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What is the true cause of repetitive lower back pain?

The cause of recurrent back pain can be for many reasons, muscle tightness, muscle weakness, poor core stability, genetics. However, there is one cause which has a profound effect on the majority of the population. The cause that is most often over looked, yet if incorrect, very often is the beginning of a snowball effect of problems that can lead to eventual and repeated lower back injuries.

Incorrect breathing, find a mirror and watch yourself breathe, take a deep breath in and then out again. Notice where the air was going in your body when you breathed in. If the air went mainly into your chest then you are breathing wrong, if it went in to your abdomen, then you are likely to be breathing right, so well done!

Why is it important to breath in to your abdomen? Your diaphragm is the muscle which is both crucial in the process of breathing as it contracts, as well as it being a major factor in stabilising your lower back. If this muscle is under utilised, which is the case in so many people, then after a cascade of compensations throughout the body, lower back pain can repeatedly occur.

So remember, before you do any core stability exercises to strengthen your back, make sure to check your breathing. A simple exercise to help with this is to put your hands on the outer lower edge of your rib cage and breath deeply down and back into your hands. Do 20 good breaths in a row at least once a day and vary sitting, lying and standing positions. After 2-3 weeks your breathing (and your lower back stability) will have a much better foundation upon which to perform back stability exercises, ensuring better results.

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