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Lower back pain: Causes & how to relieve it

Experiencing a dull, persistent ache on your lower back? Read on and discover lower back pain management with chiropractic adjustments and other techniques.


Lower back pain is a common ailment that can put a real damper on your daily life. Whether it’s a dull, persistent ache or a sharp, sudden twinge, the discomfort can be quite debilitating. The good news is that you don’t always need medication to find relief. Let’s explore the causes of lower back pain, why it often worsens when you bend over, and an array of non-medication solutions to help you find comfort and regain your mobility. Whether you’re seeking exercises and stretches or considering the benefits of chiropractic care, we’ve got you covered with practical advice to put you on the path to a pain-free lower back.

lower back pain

What is lower back pain?

What are common symptoms of lower back pain?

Lower back pain refers to discomfort or pain in the area of the back located below the ribcage and above the hips. This region of the spine is known as the lumbar spine, and it consists of five vertebrae (L1 to L5) that support much of the body’s weight and allow for various movements. Lower back pain can range from a mild, dull ache to severe, sharp discomfort, and it can be acute (lasting a few days to a few weeks) or chronic (lasting more than three months).

The common symptoms are:

A persistent, low-level discomfort or ache in the lower back is a common symptom of mild to moderate lower back pain. It can range from mild to moderately painful and may be constant or intermittent.

Sharp or shooting pains are often associated with acute lower back pain. These sudden, intense pains can be triggered by movements or certain positions and may radiate down the leg, which can be a sign of conditions like sciatica.

Lower back stiffness can make it challenging to move and may result from muscle tension or inflammatory conditions. It often accompanies lower back pain, especially in the morning or after prolonged periods of inactivity.

Muscle spasms in the lower back are involuntary contractions of the muscles, which can be painful and limit movement. They are often a protective response to injury or strain.

Lower back pain may be accompanied by numbness, tingling, or a pins-and-needles sensation in the lower back, buttocks, or legs, particularly in cases of nerve compression.

Pain and stiffness can restrict your ability to bend, twist, or perform various movements involving the lower back, which can be a noticeable symptom of lower back pain.

If lower back pain persists for three months or longer, it is typically considered chronic. Chronic lower back pain may have underlying causes like degenerative conditions or ongoing inflammation.

Remember that lower back pain symptoms can vary depending on the cause and individual circumstances. It’s essential to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate care plan, especially if you experience persistent or severe symptoms.

Am i at risk of lower back pain?

What are the causes of lower back pain?

Understanding the root causes of your lower back pain is the first step in addressing it. Let’s delve into some common culprits:

sitting too long lower back pain before chiropractic care at Chiropractic Singapore

Sitting too long​

In our modern, tech-driven world, many of us spend hours glued to our chairs, be it at a desk, in front of a computer, or during long commutes. Prolonged sitting can strain your lower back and lead to discomfort. The lack of movement causes your muscles to weaken and, over time, may result in chronic pain.

standing too long lower back pain before chiropractic care at Chiropractic Singapore

Standing too long​​

On the flip side, standing for extended periods can also take its toll on your lower back. If your job requires you to stand all day, you may experience pain due to the constant pressure on your lumbar region. Moreover, poor posture while standing can exacerbate the issue.

Bad sleeping position lower back pain before chiropractic care at Chiropractic Singapore

Wrong sleeping position

The way you sleep can significantly impact your lower back health. Sleeping in awkward positions or on a mattress that doesn't provide adequate support can lead to discomfort and stiffness upon waking. If you find yourself tossing and turning during the night, it's time to reconsider your sleeping habits.

pregnant lower back pain before chiropractic care at Chiropractic Singapore


Pregnancy is a beautiful journey, but it can come with its fair share of discomfort, including lower back pain. The added weight and the body's changing posture during pregnancy can put extra strain on your lumbar region. Hormonal changes can also loosen ligaments and lead to instability in the lower back.

It hurts when I bend over to lift things

Why do I get lower back pain when bending over?

Bending over can often exacerbate lower back pain, and there are several reasons why this happens. Here are a few key factors to consider:

  • Muscle spasms: Caused by dehydration, lack of blood flow, nerve compression and muscle overuse, muscle spasms can lead to discomfort in the lower back when bending over or when lifting something.
  • Muscle strain: When you bend over, especially if it’s a sudden or forceful movement, you can strain the muscles in your lower back. This can lead to pain and discomfort.
  • Herniated discs: Bending over can put pressure on your intervertebral discs. If one of these discs herniates or ruptures, it can compress nearby nerves, causing sharp, shooting pain in your lower back.
  • Poor posture: Your posture while bending over matters. If you’re hunched or slouched, it can increase the stress on your lower back. Maintaining proper alignment while bending is crucial to prevent pain.
  • Degenerative conditions: In some cases, bending over can exacerbate the symptoms of degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis or spinal stenosis, leading to lower back pain.
  • Spondylolisthesis: A condition where there is a small, thin section of the vertebra that acts as a bridge between the upper and lower facet joints, which has experienced a stress fracture or crack.
  • Arthritis: Your joints are shielded by cartilage, and when this cartilage breaks down, it can result in discomfort and limited mobility. If you’re currently dealing with lower back pain, it could be indicative of ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis that leads to the fusion of spinal vertebrae.

How to relieve lower back pain

Sometimes, the simplest remedy is the most effective. If you’ve recently strained your back or are experiencing acute pain, resting and giving your body time to heal is essential. However, it’s important not to overdo it with rest, as excessive inactivity can weaken your muscles and lead to more pain in the long run.

Applying heat or cold to your lower back can offer quick relief. Cold packs can help reduce inflammation and numb the area, while heat packs or warm baths can relax tight muscles. Experiment with both to see which works best for you.

Regular stretching and strengthening exercises can help alleviate lower back pain by improving the flexibility and strength of your core muscles. Exercises like yoga and Pilates are excellent choices for maintaining a healthy back.

If your lower back pain is associated with prolonged sitting, consider making ergonomic changes to your workspace. Adjust your chair, desk, and computer setup to ensure proper posture and back support. Take frequent breaks to stand up, stretch, and walk around.

Poor posture is a common contributor to lower back pain. Be mindful of your posture, whether you’re sitting, standing, or walking. Practice good posture by keeping your spine in a neutral, natural position, and use supportive chairs and cushions if needed.

A soothing massage can provide relief by loosening tense muscles and increasing blood flow to the affected area. Whether it’s a professional massage or a gentle self-massage with a foam roller, the hands-on approach can work wonders for back pain.

Acupuncture is an alternative therapy that involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body to alleviate pain and promote healing. Many people find relief from lower back pain through acupuncture sessions.

Chiropractic care involves the manipulation of the spine and other joints to alleviate pain and improve overall health. Many individuals with lower back pain have experienced significant relief through chiropractic adjustments.

CHIROPRACTIC FOR lower back pain

Should I see a chiropractor for lower back pain?

spinal x ray analysis
pain relief with chiropractic singapore

Chiropractic care is a viable option for those seeking non-medication solutions for lower back pain. Chiropractors are healthcare professionals who specialise in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal conditions, including lower back pain. They use hands-on techniques to adjust the spine and other joints to alleviate pain and improve overall spinal health.

If you’re experiencing chronic or recurrent lower back pain, seeing a chiropractor can be beneficial. Chiropractic care can help with a range of lower back issues, including muscle strains, herniated discs, and misaligned vertebrae. Chiropractors focus on identifying the root cause of your pain and providing targeted adjustments to address it.

How many chiropractic sessions do I need for lower back pain?

The number of chiropractic sessions you’ll need for lower back pain can vary widely based on several factors, including the severity and underlying cause of your pain. In general, chiropractic treatment plans may involve an initial phase of more frequent sessions followed by a maintenance phase. Here’s what to expect:

During the initial phase of chiropractic care, you may need to visit your chiropractor 2-3 times per week for several weeks. The goal is to reduce pain, restore proper spinal alignment, and improve function. The frequency and duration will depend on your individual condition and how your body responds to treatment.

As your pain and symptoms improve, the frequency of your chiropractic visits will typically decrease. You might visit once a week or once every two weeks during this phase.

After your lower back pain is well-managed, your chiropractor may recommend occasional visits for maintenance. These visits can help prevent future issues and keep your spine in good health. You might see your chiropractor once a month or less frequently, depending on your specific needs.

It's important to note that chiropractic care is often most effective when combined with other self-care strategies, such as exercise, stretching, and maintaining good posture.

What are some chiropractic adjustment techniques used for lower back pain management?

Chiropractors use a variety of adjustment techniques to manage lower back pain and improve spinal health. Here are some common chiropractic adjustment techniques that may be employed:

snapping hip relief and adjustment with chiropractic singaporeThis is the most well-known chiropractic technique. It involves the chiropractor using their hands to apply controlled force to a specific joint in the spine. The goal is to restore proper alignment, reduce pain, and improve function.​

The Activator Method uses a handheld instrument that delivers a gentle, targeted impulse to adjust the spine. It’s often used when a more gentle approach is needed or preferred.

pain relief with chiropractic singaporeThis technique involves a specially designed table that allows the chiropractor to gently traction the spine. It’s effective for conditions like disc herniations or spinal stenosis.

Spinal x-ray for Chiropractic careThe Gonstead technique is a specific approach that involves a thorough analysis of the spine, followed by precise manual adjustments. It’s known for its focus on the biomechanics of the spine.

spine model cordSOT focuses on the relationship between the sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of the spine) and the skull. It uses gentle, low-force methods to restore balance to the spine.

It’s important to have an initial consultation with a chiropractor to determine the most appropriate technique for your specific condition. Chiropractors tailor their approach to the individual, taking into account your medical history, current symptoms, and any existing conditions.

Note: The above information is not a substitute for a diagnosis or any form of medical care. Symptoms and treatments differ from person to person, and one should consult a chiropractor or a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis and recommendation.

Best practices for those with lower back pain

What are the best sleeping positions to relieve lower back pain?​

Sleep is a crucial time for your body to heal and repair itself, so it’s important to find a sleeping position that minimises stress on your lower back. Here are some recommended sleeping positions:

On your back with a pillow under your knees

This position maintains the natural curve of your spine and provides support to your lower back. Placing a pillow under your knees can further alleviate pressure on your lumbar region.

In a foetal position

Curling up in a foetal position can be comfortable for some people. Place a pillow between your knees to prevent your spine from twisting too much.

On your side with knees slightly bent

If you prefer sleeping on your side, bring your knees towards your chest and ensure your spine is in a neutral position. A supportive pillow can help maintain proper alignment.

Avoid sleeping on your stomach

Sleeping on your stomach can strain your neck and lower back, as it forces your spine into an unnatural position. If you can't avoid this position, try placing a pillow under your pelvis to provide some support.

It's crucial to keep in mind that individual preferences and conditions can vary greatly from person to person, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution. So, feel encouraged to experiment and adapt, and be patient with the process of discovering what truly works best for you.

What are some exercises or stretches for lower back pain?

Regular exercise and stretching can be effective in managing and preventing lower back pain. Here are some exercises and stretches that can help:
cat-cow stretch for lower back pain relief

Cat-Cow Stretch

Start on your hands and knees, arch your back like a cat, and then arch it in the opposite direction like a cow. This dynamic stretch helps improve flexibility and mobility in your spine.

child's pose for lower back pain relief

Child's pose

Sit on your heels with your knees apart, then lean forward and extend your arms. This stretch can provide relief by lengthening the lower back and relieving tension.

pelvic tilts for lower back pain relief

Pelvic tilts

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Gently tilt your pelvis up and down to engage your core muscles and promote lower back flexibility.

partial crunches for lower back pain relief

Partial crunches

Lie on your back with knees bent and hands behind your head. Raise your shoulders off the floor, engaging your abdominal muscles, but avoid using your neck. This exercise strengthens your core, which can help support your lower back.

knees to chest stretch for lower back pain relief

Knee-to-chest stretch

Lie on your back with your legs extended. Bring one knee to your chest while keeping the other leg straight. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, then switch sides. This exercise can alleviate lower back pain by stretching and loosening your muscles.

bridges for lower back pain relief


Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the ground to create a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. This exercise strengthens your glutes and lower back muscles.