CAUSES OF BODY STRESS
jarring effect of accidents and falls may cause body stress to
become locked into the lower back. Also, heavy or incorrect
lifting or bending may strain ligaments and muscles and result in
stress becoming stored in the structures. The wrong kinds of
exercise - those which involve twisting movements or repeated
forward bending - may stress the lumbar spine. Another cause
is poor posture, especially sitting in a slumped position which
reverses the normal lumbar curve.
like this may give temporary relief from back pain, as it causes
the joint spaces to open up at the back and thus reduce pressure
on spinal nerves for a short time. However, this posture
builds up pressure on the discs and in time the back walls of the
discs may weaken and develop a bulge. This would result in
pressure being exerted on a spinal nerve.
STRUCTURE OF THE LOWER BACK
spine of the lower back has five lumbar vertebrae and below these
the sacrum, a triangular-shaped bone which fits between the bones
of the pelvis with a sacro-illiac joint on each side. The
coccyx is a small tail-like bone below the sacrum.
bodies of the vertebrae are bound together by the intervertebral
discs. These discs with their tough outer rim of cartilage
and jelly-like core serve as shock-absorbers, and are shaped to
give the lumbar spine its natural forward curve. The
vertebrae form a bony canal containing the spinal cord. The
spinal nerves exit from the cord through openings between the
vertebrae, and supply the skin and muscles of the legs and feet,
the lower abdomen and groin areas. Branches from these
nerves also lead to the internal organs, such as the digestive,
reproductive and urinary systems.
EFFECTS OF BODY STRESS
to the spinal nerves of the lower back may result in back pain and
this may be referred along the nerve pathways into the abdomen,
groin, hips, legs or feet. Often pain is felt along the
large sciatic nerve which passes through the buttock and down the
back of the leg. There may also be sensations of numbness in
any of these areas. Muscle function may be affected,
resulting in stiffness or weakness. The compression effect
in the lower back may be so severe that the back muscles lock up
in a protective spasm, pulling the spine sideways or forwards.
body stress remains stored in the lower back, the irritation to
the nerves may undermine or disturb the normal functioning of the
areas and organs they supply. Thus body stress may lead to
digestive problems, e.g. constipation/diarrhea, bladder complaints
and may adversely affect sexual function.
a person may not be aware of the body stress in the lower back
other than feeling stiffness on arising in the morning.
After BSR a person may be pain-free for a period, then experience
a return of the problem for no apparent reason. This signals
that the lower back is ready to undergo further deeper releases of
the body stress has been present in the lower back for a long time
(the cause may have originated in childhood), it may be necessary
for the stored tension to be released in "layers" over a
period of time.
the foundation of the spine the lower back area affects the
stability of the rest of the spine. Therefore, if body
stress is stored in the lumbar area, muscular tension will be
referred to the upper back and neck.
48 year old man was experiencing such intense calf pain that he
was unable to walk. He was not aware of any pain in his
lower back. A week of traction in hospital had not eased the
problem. After the first BSR session the lower back become
very painful as feeling was restored to numbed nerves. The
calf pain was unchanged. After the second session three days
later the pain withdrew from the calves and was felt in the hips
and lower back. After further releases 5 days later, the
pain in the lower back began to lessen. The final
session was 3 days after that. Within two weeks the client
was pain-free and was able to return to work.
several years a 15 year old boy had experienced the embarrassment
of frequent bed-wetting, as well as intermittent lower back
pain. After three sessions, in which pressure was released
in the lumbar spine, he had no further bladder problems. The
bed-wetting recurred a year later after a heavy fall at rugby, but
cleared up once more after two sessions of BSR.
31 year old woman had walked with one foot rotated outwards, ever since a
motor accident in her teens. She frequently woke with her
lower back in a painful spasm. She underwent regular BSR
over a period of 3 months. Her foot was restored to its
normal position and her buttock muscles, which had been wasted,
TO MINIMISE STRESS IN THE LOWER BACK
bending down, bend your knees rather than bending at the waist.
lifting, use the thigh muscles to take the strain. Hold the
object close to the body and avoid twisting.
sitting, ensure that the lumbar curve is maintained and that the
knees are level with or lower than the hips. Do not sit with
the feet up or recline for a long period in the bath.
exercises which reverse or strain the lumbar curve, e.g.
toe-touching, sit-ups, double leg raisers.
a few minutes to do the daily morning exercise which your BSR
practitioner recommends, in order to strengthen the lower back and
mattress should be neither too hard nor too soft. It should
support the normal hollow of the lower back.