Many recovery plans in lower back pain focus on muscle that is in spasm: relaxing it, stretching it and prescribing exercise regimens to strengthen the weak muscles opposing the spasm. Applied Kinesiology diagnostic techniques identify and quickly correct the weak muscle that precipitates the spasm. Once the weakness is identified, the doctor can administer chiropractic adjustments, muscle and ligament massage and manual therapies, treat the indicated acupuncture meridians, and recommend case-specific nutritional support; these are intended to strengthen the weak muscle immediately and with change that can often be demonstrated and you can feel in a single treatment.
The position or activity that is the most painful can give a big clue as to what muscles are weakened and what muscles are in spasm. Lower back pain can often be qualified as “can’t sit down,” “can’t stand up or walk,” or the ever popular “I’m crooked.” The weak muscle or muscle group is usually the one that engages the painful motion or activity: The spinal extensor muscles (i.e. in the back of the body) and hip extensor muscles (back of the hip) are usually found to be weak with back pain that is worse with standing or lying down, and the spinal flexor muscles (i.e. abdominal muscles and front of the hip muscles) are found more with pain that is worse with sitting. The patient who looks crooked from side to side usually has flexor and extensor muscle weakness on one side. When adjusting the spine, some spinal segments will need to be flexed and some need extension. These vectors can be combined with gentle rotation to restore full range of motion with decreased pain in the low back.
The lower back has a significant relationship with the intestines, the kidneys, and the adrenals. It is always advisable to treat these systems for any functional issues that are identified to support the structural corrections on a deeper level and prevent re-injury. The need for support on this level can be identified with the health history, the physical examination, and applied kinesiology muscle testing by a trained practitioner.
Passive Spinal Extension
This is called a Mackenzie stretch, useful for people rehabilitating a spine that needs extension. It is indicated when the lumbar extensor muscles are weak, and the hip flexors (psoas) are too tight.
Passive Spinal Flexion
This is useful for people rehabilitating a spine that needs flexion, when the abdominals and hip flexors are weak and the lumbar extensor muscles are too tight.