Mechanical Low Back Pain

Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for a patient to visit a doctor and is experienced by over 80% of people in their lives.

LBP is an incredibly diverse topic with many causes including sprains and strains, joint related-pain, fractures, disc injuries, disc herniation, sciatica, sacroiliac joint pain, and other causes.

The Lower Back

The lower back has been identified as a particularly vulnerable area for discomfort since it supports the entire weight of the upper body.

There are a variety of factors attributed to the cause of LBP including poor posture, weak core stabilizers, stress, pregnancy, compression of nerve roots, bone or joint disease and many others. This can lead to joint or nerve irritation, muscle spasm, disc bulges and spinal degeneration.

Although patients often attribute the onset of their back pain to a specific injury, more often the injury is quite trivial, like bending over or twisting. This is because much of the time onset of low-back pain represents the cumulative trauma over month or even many years.

Understanding Mechanical Low Back Pain

backpain spineLow back pain can be characterized dichotomously into mechanical or non-mechanical back pain. The difference between these two indicate the origin of the problem – whether it’s from the muscles, joints, ligaments, nerves or discs, of the lumbar spine (mechanical), or from other pathology such as infection, cancer, inflammatory arthritis or other non-mechanical causes. The distinction helps identify cases that would be appropriately treated by a chiropractor or another therapist.

So if low back pain is mostly due to cumulative trauma, does that mean it’s most often mechanical? Ninety-seven percent of back pain problems are mechanical in origin – meaning there’s something wrong with the muscles, ligaments, or connective tissue. Even a herniated disk is a mechanical cause.


Treatment for low back pain depends on the cause and may include any or all of the following: Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, Acupuncture, Targeted Soft Tissue Therapy, and Functional Rehabilitation.

At OHP Kelowna, our treatment approach is initially aimed at decreasing pain, reducing inflammation and muscle spasm, and restoring normal motion to the joints of the spine and pelvis.

Subsequently, the goals of treatment are to correct any muscular imbalances that may be contributing to the altered biomechanics, improve core stability, restore appropriate balance to the back, core and pelvic muscles and focus on lifting and sitting posture.