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Low Back Pain Series Two - Part 1

Lower back pain is arguably the most common complaint we see in the clinic. Low back disorders are the third leading cause of disease burden in Australia, with approximately 1 in 6 Australians experiencing back problems (1), so you’re not alone if you are suffering from, or have suffered from low back pain.

Back pain affects more than just our day-to-day comfort and mood. It affects our:

  • Social interactions

  • Relationships

  • Ability to look after ourselves

  • Ability to work

Not all back pain has trauma or specific injury associated with it. Without a memorable event preceding the onset of the back pain, it’s hard to identify what is driving or maintaining your pain. Your daily activities may be one of these maintaining factors.

Many of our daily activities involve repeated or sustained spinal flexion (forward bending). Although spinal flexion is a normal movement for the spine, repeated or sustained flexion postures may cause discomfort, or increase risk of injury. Simply being aware of the activities that place your spine in sustained or repetitive flexion and being able to avoid or alter these positions/activities may help provide an immediate change in symptoms or severity.

Some of these activities include:

  • Sitting on the couch (as the knees are often higher than the hips, resulting in flexion through the lower back)

  • Sitting at work (if you sit forward on your chair and lean back, or lean forward in a slouched posture, or sit with knees higher than hips)

  • Picking up your children, tools, furniture, washing by bending at the back

  • Moving weights in the gym without consciously being aware of your movements

A good place to start identifying your low back pain triggers is thinking about these movements or activities when you perform them, and making note of whether they cause discomfort at the time, or within the next 24 hours if they are repetitive or sustained positions. If you are able to identify aggravating activities, you can sooner eliminate these or alter the way you perform them.

If you have ongoing or current low back pain and are seeking advice on management or treatment options give us a call at the clinic or book online at

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2017, December 22). What are back problems? Retrieved from

  2. McGill, S. (2016). Low Back Disorders: Evidence-Based Prevention and Rehabilitation (3rd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers.

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