Lower back pain is a common condition that most of us will experience at least once in our lifetime. Many of those who suffer from low back pain often attribute the symptoms to sprain or strain as the result of lifting heavy objects incorrectly, sitting or sleeping improperly, or trauma due to a car accident. While all of these can be contributing factors to many incidences of low back pain, there is also a subset of pain related to muscles located in the pelvic floor. Understanding the symptoms of low back pain due to a weakened pelvic floor can help identify the right treatment to help alleviate the physiological symptoms and psychosocial impacts.
The pubococcygeus, iliococcygeus, coccygeus, and puborectalis muscles are located between the tailbone and pubic bone. They are responsible to create support within the pelvis which stabilizes the spine and to hold up internal organs such as the bladder, large intestine, and uterus.
When there is weakness in the pelvic floor muscles, it creates a domino effect for the rest of the body. A weak pelvic floor causes instability at the foundation of the lumbar spine (low back) which in turn causes the muscles in the lower back to tighten or spasm to recreate the tension necessary to support it. In easier terms, the low back overcompensates for the weakness of the pelvis. Because of this, a person could have less range of motion, tighter low back muscles, and, if left untreated for too long, persistent pain.
Not everyone will develop pelvic floor weakness over their lifetime but there are some risk factors that can increase your odds. Commonalities among those who experience weakened pelvic floor muscles include women who have been pregnant or gone through childbirth, those who have received pelvic surgery, the aging community, those experiencing hormonal changes, and those with conditions such as obesity and frequent lower urinary tract infections. While symptoms can vary and can include a myriad of disorders, typically they present as incontinence, lumbopelvic pain (pain from the low back and pelvis), chronic constipation, and painful intercourse or dyspareunia. Because some of the symptoms are of a sensitive nature, they often go unreported.
Your first step in treating the low back pain caused by pelvic floor inadequacy should be to set up a consultation with Kinesio Care Center. They can walk with you through the treatment and pain management options that work best for you. The course of treatment can include correction of the issue through exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor such as diaphragmatic breathing, static activation of the transverse abdominus, pelvic floor contraction while both lying down and sitting up, as well as sustained pelvic floor contraction during activity.
In addition to the exercises provided by the team at Kinesio Care Center, there will also be an chiropractic assessment of the joint dysfunction in the pelvis and low back and treatment to loosen muscles that have been overcompensating. That includes manual therapies for the quadratus lumborum, erector spinae, multifidus, and psoas.
Treatment will also include strengthening the muscles that have been dormant due to pain associated with movement, such as the rectus abdominus, obliques, gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, latissimus dorsi, and lower trapezius. When lower back pain keeps you sidelined or sensitive symptoms keep you silent, reach out the team at Kinesio Care Center to discuss treatment plans that will help get you back to working order.