A Hidden Source of Low Back Pain

A hid­den source of low back pain…

  • It’s not your mus­cles.
  • Or your discs.
  • It won’t show up on an MRI.
  • Your chi­ro­prac­tor doesn’t fix it with an adjust­ment.
  • And you can’t take a pill to treat it.

Yet… it can be a major con­trib­u­tor to low back prob­lems.

It’s your con­nec­tive tis­sues.

The con­nec­tive tis­sues wrap, strap, and brace things togeth­er, and trans­fer forces from one body part to anoth­er. Exam­ples of con­nec­tive tis­sue include

  • your ten­dons and lig­a­ments that con­vey mus­cle force to a bone and keep the bones in an orga­nized rela­tion­ship to each oth­er
  • the stout bands that steady the out­side of your thigh to allow you to stand up (called the fas­cia lata)
  • the strap­ping that con­nects the two bones of your fore­arm (the interosseous mem­brane)
  • the abdom­i­nal wall that keeps your guts from spilling out (called – you guessed it – the abdom­i­nal wall)
  • the tight mem­brane sur­round­ing your body and form­ing the anchor­ing base for your skin (the sub­cu­ta­neous fas­cia)
  • the dura mater lin­ing the brain
  • the plan­tar fas­cia, which sta­bi­lizes the arch of your foot
  • the lum­bodor­sal fas­cia, which braces the low back, and
  • much, much more.

The con­nec­tive tis­sues con­vey move­ment from one body part to anoth­er. That means if your con­nec­tive tis­sues are out of bal­ance, your body move­ment is out of bal­ance too. Then you’ll get excess pres­sure on cer­tain joints. And your mus­cles will be at a mechan­i­cal dis­ad­van­tage and be more like­ly to over­work.

The con­nec­tive tis­sues have your blood ves­sels and nerves embed­ded in them. So con­nec­tive tis­sue imbal­ance will inter­fere with blood flow and nerve trans­mis­sion.

The con­nec­tive tis­sues are rich in nerve end­ings. That means that your con­nec­tive tis­sues can be a direct source of pain in and of them­selves, in addi­tion to the effect they have on your oth­er body parts.

White blood cells and oth­er immune sys­tem ele­ments wan­der through your con­nec­tive tis­sues, wait­ing to be called into action else­where in the body. Con­nec­tive tis­sue prob­lems will inhib­it a robust immune response.

Your connective tissue tells a story. But only to those who can decipher it.

The tex­ture and pli­a­bil­i­ty of each zone of con­nec­tive tis­sue records the his­to­ry of spe­cif­ic stress­es your body’s been sub­ject to. But it takes a prac­ti­tion­er with exten­sive expe­ri­ence to make sense of the sto­ry. It’s analagous to wan­der­ing inside a new­ly-dis­cov­ered Egypt­ian pyra­mid – you know the hiero­glyph­ics mean some­thing impor­tant, but only an archae­ol­o­gist with years of expe­ri­ence can inter­pret them.

Here’s what you can do to take care of your con­nec­tive tis­sues:

Become good friends with a foam roller spe­cial­ly designed for con­nec­tive tis­sue self-treat­ment.

Foam Roller

Your New Best Friend

You can lie on your roller and it will work out the kinks in your con­nec­tive tis­sues. Place it under your mid-back (for instance), then breathe and relax as you let grav­i­ty take over. The roller will apply ther­a­peu­tic pres­sure to the con­nec­tive tis­sue knots on either side of your spine. You can also use it under your gluteal or out­er thigh region. Or any­where in the body.

Here’s a link where you can pur­chase one, the Altus Ath­let­ic Foam Roller

Your body will appre­ci­ate it!


Deepen Your Body of Knowledge

Use­ful E-Book:  Save Your­self from Mus­cle Strain

Trans­verse fric­tion mas­sage


About Ronald Lavine, D.C.

Dr. Lavine has more than thirty five years' experience helping patients alleviate pain and restore health using diverse, scientifically-based manual therapy and therapeutic exercise and alignment methods. His website, askdrlavine.com, provides more information about his approach. Please contact him at drlavine@yourbodyofknowledge.com or at 212-400-9663.
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