Humpback (medical term, hyperkyphosis) is a spinal deformity that leads to a forward-curved posture of the upper back (thoracic spine). Under normal circumstances our posture changes often throughout the day. However, there are instances where an individual’s body curvature may become excessive and unchanging, leading to humpback. This curvature of the upper back can start to become more pronounced after age 40 and continue as we get older. It is estimated that 20% to 40% of older adults–both men and women–will develop humpback. And today’s Smartphones are one prime example of why people will develop this condition at a relatively young age unless they are very aware of their posture!
Pelvic pain is pain felt in the pelvis, lower abdomen, or perineum and has many possible causes and numerous symptoms that can make you feel uncomfortable and embarrassed. When pelvic pain lasts for more than 6 months it is considered chronic. Some of the more common causes of pelvic pain are:
- Pelvic joint problems
- Pregnancy and childbirth (due to changing hormonal levels that affect muscles and lead to joint laxity
- Muscle imbalances or weakness within the muscles of the pelvic floor, trunk, or pelvis
- Tender points in the muscles of the pelvic floor
- Pressure on one or more nerves in the pelvis
- Lack of muscular coordination that controls the bowel and bladder
- Scar tissue that forms after pelvic or abdominal surgery, such as after a C-section or episiotomy (incision), or as a result of a tear in the vaginal area
- Pelvic organ prolapse (a shift in the position of the pelvic organs)
HOW IS PELVIC PAIN DESCRIBED?
Some individuals who have experienced pain in their pelvis and lower abdomen have described the discomfort as an aching pain while others have reported feeling a sharp, stabbing, pins and needles, and even burning. Other symptoms may include:
It can happen at any time. Things are going well. You feel great, you feel fit, and you don’t think twice about health issues. Then all of a sudden you feel that your lower back does not feel quite right. You say to yourself “Maybe I just slept on it wrong,” or something simple along those lines. You rack your brain…”What could I have done?” You’re clueless…there’s no rational explanation. However, when it comes on, it leaves you suffering with back pain way longer than you think.
Most adults (80%) over the age of 40 will experience some form of debilitating back pain over the course of their lifetime. I’ve compiled a list of 7 overlooked, often ignored reasons to seek the advice of a Physical Therapist to initiate a quick resolution to your suffering.
1. You rely on pain medication.
Relying on medication means you will never get to the root cause of your back pain. Most people are in agreement that pain killers are not their best option, yet doctors continue to give them out. In some cases it’s perfectly fine…for temporary relief of symptoms. However, these individuals are often not informed that the pain medication will not resolve their issue. For that to happen, a specialist must be included…a Physical Therapist. If our medical professionals would simply give out this simple piece of advice, not only would we have a nation that would be more active and healthier, we’d be more positive, more educated, and better informed in being able to look after our best asset…our health.
Healthcare consumers nowadays are becoming much more savvy when it comes to spending their healthcare dollars. Many of my discharged patients over the years would pose the following question: When should I call you if anything happens in the future? My general answer to that question is “whenever you experience discomfort that doesn’t quite seem right.” Now I’m not talking about general muscle soreness after a workout, or after performing an activity you haven’t done in a while. I’m talking about things like going on a 10 mile bike ride but feeling like you rode for 100 miles, or going for a 3 mile jog but feeling like you just ran a marathon.
In my last two blog posts, I’ve covered the 2 most common causes of back pain and sciatica: 1) HERNIATED DISC; and 2) ARTHRITIS, DISC DEGENERATION, AND STENOSIS. Now let’s move on to the 3rd most common cause, which can be a really tricky one.
3) SI JOINT/PELVIS
The Sacroiliac Joint, or SI Joint for short, is the joint between the sacrum (the base of your spine, where your tailbone is) and the pelvis. Your sacrum is the base, or foundation, of your spine. When looking at the pelvis, approximately 70% of the time the right half of the pelvis will rotate forward, and that can create problems all the way up the back. It generally affects 10% to 25% of individuals who complain of low back pain, and can occur in anybody–all age ranges–which can affect us throughout our entire life. Symptoms can occur due to trauma, such as a fall, where one lands on one side of the body; due to muscle imbalances; due to certain types of arthritis; or very commonly during childbirth.
In my last blog post, I wrote about one of the most common causes of back pain and sciatica, that being a HERNIATED DISC. Now I’m going to move on to a second most common cause:
2) ARTHRITIS, DISC DEGENERATION, AND STENOSIS
Arthritis means “joint inflammation.” The 2 most common types of arthritis that we see in the clinic are 1) Rheumatoid Arthritis, which usually attacks multiple joints and is the less common of the two, and 2) Osteoarthritis, which usually attacks 1 joint at a time.
If you are looking to heal naturally, i.e., without medications, painful spinal injections, or surgery, and you’re looking to get back to normal again–that is, get your life back and feel younger, stronger, and more energetic, and not have to think about the activities that you do before you do them, such as “I have to think about how I’m going to get out of the car,” or “I have to think about how I’m going to get dressed in the morning”–if that is you, the first thing you would want to do on your journey to natural healing is to find out the cause. In this 3-part series, I will go over the 3 most common causes of Lower Back Pain and Sciatica that I see in my clinic.