Achy Lower Back

What is it?
Tightness, aching and pain in the lower region of your back. If it travels down the back
of your leg, it might be sciatica. If it’s sudden, or worse in the morning, you may have
damaged a disc.

What’s caused it?
General lower back pain is largely caused by poor posture. Weak abdominal muscles are also
a big cause. Your abs help your back support your upper body. Sciatica is caused when sciatic
nerve, which travels from your lower back down your leg becomes trapped. A sedentary
lifestyle is often the cause – sitting all day at your desk or in a car can compress the nerve.
Disc problems also put pressure on the sciatic nerve. An inflamed, bulging or even protruding
disc can be caused by poor lifting technique. Bench pressing too many weights with poor
technique puts serious pressure on weak discs.

What can you do?
Keep mobile to avoid stiffening up. Doctors used to recommend bed rest, but now we know
this worsens the problem as the muscles will be weaker when you get up.
For immediate relief, yoga’s cat pose is brilliant.

And in the long term?
Ninety nine per cent of all lower back pain will recover with movement and exercise.

When to see a Doctor?
If you’re in crippling pain, see your GP. He will prescribe painkillers and muscle relaxants to get
you moving again and refer you if needed.

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