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Sharp Lower Back Pain Cant’ Stand Up Straight Without Pain

Sharp pain in the lower back when you’re getting out of a chair and standing up straight can take your breath away and make you freeze, but what is actually happening and what should you be doing to avoid this terrible pain?

The first thing to point out would be, that in most cases it’s the actions that are preceding the standing up that are the problem. Getting out of a chair is a really common one only as it is one of those activities that is clearly going from a seating to standing position.

If we run with this example of getting out of a chair, we can start to understand why the pain is coming on and what we can do to help avoid this sharp stabbing pain every time we stand up.

This starts off before we even sit in the chair. You have a lower back injury, it’s not healed yet and there are processes in place that stimulate inflammatory build up, just like in any other injury. The issue here is that we have a bony canal or “finite space” within which the inflammation will build up.

As you are sitting down, the bony canal we referred to earlier enlarges, especially if we are sitting in a slouched position, with the lower back rounded. This is tricky, mainly because the action of sitting like this & enlarging the space might actually be relieving in itself. The result here is that we fall into a trap.

The rounded position in the lower back is likely stressing the very tissues that were trying to heal by pulling them apart again, coupled with the warming effect we will experience as our back is contacted by the seat we excite or increase the inflammatory build up.

Thinking back to that enlarged space – the bony canal, it now is filling up with inflammation although there is more than usual room here the inflammatory build up of fluid doesn’t cause anything more than perhaps a mild discomfort – nothing to worry about.

This brings us full circle to the moment we go to stand back up, in so doing the stretched structures mentioned earlier, the ones trying to heal, are now loaded more as we lean further forward to get out of the chair. This provides one last bit of pressure on those tissues before we go to return to upright posture.

As you stand back up those enlarged holes now start to shrink back to their normal size as the spine starts to return to normal and natural alignment. In doing so the extra fluid in the bony canal is compressed along with the nerves and other structures in the region. Finally the pressure reaches a certain level and there we have it, the sharp pain shoots into your back or perhaps down your leg too.

Fundamentally this process is a uncontrolled build up of fluid in a temporarily enlarged bony hole in the lower back. A hole that has nerves and other soft tissues in it. When the hole, with more fluid in it, is returned to its normal size, inevitably there is a short period of time where the pressure irritates the nerves giving that sharp, often shooting, pain in your lower back.

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