Back pain

It stops you from sleeping, running, lifting, driving and more. Back pain is among the most disabling types of pain. Médicus breaks down this broad subject by presenting four frequent sources of back pain and, of course, ways to find relief.

Why does your back hurt?

From couch potato to elite athlete, child to senior—no one is immune to back pain. It can result from a false move, accident, fall or any other trauma. It can also be due to poor posture or biomechanical misalignment.


Back pain: Why act quickly?

With back pain, your body is trying to tell you something is wrong. Listen to it!

Avoid complications

Back pain is often caused by misalignment of the lower limbs, a condition that is fairly treatable with good orthoses. However, if nothing is done, damage to the spine can become permanent. Here are some examples:

  • A sciatic nerve that is compressed for too long can become damaged and lead to significant motor problems such as weakness or paralysis of the foot.
  • Chronic pain can develop, preventing you from moving the back properly. The muscles become weaker and provide less support for the spine, leading to further pain.
  • Pain may indicate a more serious condition that needs to be identified early, such as cancer, rheumatism, infection, fracture, osteoporosis, etc.

Reclaim and maintain your quality of life

The sooner you take action to correct your back pain, the sooner you’ll get back to moving freely and doing the activities you enjoy. Nothing beats prevention for sustaining the benefits of treating back pain.

Follow through with treatment

For example, if you have foot orthoses, wear them as often as recommended by the orthotist.

Maintain flexibility and muscle strength

For good mobility and to avoid a hunched back later in life.

Create an ergonomic workstation

Adopt the recommended postures when working on the computer, speaking on the phone or checking your cellphone.

Lift loads the right way

By bending the knees rather than straining with your back.


The first step in addressing back pain is to identify the source to determine the appropriate treatment. Symptoms are a good clue as to the cause of the pain—so pay attention to them. Do you feel diffuse pain in the lower back, tightness, sharp pain? Below we describe four major causes of back pain.

Sciatic nerve involvement

The sciatic nerve runs through the body from the spine to the feet. When it is compressed, you feel pain in your back and legs, even down to your toes. A herniated disc is often the source of this nerve compression.

The discomfort is experienced as tingling, numbness and even loss of feeling in the legs. [Learn more…]


Leg axis deviation

The human body is a whole. A limb alignment problem therefore affects other body parts and joints in a chain effect. For example, a flat foot causes misalignment of the leg axis from the foot to the lumbar (lower back) region.

Deviations are not always visible to the naked eye, so a postural assessment must be performed and careful attention paid to the symptoms and location of the pain. Misalignment can come from the pelvis, feet or knees (genu valgum, varum, flexum or recurvatum). [Learn more…]


Leg length inequality

Can a person have one leg that’s shorter than the other? The answer is yes. This condition can occur from birth, but sometimes it’s just a feeling caused by a misaligned pelvis when the legs are actually the same length.

Whether leg length inequality has been present since birth or is caused by the pelvic axis, it often leads to back pain. [Learn more…]



Lumbago, or low back pain, is one of the most frequent reasons for medical consultation. It corresponds to inflammation in the lumbar region caused by damage to the vertebrae, muscles, ligaments or cartilage. [Learn more…]

The type of low back pain depends on the cause. It can occur due to trauma or structural degeneration of the vertebrae, muscles, ligaments or cartilage, for example. It is often more pronounced early in the day and fades with movement and stretching. Pain is described as:

  • Moderate or acute
  • Occasional or chronic
  • Deep or superficial
  • Stabbing, precise or diffuse

If your back pain persists or you are unable to determine the cause, it is strongly recommended that you seek medical attention. Since biomechanical alignment problems often cause back pain, consider having your posture assessed by a specialist at Médicus.

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