The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back

December 11, 2017

One of the most common questions we are asked in the clinic is “why did my back suddenly go when I picked up a pen?” A surprising number of patients find that the onset of their back pain appears to be due to seemingly innocent movements. The answer to this question is multifactorial but is generally due to the more sedentary lifestyles we now lead.

When we sit in poor postures for prolonged periods gradually the ligaments and interverbal discs in your spine slowly become weaker due to the stresses being placed on them. At the same time due to that lack of movement our muscles also become weaker and less well equipped to deal with day to day activities. For some patients they will notice some stiffness or a generalised ache in their back before the event that caused it to completely go into spasm and for others they have no warning signs that their back is starting to struggle.

As our daily activates tend not to vary much the repeated stress on the spine leads to that inevitable moment when the ligaments, discs or muscles can’t cope any longer and an injury occurs. The reason this tends to happen during simple movements or picking up a towel or putting your sock on in the morning is that it’s reached its breaking point and people are much less likely to brace themselves when picking up such an innocuous object.

Our best advice is to move more during the day to avoid a build up of stress in your spine and always be careful for the first thirty minutes in the morning as this is when your spine is at its most vulnerable.

Elizabeth Falco
DC, MChiro

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