Pain in the lumbar spine — What helps against lower back pain?

Man with lumbar spine pain

© Monika Wisniewska | shutterstock.com.

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Roland Liebscher-Bracht is performing a pain-free exercise.

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All About the Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Back Pain in the Lumbar Region

Have you already resigned yourself to the pain in your lower back? Is it not uncommon for you to have to sit up carefully on one side of your body in the morning? Even during the course of the day, there is sometimes pain of varying degrees shooting through your lumbar spine?

It is well known that back pain is a widespread disease. Researchers also know this. 1)

This general piece of information will not help you with your issues, but it should show you that you are not alone with your lumbar spine pain.

We at Liebscher & Bracht want to strengthen your back and give you courage. That is because, contrary to all suppositions, our experience confirms that you can best conquer your back pain yourself

In this article, you will find all the information you need to finally start being free of pain.

We provide you with the most important facts about the cause and development of your lumbar spine pain and compiled helpful exercises for you. With these exercises you cannot only regain the necessary relaxation step by step, but also reduce almost all pains significantly, if not eliminate them completely.

Roland Liebscher-Bracht

Roland Liebscher-Bracht

Germany's most trusted pain specialist and author of several bestselling self-help books on the treatment of pain conditions.

 
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Roland Liebscher-Bracht is Germany's most trusted pain specialist and author of several bestselling books on pain treatment. Together with his wife, Dr. med. Petra Bracht, he has developed a revolutionary method to treat pain conditions. With the help of the so-called "osteopressure", where you press specific points on your body, and special stretching exercises, pain can be stopped entirely without medication or surgical intervention. This pain treatment allows you to alleviate pain by yourself. Find out how exactly this works in this article or our numerous YouTube videos.

Roland Liebscher-Bracht

Germany's best-known pain specialist and author of several bestselling books on self-help against pain.

 
Read more

Roland Liebscher-Bracht is Germany's best-known pain specialist and author of several bestselling books on pain treatment. Together with his wife, the physician Dr. Petra Bracht, he has developed a revolutionary new form of pain treatment: With the so-called "Osteopressur", in which certain points on your body are pressed, and special stretching exercises, pain can be stopped completely without medication or surgical intervention. It is particularly important that this pain treatment gives you the opportunity to help yourself against your pain in a self-determined way. You can find out exactly how this works in this article and in the numerous YouTube videos.

1. Structure of the Lumbar Spine


Lumbar spine skeleton

Our spine can be considered a “successful model of evolution”. After all, it is a complex system of bones, muscles and nerve cords that must meet great demands. It is particularly affected in our modern everyday life: Far too little movement and long periods of sitting cause back problems. 2)

The spinal column consists of three sections in total: The cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine interact to ensure an upright posture. As the bony centre of the body, it not only ensures sufficient stability, but also connects the upper extremities, i.e. the arms, with the shoulders, the thorax and the head. The legs and pelvis are also connected to the spine, mainly via nerve plexuses.

One of the main functions of the spine is to protect the spinal cord. The latter runs in the spinal canal and, as the lower part of the central nervous system (CNS), is responsible for movements, among other things.

The Task of the Intervertebral Discs

The intervertebral discs guarantee the mobility of the bones. They are located between the individual vertebral bodies. Each consist of two parts: an outer ring of solid fibres and an inner gelatinous core, which is mainly composed of water. The supply of nutrients to the intervertebral disc is only possible with the help of loading and unloading.

Due to its high water content, the intervertebral disc forms an optimal buffer between the individual vertebral bodies and can thus cushion pressure loads. If the individual intervertebral discs are insufficiently supplied with nutrients, they cannot optimally fulfil their task. Too little movement therefore prevents the smooth interplay between waste disposal and nutrient uptake. The metabolism comes to a standstill and in the long run wear and tear and structural damage can occur.

In the case of pain in the lower back, however, a slipped disc is rarely the cause of the problem.

An aching spine

© Lightspring | shutterstock.com.

Why Is Back Pain Usually Associated with Damaged Discs?

So-called receptors in the periosteum are responsible for making us feel pain. They measure the tensile forces of shortened fasciae and hardened muscles due to unilateral movements. If the tensile forces of the shortened muscles and fasciae at the front of the body are so great that the back extensors are completely overstrained with the countertraction, signal pain is triggered. This pain has very little to do with actual damage. Instead, your body signals to you that something is wrong in the affected body region.

The problem is that very few people are aware that their pain is a kind of early warning system. Most often, pain is understood as a threat. The fact that it can protect us from the actual threat is completely lost. Instead, the early warning system gets paralysed with painkillers and the pain is ignored.

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2. Symptoms and Causes of Lumbar Spine Pain


It is our wish to allow every human being to live a painless life. You are the linchpin of our mission. Start listening to your body again and give it the attention it needs.

Instead of suffocating pain with painkillers, as is unfortunately common in conventional medicine, you should recognise it as warning signal and work with instead of against it.

To know where you can start, we shall list a whole range of symptoms here. All of these can be classified as lumbar spine syndrome. Further down you can then work directly on all pain conditions. If you want to know immediately what you can do to alleviate your pain, you will find our exercises here.

2.1  What Pain Do You Have?

Pulling or pressing pain in the lower back

The pain partially radiates into the buttocks or into the legs (indication of sciatica or irritation of the sciatic nerve)

Sneezing or coughing increases pain in the lumbar spine area

Neurological signs/feeling disorders:

Tingling in the leg (feeling of “insects crawling under the skin”, also known as formication)

Numbness in the leg and paralysis of the leg muscles

Pain radiating to the hip and pelvis

Pain during lifting and bending or during sporting activitiesn

The feeling of permanent tension in the back muscles, limited mobility

The feeling of constant blockage in the lower lumbar region (sacroiliac joint dysfunction)

You see, pain in the lumbar spine is manifold and diagnoses are quickly made. However, doctors usually start at the wrong place. Especially with patients suffering from chronic back pain, doctors often despair. The next chapter will provide you with some new insights. You might learn more about the origin of your pain than your doctor will ever know.

2.2 Origins and Causes — Why Sitting for Long Periods Is Responsible for Most Back Problems

Did you know that musculoskeletal disorders are the most common cause of absence from work? According to the TK Health Report, back pain is the leading cause of this absenteeism. 3)

But worse than the absences is the fact that so many people suffer from pain, with most of them suffering throughout their lives without ever finding a lasting cure. This is mainly due to the fact that treatment rarely addresses the real cause. Instead, painkillers are prescribed, surgery is recommended and rest is ordered.

However, why do these operations not help patients cope with their pain in the long term and why does one operation sooner or later follow another? Why do artificial joints or other repair measures not bring the desired success? We know that these measures cause even more suffering instead of relief usually. This is because in many cases the body does not accept foreign material from artificial joints or other aids. It simply cannot meet the requirements of the human body and may even show signs of wear over time. How does this happen? Because the cause of the pain is not eliminated! Instead, already damaged body parts are simply replaced by artificial ones, while the pain-causing processes can quietly and secretly continue their mischief.

The Actual Cause Is Quite Simple to Understand

Your body is largely made up of muscles and fasciae. They surround all other physical structures and make sure that everything stays in its proper place. Your spine — including your lumbar spine — is also firmly anchored thanks to muscles and tissue. Together these three elements form your back. But much more important are the muscles and fasciae on the front of your body.

One of the most important and active muscles is your hip flexor. It starts at the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae and needs to be extremely flexible. As its name suggests, it is responsible for bending your hips and for general mobility. However, if the hip flexor is shortened, this will affect your entire back. Watch the video to see how this happens.

2.3 Many Signs and Symptoms, Yet Only One Cause of Lumbar Spine Pain?

An old woman with arthrosis

1. Arthrosis and general wear and tear: Contrary to the general opinion that arthrosis and wear and tear are responsible for the pain in the joints, we have found out that the pain is mostly not due to damaged structures.

As mentioned above, at Liebscher & Bracht we speak of “signal pain” instead. It functions like a warning signal to show you that something in your body is wrong and out of balance.

This makes it clear that your age or your genes are not the main cause of osteoarthritis! In addition, you will learn why you should not take it easy on yourself if you suffer from arthrosis.

Facet syndrome

2. Facet syndrome: This is a disease of the vertebral joints. It often occurs together with spondylolisthesis and other disc changes.

The facet joints bear a large part of the static load of the spine when walking, standing and especially when sitting. In the long run, lack of movement as well as incorrect loading and overloading lead to excessive tension in muscles and fasciae. These tensions cause the facet joints to lie too close together and the structures to wear out from time to time.

Jenga symbolizes listhesis

© pixabay

3. Listhesis/vertebral slippage: Even in spondylolisthesis, excessive tension in muscles and fascia is responsible for your pain.

The hip flexor also plays a major role here. Due to sitting for longer periods and one-sided movement patterns it shortens increasingly and usually pulls on the fourth or fifth lumbar vertebra. Over time, these pulling forces can become so strong that the vertebra slides forward towards the abdomen.

Patients usually feel unstable and a wide variety of pains can occur. Sometimes, however, patients do not feel any pain at all and the spondylolisthesis is a purely coincidental finding.

Intervertebral disc

© Lightspring | shutterstock.com.

4. Herniated disc: A herniated disc is considered the cause par excellence when it comes to pain in the lumbar spine. However, very few people know that pain in the lower back is not caused by a herniated disc per se.

A herniated disc does not always cause pain and many incidents are purely accidental. This clearly indicates that it is not the damaged structures per se that are responsible for the pain, but muscular-fascial tensions. These are the ones that trigger the alarm pain. Also in the treatment of a herniated disc, it is therefore important to start exactly there.

An illustration of an iliosacral joint

© Blamb | shutterstock.com (edited)

5. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction: When the sacroiliac joint is blocked, the normal joint function of the sacroiliac joint is impaired. In a healthy state, the sacroiliac joint performs a redirectional function: it connects the pelvis to the spine and ensures the transmission of force between the lower and upper body.

Usually, changes in the joint surfaces cause disturbances in one or more directions of movement. Due to strained muscles and fasciae, the original position, in which everything can function smoothly, becomes unbalancedt.

🚩Special case of trauma: trauma refers to acute injuries — usually caused by accidents.

Trauma involves significant structural damage to tissue, muscles or bones. If the lumbar spine is affected, this can result in severe impairments.

For example, if there are injuries to the spinal cord, vertebral body fractures or other bony damage to the back, serious consequential damage cannot be ruled out and requires medical treatment!

Summary: apart from the traumatic — fortunately rather rare — cases, it can be stated that most problems in the lumbar spine area are due to increased muscle and fascial tone. The spasms are associated with pain, which orthopaedists and many general practitioners assign to specific symptoms. According to these classifications, a supposedly suitable therapy is then applied. If you have read up to here, you can certainly imagine that we have developed a completely different method to eliminate the cause. In the following, read how our approach differs from conventional treatment methods and what you can do about your ailments yourself.

Roland Liebscher-Bracht is performing a pain-free exercise.

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Roland Liebscher-Bracht is performing a pain-free exercise.

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Our Experience

There is also an increased probability that the symptoms will recur after surgery. We have experienced this often enough. Many patients only come to our practice after operations, after the pain has flared up again all too quickly.

What We Offer You

In contrast to conventional treatment approaches, our exercises offer you a great chance of becoming pain-free — not only for a short period of time, but in most cases for the long term. The only condition: you should become active yourself. Of course, we will not abandon you and support you on your way to freedom from pain wherever possible.

Every path you take with us will inevitably lead you to more exercise and a much better quality of life.

Start now and watch our exercise videos to see how you can defeat the true cause of your pain with very simple exercises.

Roland Liebscher-Bracht is performing a pain-free exercise.

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Join Over 7000 Subscribers Who Are Managing Pain Themselves.

 
Roland Liebscher-Bracht is performing a pain-free exercise.

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3. Treatment of Lumbar Spine Pain


3.1 The Liebscher & Bracht Approach

You have had enough and you want to get rid of your pain? But you do not know how? This is where we come in!

Liebscher & Bracht treatment consists of active and passive components. After the osteopressure, our acute therapy, you will be able to do regular exercises to ensure long-term freedom from pain and optimal mobility on your own. Our fascial roll massages and the bottleneck stretches help you eliminate both chronic and acute pain and prevent it effectively.

Do you have such severe back pain that you can hardly move? Then you should contact one of our pain therapists. They can treat you with osteopressure so that you will feel a significant improvement — usually after one or two sessions.

A pain patient gets a massage.

© unsplash

The combination of initial manual treatment — not everyone needs it — and independent execution of the exercises ends your need of painkillers and operations. It also saves you from having to make numerous appointments with the therapist, which might overcrowd your appointment calendar.

By doing the exercises at home, you not only regain mobility but also save time. This way you can optimally prevent further tension in the back muscles.

On our YouTube channel you will find our exercise and explanation videos for all prominent pain conditions free of charge.

Embark into a pain-free life today with our pain specialist Roland Liebscher-Bracht and become active yourself.

How Do I Start Now?

Your state of pain is decisive for our treatment. The diagnosis you have received from your doctor plays a rather subordinate role for us — unless structures of your body are actually injured or severely damaged. In this case, it is definitely recommended to discuss the further procedure with your attending physician. 

But if you are “only” suffering from the pains that we mentioned in chapter 2, then things look good. In this case, we will most likely be able to help you — as we have already helped many other patients. 

It is important that you choose the most important component to you out of the three types — light osteopressure, fascial roll massage and bottleneck stretching — and that you keep up with doing them. Above all, you should include the bottleneck stretches in your daily pain-free routine.

3.2 Conventional Treatment Methods for Lumbar Spine Pain

Medications

© pixabay

The non-specific diagnosis of lumbar spine syndrome is quickly established in cases of lower back pain. No wonder, because the pain is usually difficult to classify. Often there is no structural damage or signs of wear and tear. If intervertebral discs, vertebral joints, vertebral bodies and the spine itself are not acting up, the pain is usually combated with painkillers such as ibuprofen.

Unfortunately, this does not help in the search for the true cause. Painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs can even delay healing. Although they make for a more relaxed posture due to the reduction in pain, they do not reduce the tension that has arisen.

By the way, this is also one of the reasons why people are only briefly free of pain after an operation. The anaesthetics have a strong effect on our body and provide relaxation in the affected areas. However, if the effect wears off at some point, the tension of muscles and fasciae increases again if we continue to be in a one-sided movement situation in everyday life — including sitting for a long time. It is only a question of time until the symptoms reoccur.

Physiotherapy and Back Training, Painkillers and Operations: There Are Other Ways to Get Rid of Pain.

Nowadays, most pain conditions have the risk of becoming chronic. Not only back pain, but also hip and groin pain, neck pain and headaches can last for years.

The reason: The current treatments are not sufficient in the long run.

Physiotherapy, in which exercises that strengthen the back muscles are recommended, is not always helpful. Especially not when your muscles and fasciae are already under so much tension anyway that there is considerable pain and movement restrictions. In this case, back training should not be given priority, but rather different movement patterns should be integrated. The correct exercise sequences that promote mobility and different movement radii of the spine and joints should be the first priority. 

Important: When you start our treatment, you should stop taking painkillers after consulting your doctor. Because if you are not aware of your pain, you will not notice if it disappears with our therapy. You will not achieve long-term effects with medication — apart from all the side effects

Surgeons in surgery

© unsplash

Surgery is a sensitive issue. It certainly helps in some cases — particularly when the patient has no other option and injuries such as fractures exist. But the reality is different when it comes to the use of surgery. Usually only six to eight weeks pass before surgery is considered as the final step in pain management. If the patient’s discomfort does not subside after discontinuing the first cycle of painkillers and physiotherapy, or if it is possibly worse than before (which is not surprising, as the cause has not been treated to date), many doctors see surgery as the final solution..

Please remember that even minimally invasive surgery and the most modern procedures can cause complications and do not guarantee a pain-free life.

4. Exercises Against Lower Back Pain (Lumbar Spine Pain)


With this exercise chapter you can follow and execute the fascial roll massages presented in the videos as well as the bottleneck stretching step by step.

4.1 Fascial Roll Massage with the Mini Ball and the Medi Roll

The advantages of the fascial roll massage are manifold. First and foremost, you can use this type of self-massage to stimulate the metabolic processes in your muscles and fasciae and create an optimal starting point for the following stretching exercises.

A woman is doing an exercise for lumbar spine pain.

Exercise 1:

For this exercise you need the mini ball. It is best to sit comfortably on a chair for the exercise. Take the mini-sphere in one hand and start on the left leg. Place the ball on your left thigh at the height of your crotch. To find the right place, press the ball a little on your thigh and check where you can feel the sensitive pressure point on the bone. There, with enough pressure, you let the ball rotate in small spiral movements. This way, you massage the muscles that start at your leg and extend into your lumbar spine. Perform this fascial massage on both sides for two to two and a half minutes each.

A woman is doing an exercise for lumbar spine pain.

Exercise 2: 

Step 1: For this exercise you will need a medi roll. Sit on the floor or a mat and take the roll. Place it under your buttocks and position yourself on the roll so that the coccyx fits into the recess of the roll. Align the roll correctly and then start rolling slowly upwards towards your lower back.

A woman is doing an exercise for lumbar spine pain.

Step 2: Execute the roll movement slowly and in a controlled manner and gradually continue to descend on the roll with your back. Support yourself with your arms on the ground. Important: Always roll in one direction only!

4.2 Bottleneck Stretching Against Lumbar Spine Pain

With the previously performed fascial roll massage you are well prepared for the following exercise. Your fasciae and muscles should now be loosened up so that you can easily get into the bottleneck stretching.

A woman is doing an exercise for lumbar spine pain.

Exercise 3: 

This exercise is about stretching your hip flexor again. But not only your hip flexor, all other muscles and fasciae will relax over time. You will quickly feel relief if you stay in the stretch long enough and do it once or twice a day.

For a Clean Execution of the Exercise:

First sit down on your mat and stretch both legs forward. Start with your left leg and push it under the hollow of the knee of your stretched out right leg so that the legs form a right angle.

Now lead your right stretched leg backwards and try to stretch it as much as possible and lead it backwards as far as possible. Important: go slowly! It takes a while for the body to get used to the range of motion and the new joint angles — especially if everything is shortened for you. After all, this is why your pain has come about in the first place.

Keep your left leg in a right-angled position and place your right hand under your heel for support. Support yourself with the other arm next to your body and try to straighten up as much as possible. 

Stay in this position for two to two and a half minutes and try to relax. Then do the stretch with the other leg as well.

📌 Checklist for the Liebscher & Bracht Exercises

To make sure nothing goes wrong with our exercises, we have put together five important tips. They should help you to easily integrate the exercises into your everyday life and achieve optimal results.

✅ Practice six days a week and do each exercise at least once a day.

✅ For each exercise you should invest two to two and a half minutes. If you are just starting to do the exercises or if the pain is still too much, you can also gradually increase the intensity.

✅ Always use your personal pain scale of one to ten to guide you. You will get the best results if you work at a level of eight or nine when stretching. Nine means you feel an intense pain, but you can still breathe calmly and do not have to tense up.

✅ A pain that is still bearable is the most important point of reference for you. So do not be afraid of it: your body will tell you that you are counteracting the muscular “contractions” in exactly the right place.

✅  Be patient — even if it is difficult. It may take some time for your brain to store new movement programs. But if you stay on the ball and make the exercises your daily routine, you can regain your freedom from pain.

Roland Liebscher-Bracht is performing a pain-free exercise.

Join Over 12,000 Subscribers Who Are Managing Pain Themselves.

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All gain. No pain.

Join Over 7000 Subscribers Who Are Managing Pain Themselves.

 
Roland Liebscher-Bracht is performing a pain-free exercise.

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter and get interactive exercise videos and articles about pain management and health delivered to your inbox.

All gain. No pain.

Join Over 7000 Subscribers Who Are Managing Pain Themselves.

Roland Liebscher-Bracht is performing a pain-free exercise.

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter and get interactive exercise videos and articles about pain management and health delivered to your inbox.

All gain. No pain.

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