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Back Pain When Bending Forward

bending back pain

By Christine Traxler, MD


Back pain can be one of the most debilitating types of pain you can have. Many wonder what it means when they have back pain when bending forward and what exactly is going on in the back to cause such discomfort. The truth is that back pain when bending over can start at just about anywhere in the spine but it most commonly starts in the lumbar spine. The lumbar spine is the most flexible part of the back and is located in the lower part of the back. It consists of 5 lumbar vertebrae and the sacroiliac area.


The sacroiliac joints

A great deal of back pain can begin in the sacroiliac joints. These are two fixed joints that are actually part of the pelvis. The form the joint that connects the sacrum to the ilium in the pelvis. The ilium is part of the pelvic bones and the sacrum is the fused plate in the middle of the base of the spine.


The sacroiliac joint is supposed to have the ilium and sacrum flush with one another. When it becomes off kilter, you can develop the sudden onset of back pain when bending forward. The pain makes it difficult to walk and is located in the low back area. It generally doesn’t radiate down the leg but is well localized to the area of the low back and buttocks area.


Sacroiliac joint pain tends not to go away on its own. Ice to the affected area can diminish the pain as can taking ibuprofen, naproxen, or even Tylenol. More often than not it takes the skilled hands of a chiropractor to put the sacroiliac joint back in its proper position so that the pain can be relieved.


Herniated lumbar disc

Sometimes you can lift something too heavy and a disc can pop out, resulting back pain when bending over. The disc is the cushion between the bony vertebrae. It is made from a soft gel that cushions the space between the various vertebrae and a fibrous outer ring that keeps the gel in place. When you lift something heavy, you can disrupt the outer ring of the disc so that the gel portion spills out into the spinal canal.


When the disc herniates, you often experience severe back pain that can spread down the back of the leg. The pain is worse when bending or twisting the back but it can be painful simply when sitting or lying down.


Herniated discs are incredibly painful. They can make it difficult to sit, to walk and to bend. Herniated discs cannot be treated by rest alone. Usually it requires some kind of surgery to trim the disc so that it doesn’t interfere with the spinal cord or spinal nerves. After surgery and recovery, you will no longer have back pain when bending forward and will be able to rehabilitate your back.


However, if surgery is determined by a medical professional to not be an option, MDcure may help. MDcure, which delivers PEMF therapy, relieves low back pain and muscular aches, decreases inflammation and promotes healing when used as directed. Check out what clinicians and patients have to say by going to:


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Advisory: The contents of the MDcure website and blog are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. When a third-party source is referenced, the recommendations and/or opinions expressed are those of the author’s. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition and before starting or stopping any exercise program. Reliance on information provided by Aerotel is solely at your discretion. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately!

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