Lower Back Problems When Looking Down

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Do people’s lower backs hurt when they tilt their chin forward to look at their toes? Do they feel a pull and a strain between their shoulder blades? Physical problems in the lower back between the shoulder blades is quite common, but massages on tight, sore muscles won’t alleviate this discomfort. It’s logical to expect that problems in the lower back would be caused by tight muscles in this area, but to really get an understanding of what’s going on here, we need to back it up a step and look at more than just the back.

Key Takeaways:

  • Lower back pain when looking down is caused by muscular concerns in most patients.
  • The lumbar pain is often described as stabbing. It can exist directly over the spine or on one or both sides of the vertebral column.
  • The most common sources of lower back pain from looking downwards are soft tissue problems that have caused the muscles of the region to change in strength and length.

“Luckily, lumbar strain will usually resolve without any particular treatment, as long as it is not a chronic version of RSI.”


10 Replies to “Lower Back Problems When Looking Down”

  1. I went to the gym in early November to do my routine workout. During a set of squats I felt a stabbing pain in my lower back, and I haven’t been able to go back since. It hurts when I try to lift anything or look down, and I’m very sore at the end of the day. Do you have an idea on what I might have done or how I can fix it? Thank you.

    1. Hi, Cori
      Thanks for reaching out. I’m sorry to hear about your back pain. I would suggest visiting a chiropractor to have you spine evaluated. I used to work on patient’s all the time with symptoms similar to yours. The only major concern would be if you herniated a disc and, if you have a good doctor, that should be ruled out ASAP. If your problem is musculo-skeletal, massage and manipulative therapy should help out a lot. I hope this helps.
      dr. w.

  2. I’m a teenager, and as a kid i used to roll my neck to the point where I could hear my bones grinding. i stopped after a while after it wasn’t a habit anymore, but i find whenever I look down or try to do some yoga poses, it puts a lot of strain on my spine. Is this a serious issue?

    1. I wouldn’t think so, but having your spine evaluated by a doctor or therapist would be helpful and would put your mind at rest about it.
      dr. w.

  3. I unable to stand for a period of time as my back starts hurting and I feel the need to sit down immediately. This started happening after I did planks a few times a couple of years ago! I stopped doing the planks immediately but this back pain is not going. I walk for about 50 minutes 4 to 5 days a week. Earlier I used to walk for 60 to 90 minutes but realised that it made by back pain worse. After reducing my walk my back pain has come down but it is still there. Should I stop walking for sometime? What else can I do? Please help

    1. Hi, Avinash
      Thank you for reaching out. If your low back is hurting you after standing, I would suggest a couple of exercises to stabilize your core a bit. Stretch out your hamstrings and quads, strengthen your abs and your glutes. These exercises will help with your low back pain.
      dr. w.

  4. This is great info. This sounds like what I have. When you say “therapy” who performs these therapy’s? It doesnt sound like a general practitioner would provide these techniques or services.

    1. Hi, Bart
      I would venture to say that structural work would be helpful, i.e. massage therapy, physical therapy, and/or chiropractic manipulative therapy. These disciplines specialize in postural/structural correction. I hope this helps.
      dr. w.

  5. How have the muscles changed in strength and length? And what needs to be done to allow or make them return to their strength and length needed to no longer have such pain?

    1. Hi, Michael
      Thanks for your inquiry. Proper manual therapeutic intervention can not only break up scar tissue but realign the fibers of new scar tissue to optimize the length and strength of those muscles fibers. Physical therapy, massage therapy, chiropractic therapy, stretching protocols, and exercise therapy are among the list of conservative manual tools at your disposal. I hope this helps!
      dr. w.

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