by Dr. Sean Paul Jenkins, Owner, Jenkins Chiropractic
There are many injuries that plague people the gym, but there is none more devastating than lower back pain. If you have never had lower back pain, count yourself lucky. Approximately 85 percent of the adult population experiences lower back pain some time in their lives. If you are part of the 85 percent, it can be life-altering. Unfortunately, there are many causes for lower back pain – some congenital and others due to injury, spinal stenosis, disc bulges, sciatica or degenerative disc disease.
I want to focus on a common condition known as short-leg syndrome. Short-leg syndrome is when one ilia (hip) has shifted posterior (backward) and inferior (low) and one leg appears shorter than the other. This can cause unequal weight distribution causing the lower vertebra to rotate to the short leg side, creating muscle spasm, nerve irritation and pain.
The causes of short-leg syndrome can be many. It can be caused by a true anatomical short leg, pelvic instability or by nerve interference.
For those of us who train often and hard, this could be a big problem, due to the repetitive nature of the exercises we do. For example, some common movements that create pain when you have short-leg syndrome are squats, walking lunges with dumbbells, bent over rows, dead lifts, boxes jumps and running, just to the name a few. Training with this disorder is like training with an extra 10 pounds in one of your pockets. If not corrected, it will increase stress on the involved sacroiliac joint, which in turn causes increased tension on l4 and l5 vertebra, the paraspinal muscle and nerve roots and can cause premature degenerative disc disease.
What to do if you have lower back pain:
- Stop whatever caused the pain immediately! If you continue, it only gets worse, and it will take you longer to recover. If you do not want to stop working out, change the exercise, change the angle or change something – if the pain continues, you’re done. Ice the area as soon as possible for at least 30 minutes to decrease inflammation.
The allopathic cure is to rest for two weeks and take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, then if it has not resolved, physical therapy in prescribed. I have seen this in my office, and have treated this condition for years with great results. Chiropractic care works wonders with short-leg syndrome and lower back pain. If there is pain associated with the patient, we want to address that first, but correction is our main priority before it becomes chronic.
No matter what you do, do something, because in life, problems don’t go away by themselves. They only get worse with time.