With traditional medicine offering few answers for age-related lower back pain many people are left wondering ‘why does my lower back hurt all the time’? For many there was no accident or injury, no one incident to point to. And so the cause is often chalked up to ‘part of getting older’. While lower back pain is very common in adults as they get older, it is far from normal. By understanding the underlying causes of lower back pain we can come up with better strategies to help you live active, healthy, and happy lives…regardless of age.
The Underlying Cause of Age Related Lower Back Pain
Age-related lower back pain is caused by too much impact on the structures of your spine over too long a period of time. Small irritations to your joints, discs, muscles, etc. add up over time eventually causing pain. The best answers to ‘why does my lower back hurt’ are ones that limit impact on the spine. Having helps 100’s of adults solve lower back pain I’ve found that the following five causes are the most common causes of too much impact on the spine.
The glutes are a complex of three muscle groups (max, med, and min) that surround your hip joint. Your glutes contribute to spinal health in a number of ways. First, they set the foundation for proper pelvic and spinal alignment. They are prime movers in important activities like walking, running, hiking, sitting, squatting, lunging, etc.
Many people spend a large portion of their day sitting which leads to an overall weakness in the glutes. If you don’t use it, you lose it! Weakness in your glutes leads to more impact on the spine which is why building strength in this muscle group is so important.
The glute bridge is a safe and effective way to strengthen your glutes without stressing your lower back.
One of the common answers to ‘why does my lower back hurt?’ is weakness in core musculature. When the muscles of your core aren’t strong enough to support your daily activities, more force is placed on your spine. Overtime these small irritations lead to lower back pain. Improving core strength should be part of any plan to solve lower back pain.
Try this 10 minute core routine designed specifically to ease lower back pain.
Lack of Flexibility/Mobility
Limitations in flexibility lead to more impact on the spine in a number of ways. First, by limiting your ability to absorb ground reactive forces. This causes more direct impact on your spine as you move throughout the day. Second, by creating movement compensations. This indirectly leads to more impact on the lower back.
For example, stiffness in your hips will cause your lower back to round squatting down. Limitations in mid back movement will lead to excess movement in the lower back. Improving flexibility should be part of any plan
Too Much Flexibility/Mobility
On the other side of the equation, too much flexibility can also lead to lower back problems. An inability to control our movements also leads to more impact on the spine. Too much pelvic movement leads
Developing tension with a full body squeeze helps stabilize and limit impact that goes through your spine.
Improper Movement Patterns
Movement patterns are defined as how we coordinate movements to perform basic tasks. The hinge, the lift, the squat, the lunge, and the push/pull/press of the upper body are all examples of movement patterns. While seemingly simple movements, as we get older we can lose this coordination.
Improper coordination of these movements, over time, is a common answer to the question ‘why does my lower back hurt?’. Improving movement patterns (how we move) limits impact on your lower back and is the best thing you can do to solve age related lower back pain.
To sum it up, there are a lot of factors to consider when answering the question, ‘why does my lower back hurt?’. For a step-by-step program designed to safely and effectively improve movement and build strength, check out our free program ‘Solving Pain With Strength.’
For more information about solving lower back pain check out our guide on how to solve lower back pain in twelve easy steps.