– A lot of people come to me and they’re complaining of back pain whether it be low back pain or mid back pain or even sciatica. Some people are experiencing pain that goes down the leg or refers into their feet. And a lot of this can be due to a couple of reasons and I want to go over those reasons. Back pain is very interesting in that we all sort of have this low back, I get a lot of this, my back is spasmy in this area. It really hurts here. And what I’ve found over time in and in my practice and just through speaking with other physicians and doing research is that, a lot of back pain actually comes from the low spine and a muscle called the psoas muscle. So, the psoas muscle attaches here at the low spine and it comes down the front of the hip and attaches to the front of the thigh on the femur, and it allows you to lift your leg. So when you’re sitting all day, your psoas muscle is actually flexed, so it’s in the contracted position. So when you go to stand, you release that contraction and sometimes you’ll feel that back ache. So if you notice when you stand up and you reach back and sort of reach down and you stretch back and gosh, you know that back really hurts, well, the first thing you should think about is how long have you been sitting? And then, think of your psoas muscle. And so this psoas muscle is being contracted all day long. It’s sort of like me flexing my bicep, and don’t laugh at my muscles but, this bicep, if I’m to flex my bicep for four hours, I don’t know long people sit, six to eight hours at their jobs at their desks, so it’s kind of crazy, but if I flex that bicep for that long and then I go and straighten my arm, that’s going to start cramping it’s going to hurt and probably going to have symptoms. So, it’s sort of similar here. And so, the first rule of thumb is to rule out any psoas issues when I’m looking at back pain. The other problematic area for back pain is sciatica, is actually this joint right here. This is the joint between the hip and the sacro. This is the sacroiliac joint, and you can see right here on the model there are a bunch of yellow fibers. This is a representation of nerves that run through here. And like I said, there are nerves that run through and connect down into the sciatic nerve where it pops out below. So, a lot of times people have back pain and they’ll even have hip pain. So you’ll have pain in the front and the back, tight hamstrings, and then pain that shoots down the leg can sometimes be due to this joint right here and this is the sacroiliac joint. So this joint can get rotated forward and rotated backwards, but what happens is there’s actually a ligament right here, and ligaments attach bone to bone so it’s providing structure for the musculoskeletal system. And so when the ligament is compromised, the muscles sort of take over and they get hard and they cramp so if you’ve ever had a muscle spasm, or if you know somebody that’s had back pain, and they feel like there’s a rope in their back, or their muscles feel like steel cables, it’s because the muscle’s cramping to take the place of a compromised ligament. So, nerves feed their way through muscles, they sort of weave through. So if you were to to ever dissect an animal or if you’ve ever butchered an animal or been through an anatomy lab, you’ll know that nerves will feed or weave their way through muscles, so the muscle that’s cramping down is really squeezing these nerves and then that’s resulting in pain in your foot, or it could be pain in your lower leg. And so to look at the SI joint is super important. So, see a naturopath, see a chiropractor, or an osteopath, and they can help you figure out whether or not you have a dysfunctional SI joint. It’s really, really pretty easy if your leg length is different, and it’s not, if it’s not, you know, something that you inherited at birth, then it could be due to this rotation of a hip. So check out your leg lengths. If you’re experiencing hip pain, or experiencing tight hamstrings, or just sort of this general low back pain, then consider SI dysfunction and consider a tight psoas muscle. So foundationally, stretch the psoas muscle. We’re always sitting, right? So this thing is always contracted, this huge muscle. So you can stand up and simply do a runner’s stretch or you can get get on the table, or you can get on the bed or on the floor and do a cobra, just really stretch that front line and get the muscle to lengthen, and give these muscles in the back a little break.