Low back pain is extremely common, and for good reason. The low back is right at the center of the body where many forces manipulate its alignment. Let’s dive into the fascia to understand how vulnerable this area is, and what you can do to create both the stability and mobility that your body is designed to have.
The body is both a solid and fluid structure. The fascia is made of primarily collagen and elastin to allow the cells to stay in proper alignment, but to also allow the body to move freely throughout your lifetime. It is the balance of these proteins that provide this possibility, but it does take conscious awareness and action on your part to maintain this equilibrium. If you do, you can live a pain free life and have little to no struggles in your body, however, that is not the case for the majority.
Let’s unravel what causes the back to be so susceptible to pain and injury by starting with the foundation.
Like a building, we are a solid structure that has foundations that each level rests upon. If the foundation below is off, then so will be everything up the chain. I have yet to see anyone who has perfect alignment in the ankles and feet, and this is where the challenge begins.
The feet carry you through life but are given little attention, except for maybe some prettying of the toes, and scraping of the calluses. Most don’t consider the impact that a foot in pronation or supination (when the ankles fall out of alignment) has on everything above. A little test to see the impact is to stand on one leg and notice how your whole body moves as it attempts to maintain balance as it wobbles. When it collapses one way or the other, there is a counterbalancing of the body to stop you from tipping. People who either pronate or supinate - and this is everyone - have had their body adapt to these continual forces throughout their life.
As the fascia responds to this, collagen migrates to areas where there needs additional support. As the area between the ribcage and the pelvis (where the low back is) has no skeletal support, this is highly susceptible to collagen stacking. Draw your right leg away from center, and notice what happens to your core area – there will be a collapse and twisting that occurs. If this is a permanent posture for you, then the collagen continues to accumulate, taking away mobility in exchange for stability. This imbalance in the body creates muscle tension, compresses all structures in the area and depletes the space for ease of passage of vital nutrients. As the body is pulled forward and down over time from gravity, it is the back of the body that becomes most susceptible to pain and structural issues.
This now compressed and twisted core has a direct effect on the upper body. It pulls the ribcage into its system of collapse, causing the weight of everything above to come crashing down into the already compressed space. This adds a ton of pressure and slows the body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients, as well as remove waste. Inflammation results in an attempt to repair any damage but the already compacted area has little energy to heal, adding insult to injury. Bloating, pain and toxicity result, placing the body into an even more forward collapse with the low back bearing the burden of absorbing all the weight.
This negative alignment can cause any number of issues – discs slipping/rupturing, impingement of the sciatic nerve, SI joint/muscle pain, compression of the reproductive and organs of elimination . . . basically, everything that can go wrong in this space is directly linked to the alignment of the fascia.
The wonderful news is that you can change the situation that you have, no matter how dire it may seem. I have struggled many times with low back pain, largely as a result of my activities in childhood. Highland dancing and sports created havoc as I grew, and I have had the privilege of being able to undo those negative patterns through fascia decompression. When you learn how to support your fascia and provide proper breath to your body, it’s incredible how you can re-establish equilibrium with the collagen/elastin and bring your body back to balance.
Pain can take the joy out of living, and when it is your low back that incessantly screams, it can make life at times unbearable. However, you can change and it is simple in application. Act today so you can take the steps for healing, ease of movement and grace in your life, so your tomorrows can be full of laughter, joy and creativity!
Listen to this week's episode of The Fascia Masters below.
Breathe & Believe,
Follow us on our social channels below to learn more about Block Therapy and see some amazing transformations!
You may also be interested in these previously posted blogs...