How Fascia moves (or not) with lower back pain

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoracolumbar_fascia

We’re going to continue looking at fascia’s role in the lower back and spine moving easily and freely.

We know lower back pain is no longer just an ‘older’ person’s challenge. I have met many college age students with chronic lower back pain. There is often a correlation between their activity level and the amount of time spent sitting and studying.

Healthy fascia is elastic – it should be able to stretch or lengthen and then come back to its original shape without stress.

Inelastic fascia doesn’t move well – it’s like having muscles that are stiff and unyielding. The two ultrasound clips below show the movement of the thoracolumbar fascia (shown in image above in gray). You can see how the fascia in the person with no low back pain moves easily while in the second clip the fascia has limited movement in the person with lower back pain.

Clips originally from Langevin H, Fox J, Koptiuch C, Badger G, Greenan- Naumann A, Bouffard N, Konofagou E, Lee W, Triano J, Henry S (2011). “Reduced Thoracolumbar Fascia Shear Strain in Human Chronic Low Back Pain”. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. (These clips are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.)

Fascia needs to be well-hydrated, elastic and plastic (previous post) and kept in optimal order by good posture. Remember your postural habits influence and organizes your fascia. If you have a regular habit of slumping… then the fascia will shorten to reflect that. For dancers, it isn’t so much the posture we have in class, but our daily postural habits that can get us in trouble! And now… I’m going to go for a walk after sitting at the computer to type this!

To your success,

Deborah

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