow down this process and maybe even reverse it? the answer is: A LOT!!! Just like muscles shrink and atrophy if they are not used, so does our ability to maintian our balance. We have to keep challenging our balance in order to keep those neuromotor pathways open. That need doesn't stop after childhood, and in fact, becomes more important as we age. We encourage you to impliment and add balance challenging exercises to your daily routine of at least 5-10 mintues per day. Frequently, people will find that within the first 2-4 weeks of regularly doing this, they will feel more "sure" or secure on their feet, and for those that are more elderly even may not feel the need for a cane, or they'll reach out less often for a hand rail. Start with simple exercises like standing with your feet together and hold that position for progressively longer times (eyes open and closed). Then, try raising one foot slightly off the ground and balancing on just the one leg without any assistance, gradually raising the leg higher and higher as you improve and for longer and longer durations as you feel more confident. A large part of your balancing mechanism is due to your pelvic and lower back condition. So essentially, any pelvic misalignements that your spine may have to compensate will negatively affect your body's balance. If left untreated this may lead to a downward spiral affect wherein your body will lean, contort, and continue to have greater and greater instability (and in some cases lead to unnatural scoliotic curves) being right on the verge of presenting with some very intense problems.
We realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your healthcare services in the Crosby, Highlands, and Huffman areas. If you, a friend of family member requires care for low back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward to serving you and your family presently and, in the future. If you'd like to contact us with any questions or make an appointment for you or someone you know and care about, then call us at 281-328-5544.