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Joint Mobilization and Why it's Important in Treating Low Back Pain

As we go about our daily lives, the stresses and strains we put on our bodies can sometimes result in discomfort and pain, particularly in the lower back and legs. Many individuals experience low back and leg pain, which can significantly impact their quality of life. One approach to addressing this pain is through addressing joint restrictions in the lumbar spine and pelvis using a protocol called the Lumbo-Pelvic Algorithm (see last paragraph for more information on this).


Joint restrictions or protective reflexes occur when we move joints slightly beyond their normal range of motion. The joint locks down to protect and prevent any actual damage from occurring. This process can also result in muscle tension and the restriction of neural and vascular pathways which often leads to pain.


It doesn't have to be a big event to cause a joint restriction. It can be something as simple as stepping down hard off a curb with a straight leg or when you bend forward and rotate to pick up a laundry basket. These restrictions can be caused by various factors, including poor posture, muscle imbalances, injury, or repetitive movements.


When these joints are restricted, it can lead to an uneven distribution of forces, placing undue stress on surrounding tissues and nerves, ultimately resulting in pain and discomfort.


Let's dive into how the removal of joint restrictions in the lumbar spine and pelvis can have a positive impact on low back and leg pain

  1. Improved Flexibility and Mobility: When joint restrictions are present, the natural flexibility and mobility of the lumbar spine and pelvis are compromised. This can lead to stiffness and tightness in the muscles and ligaments surrounding these joints. By releasing these restrictions, individuals can experience improved flexibility and range of motion, reducing the strain on the muscles and allowing for freer movement.

  2. Alleviation of Nerve Compression: Joint restrictions can contribute to compression of the nerves that emanate from the lumbar spine and travel down into the legs. This compression can cause radiating pain, numbness, and tingling sensations. By removing the restrictions and restoring proper alignment, the pressure on the nerves is reduced, leading to decreased leg pain and improved nerve function.

  3. Restoration of Postural Alignment: Joint restrictions in the lumbar spine and pelvis can disrupt the body's natural alignment, leading to asymmetries and compensatory movement patterns. This can place excessive strain on the muscles and connective tissues, contributing to low back and leg pain. Addressing these restrictions helps restore proper postural alignment, reducing the strain on the musculoskeletal system and promoting more efficient movement.

  4. Enhanced Blood Flow and Healing: Restricted joints can impede the flow of blood to the surrounding tissues, limiting the delivery of essential nutrients and oxygen. By removing these restrictions, blood flow is improved, facilitating the body's natural healing processes. This, in turn, can aid in reducing inflammation, promoting tissue repair, and accelerating the recovery from low back and leg pain

  5. Prevention of Recurring Injuries: When joint restrictions are left unaddressed, individuals may be more prone to recurring low back and leg pain due to ongoing stress on the affected areas. By effectively removing these restrictions, the risk of future injuries and pain flare-ups can be mitigated, allowing individuals to engage in daily activities with reduced discomfort and a decreased likelihood of re-injury.


treating low back pain

Using the Lumbo-Pelvic Algorithm, developed by John deMahy Advanced Rolfer R.N.,DOMPT, I am generally able to resolve or significantly reduce low back and hip pain in about 15-25 minutes. The protocol uses osteopathic assessments and muscle energy techniques to gently and effectively restore normal joint mobility in the low back and pelvis. I am then able to address the soft tissue in a much more precise and effective manner using less force and causing less discomfort for clients.




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