Lower Back Pain

Andrea Mohrle, MSPT, JSCC Release! Manual Therapy
Olympia, Washington


Lower back pain is an extremely common complaint. Sources state that about 80% of people are affected at some time in their lives by lower back pain. It is usually experienced in the area between the lower ribs and the hips and can be dull and achy or sharp. It can present in a small, specific location or in a larger, more diffuse area, and can also radiate up the back, forward into the abdomen or groin, and into one or both legs. Symptoms such as tingling, numbness or weakness may also be associated with low back pain.There are many causes of low back pain. Common culprits include the following:Traumatic injury, such as falling off a ladder or motor vehicle accidentSprains and/or strains from heavy and/or repetitive lifting, twisting, pushing, pulling, etc.Postural strain, often due to compromised posture used over time during a variety of activitiesDegeneration of the spine and/or discs (also referred to as stenosis, degenerative disc or joint disease, herniated disc, etc.)Often the pain is attributed to a strain of the muscles and ligaments around the spine, a compression of a nerve within the spinal canal or as it leaves the spine, and degeneration of the bones and discs that make up the spine. However, there are also other structures that can cause symptoms such as pain in this area.



Organs such as the intestines (small or large), kidneys, and bladder, including the ligaments that support them, can spasm in response to injury (traumatic or repetitive use) and chemical irritation (inflammation). The same goes for associated structures such as arteries, veins and nerves. This will cause symptoms such as pain, limited movement, numbness/tingling, and others that are usually associated with the musculo-skeletal system and nerve compression. It is therefore important to assess these structures and their potential contribution to your symptoms for treatment to be effective.


Fascial Counterstrain assesses tissues within each of these systems (musculo-skeletal, neural, visceral, arterial, lymphatic-venous) for their level of involvement and treatment is sequenced accordingly. With the release of protective spasms within the involved tissues in each of the systems, treatment is more effective than if only one or two systems were to be addressed. This results in reduced swelling, improved circulation, improved mobility, and reduction of pain with associated symptoms. This multisystem approach to treatment produces lasting results.