Low Back Pain When Bending Forward – Is The Pain a Muscle or Something Worse?

Do you ever have low back pain when bending forward? Low back pain is such a common complaint that it has the highest prevalence globally among musculoskeletal conditions! And, it is the leading cause of disability worldwide! But, it is also the condition where the greatest number of people benefit from rehabilitation!!

And, I certainly have seen a lot of people in my therapeutic massage business, complaining of low back pain when bending forward! There are special considerations when the pain occurs when bending forward. I mean, any pain in the low back is bad but let’s investigate when it happens while bending forward.

Causes of Back Pain

There are many different causes of low back pain when bending forward. If you have stiffness or minor pain, it might just be muscle strain. But, if you have rather severe shooting pain, you might have sciatica! Bending forward can stretch muscles and ligaments that can definitely cause low back pain!

Another cause of this kind of pain can come from a herniated disc. This is possibly a significant problem and if you think might already have this issue – and the pain increases even just a little, seek rest immediately and contact your health professional.
Another cause of low back pain is from overexertion . . . like an extensive workout you’re not used to, running farther than usual, repetitive motion like lifting more than usual, poor conditioning especially when doing movements you usually don’t do, poor posture and from an accident.

Is the Pain a Muscle or Something Worse?

Muscular strains more often feel dull and achy. They usually aren’t sharp unless rather severely injured or torn. The pain is located basically in 1 area of the low back and can get worse if you don’t rest it.

The pain could be a slipped disc. This pain is sharper and often feels “nervy.” There might be numbing or tingling because the slipped disc could be pushing against a spinal nerve. The sensation might also radiate to another area of the body, usually downward. This is what sciatica can be – sharp low back pain when bending forward can move down into the back part of the leg. If you suspect this, get an exam from a health professional.

Or, if you know a knowledgeable massage therapist who has the skill to assess nerve pain such as sciatica, consult with s/he. There are 2 tests I use to determine if you have sciatica or if you have a similar condition called piriformis syndrome. Piriformis syndrome is MUCH easier to treat! Much! Most of the people I see have this piriformis condition. Get in touch and we can investigate: https://tompettengill.com

Treatment for Low Back Pain When Bending Forward

The 1st line of defense is to rest! It is sometimes hard to do given the busy lives most of us have. But, it is one of the best first steps – and an important one! In whatever way you can, give your back a rest. Next, use ice if within 3 days of when the pain started: do 20 min on, then at least 30 min off. Also, electrical muscle stimulation therapies can help with reducing the pain and resolving the issue.

Because low back pain when bending forward can often be due to muscle strain, massage therapy is a viable option! It’s best to find a therapist who has therapeutic experience and can actually make a difference. This can also lead to longer term solutions. You can visit my website https://tompettengill.com and/or email me: tpett.ortho.massage@gmail.com

Stretching is another option – but use caution. Stretching SHOULD BE done gradually! When you stretch, go slowly and when you 1st start to feel the tissues stretching, stop; then proceed slowly after a short hold.

It’s OK to lie down if the pain is bad enough. But, when you’re able to get up, it’s much better to start moving rather than sitting in a chair. Movement will help loosen up your body and help to relieve the pain – sitting will make your low back tighten up.
Reducing inflammation through diet is also helpful: reduce refined sugar and processed foods – they create inflammation that increases low back pain.

Here is a great article about ways to reduce pain that go beyond the usual remedies:
Acupuncture can give relief also! And, there are more options to relieve low back pain when bending forward – here is a great link that has a lot of information: https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/ss/slideshow-low-back-pain-overview

The Wind-up

Low back pain when bending forward can be debilitating! Thus, it can affect your daily life in major ways. It is important to take action soon after your pain arises. One of the best and easiest ways to start recovery is massage therapy because it’s likely that your low back muscles have been strained. Bodywork from a qualified, competent practitioner can give you the 1st line of action to get “back on the road!”

I offer skillful, sophisticated treatments for low back pain that give results – and can relieve pain! One client in particular came to me and when I saw him walk in, it “hurt to watch.” On Yelp, his review is under his name, Jamal K. But, read all my reviews on Yelp and see for yourself: Tom Pettengill Massage on Yelp.