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FAQ071: My back randomly “goes out”, what is happening?!

low back pain, low back, kingston, physiotherapy, lumbar strain

Low back pain is a BIG deal! Back pain is one of the biggest causes of pain and disability… and if you’ve ever had back pain before you definitely see why.

In the physiotherapy side of STAVE OFF, we see clients for low back pain all the time. We often get a very similar story. I wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary and my back just “went out”. As we start to dig a little bit more into their medical history, we see that this is something that happens quite a bit.

So… what exactly is happening when your back “goes out”

The way I like to explain it is based on tissue tolerance. When we are doing things around the house, at work, in the gym … we are putting stress on our body. Our body adapts and handles that stress every day. Sometimes, if we are lifting improperly or we are putting more stress on our low backs then it is strong enough to handle, it breaks down. Essentially the tissue stress increases over time until it hits a pain threshold. Hit the pain threshold and pain starts.

Then you go to physiotherapy, you let the back rest a couple of days, you start slowly getting back to activities. It starts to feel better. Then a couple of months later the same thing happens. It becomes a cycle.

How do we break that cycle?

We break that cycle by calming your tissues down first. But then secondly we need to make sure you are moving properly and that you have enough strength.

Your body needs to be strong enough to handle what you’re asking it to do!

strength, back, body, injury

If it is, it doesn’t break down. Your resiliency goes up. Back pain stays at bay.
This takes work and guidance but it is a long-term effective strategy.


Have low back pain? We have done a couple of articles and videos on low back pain (it’s kind of a big deal).

If you haven’t yet check out these videos on degenerative disc disease, disc herniations, and staying back safe shovelling snow (or gardening).

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