A Surprisingcause oflower back pain

by Jeremy Lowell, DDS | ERYT® 500, YACEP

It seems that our modern sedentary lifestyle leads a large part of the population to experience back pains at some point in their lives. Many of us have hurt our backs by lifting heavy things, falling, or taking a bad step on stairs or ladders. Experts say there are back-pain triggers around us everywhere we go, but few of us are aware of the damage twerking can cause. Drishti Beats mentor, Jeremy Lowell, DDS, ERYT® 500 & YACEP, takes a closer look at this unexpected cause of lower back pain.

According to Wikipedia, Twerking is a type of dance that came out of the bounce music scene of New Orleans in the late 1980s. Individually-performed, chiefly but not exclusively by women, dancers move by throwing or thrusting their hips back or shaking their buttocks, often in a low squatting stance.

Interestingly enough, according to WebMD, the causes of back pain are numerous; some are self-inflicted due to a lifetime of bad habits.

Defining a bad habit, may, of course be the most difficult concept to engage, but let’s consider our lower backs for a moment.

Along with the rest of our vertebral column we have bones known as vertebrae (singular vertebra) that allow articulation of our spines to bend over, lean back, twist side to side, and bend laterally. All of this movement is normal for human beings and what allows us to do so is articulating joints between each vertebrae along with cushiony discs between our vertebrae.

Our intervertebral discs are shock absorbing structures that are located between each vertebrae throughout the spine, except between our two first vertebrae in our neck known as C1 and C2 where there is no disc.

They are rubbery pads between the vertebrae with each disk being a flat, circular capsule about an inch in diameter and one-quarter inch thick. They have a tough, fibrous, outer membrane (the annulus fibrosus). The annulus is made up of a series of 15–25 concentric rings, or lamellae, with collagen fibres lying parallel within each lamella.
At the core, there is contained a loose network of fibers suspended in a mucoprotein gel and this is known as the nucleus pulposus.

Basically, a jelly filled donut.

In your spine, the joints connecting each of your vertebrae are known as facet joints.

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While the disks do separate the vertebrae and keep them from rubbing together, they are far from the springs of a pogo stick.

In children, they are gel- or fluid-filled sacs, but they begin to solidify as part of the normal aging process. By early adulthood, the blood supply to the disk has stopped, the soft inner material has begun to harden, and the disk is less elastic. By middle age, the disks are tough and quite unyielding, with the consistency of a piece of hard rubber.

These changes related to aging make the outer protective lining weaker and the disks more prone to injury. Throw on top of that aggressive repetitive motion, with excessive force, will tend to not only push the limit of the discs, but also wear out the facet joints, those articulating joints between the disks that I mentioned above.

So maybe, just maybe, slow the twerking speed down by a million fold, practice a little bitilasana (cow) and marjariasana (cat), and at the same time practice ahimsa (non-violence) on your body. Live a long life with vertebrae and discs that remain pain free.