By taking even a cursory glance at the human skeletal system, we quickly notice that the thickness of each vertebra increases as the spine descends. This is significant in that back pain, particularly lower back pain, affects one in every three adults at some point in the lifetimes, a chilling statistic when seen in the light of the devastation that pain can cause.
The major load-bearing spinal region extends from below the rib cage to the pelvic crest and is also responsible for the throughput of every nerve message that is conveyed to and from the buttocks, legs and feet. Once we grasp the enormity of the numerous tasks the spine is required to perform throughout our lifetimes, we begin to appreciate why the spine, particularly the lower spine, must be maintained in a quality condition for it to not only survive but to perform effectively.
Lower back pain is so often accompanied by spinal degeneration, where the individual vertebra and intervertebral discs become significantly compressed. For any lower back pain regime to possibly be effective at reducing lower back pain, the regime must achieve spinal de-compression as well as addressing another three vital elements necessary for recovery.
The three vital elements are, in no particular order; 1) restoration of symmetry within the body, 2) restoration of elasticity within the soft tissue surrounding and supporting the spine, and 3) restoration of specific spinal support strength.
It is important to recognise that the potential to recover from lower back pain remains extremely limited, except of course within the dubious philosophy of masking the pain by means of potent medication, if the lower back structure remains compressed due to various on-going weight-bearing activities.
The human spine possesses an impressive capacity to recover in an environment of consistent de-compression, as well as its ability to perform functions effectively, even when the effects of spinal compression have had irreversible consequences, provided de-compression is being routinely and systematically performed.
The spine’s three movement functions of lateral rotation, lateral flexion, and mid-line flexion/extension are all significantly impaired by lumbar spine compression. It is important to note that effective restoration of these three movement functions is pivotal to the sufferer’s recovery. Sufferers so often refrain from at least one of these movement functions due to the painful experience of attempting that function, however within an appropriate regime, the essential movement functions can significantly and necessarily be restored.
It is vital to embrace the fact that this can only be achieved via a protocol that respects the spine’s inherent complexities, yet done so in a simple and workable manner within the lifestyle and time frame of the sufferer. This can be achieved, on average, in 15 minutes a day, much of which is necessarily done prior to the spine weight-bearing for the day. There are enormous benefits to be gained by de-compressing the spine each day before weight is applied to the lower back.
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