Blocked lumbar spine (Houser), Acute back pain, inflammation of the sitting nerve

Did it ever happen to you that you wanted to bend down for something, lift a heavier object from the ground, or you played with your children and you didn't watch out for how you got up? Perhaps you have just caused yourself a blockage also commonly known as „lumbago”.


Sudden increase in muscle tension in the area of lumbar spine is usually caused by incorrect movement or position. Most commonly it is caused by bending movement with a rotation of the trunk, or when lifting a heavy object. The activation of the big lumbar muscles and excessive physical force affect the position of the vertebrae, which consequently rotates the vertebra against each other, which then leads to blockage of the intervertebral joints. With a repeated blockage, the situation can result in herniated intervertebral disc, which gets consequently dry, thinner, and it loses its function to dampen the impacts during walking, running, etc. The space between the the spinal cord and nerve roots is getting narrower as well. Because of the mechanic irritation of the spinal cord, the pain shoots to the sides and legs. Every nerve root has a specific area where it manifests, disorder of sensing, muscle strength and so on. Given the fact that the pain appears suddenly during an incorrect movement or rigid position, it is more of an injury. On the other hand, person who already felt this kind of pain will have a tendency to it in future as well: we can therefore talk about it as a disease.


Just as significant is the effect of temperature fluctuation and direction of the wind, which can trigger the acute pain. People describe that they got cold during sport when wind blew against them, when they were warmed up and sweating.

Long-term irritation of the nerve root can lead to irritation of the sitting nerve. Pain typically shoots through the inner or backside of the thigh all the way to the foot, and it gets only worse when you bend forward, or cough or sneeze.


The main symptom of the acute blockage of lumbar spine is a strong sharp pain in the lumbar or sacral area. Crippling pain significantly restricts any movement. Patient holds his back in a rigid position - usually in a slight bow, alternatively in a bow combined with bending of the trunk to the side. Sneezing or coughing is followed by strong pain, which is typical for damaged intervertebral disc.

Pain can also fade away while moving (walking), but after a longer time in a certain position (sitting, laying, standing) the pain becomes more significant.


Muscles that are in a painful contraction, fix the blocked vertebrae. The most effective and fastest tool to relieve these spasm is to apply shock wave. It improves the blood circulation in the given area, lowers the muscle tension and relieves you from pain in a short amount of time. Relieving the muscle tension will enable us to relief more easily and faster the blocked position of the lumbar vertebrae by using manual relaxing techniques and mobilization. The effect can be prolonged by application of the functional tape (elastic cotton band). The whole treatment is oriented on restoring the muscle balance and recovering the optimal function of the musculoskeletal system. We developed this process on the basis of our clinical experience and called it Physiotherapy All-Inclusive. It is important to pay attention even during an active exercising, which strengthens the weaker muscles and relieves the overloaded ones, and at the same time it will help to return the herniated intervertebral disc back to its original position. In order for the condition to not occur again, it is important to learn how to safely lift up heavy objects and learn the correct movement stereotypes.

Diagnosis of the lumbar spineFlexing the backRotating the spinemobilization of the 12 ribTraction of the lumbar spine Mobilizing the lowerback


Acute back pain is dealt with in two medical fields - orthopedics and neurology. Doctors can do X-ray examinations in the acute phase, but that will reveal only the condition of the bones, for example osteoporosis or bone fractures. The quality of the soft tissues (nerve roots, joint cartilage, intervertebral discs, ligaments and joint capsules) is much better visible on the MRI (magnetic resonance). Neurologist will usually perform neurological examination with neurological hammer, etc… Both doctors will prescribe you pharmaceutical products for lowering the pain (analgesics) or for relieving the muscle tension (muscles relaxants) in a form of creams, gels, pills or solutions for injection or transfusion. This type of treatment only offers short lasting relief, because it doesn't deal with the cause of the pain.


Author: FYZIOklinika physiotherapy Ltd., Prague, Czech Republic
Source: Clinical experience from a private practice in a physiotherapeutic field, FYZIOklinika

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