Lower Back Pain When Looking Down

July 27, 2021
 By Dr. Alan Weidner
July 27, 2021
 By Dr. Alan Weidner

Lower Back Pain When Looking Down

It’s very common to have lower back pain when looking down. This article has elicited more responses from readers than many of my other posts. I’ve added a bit to it in terms of chronic pain secondary to Repetitive Stress Injuries that may help you take a bit of a different approach.

Do people’s lower backs hurt when they tilt their chin forward to look at their toes? Do people have lower back pain when touching their chin to chest? Do they feel a pull and a strain between their shoulder blades? Are you wondering ‘why does my back hurt when I look down?’

Both current and future lower back problems and pain between the shoulder blades is quite common, but massages on tight, sore muscles won’t permanently 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 and Tips for Back Pain:

  • 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.”

Lower Back Pain When Looking Down

Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) results in scar tissue (repair work by the body), which can lead to contracted musculature, reduced range of motion, and chronic pain. These types of pain syndromes may not just “go away”. Some attention to structure and muscle balance can help. Manual therapy, i.e. physical therapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, and structural bodywork can often help with this type of problem. Refer to my article about postural imbalances to get an idea of some things you can do to help with pain from RSI.

Massage for Back Pain

Massage is a great way to both alleviate existing and prevent future lower back pain from happening. Back and spine massage techniques that target specific muscles and connective tissue are called structural massages. 

A structural massage that targets the muscles from the buttocks and up to the neck is effective for relieving lower back pain. Many state-of-the-art massage chairs do exactly this type of structural massage and are a great way to ease back pain. 


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