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Back is out but it hurts in the front

Your Pain Pattern,
What Aggravates It,

The Underlying Anatomy
How to Get relief,
and more…

Want to skip ahead?
Here’s a link to my post about
getting relief on your own.

How People Describe This Pain Pattern

People complain of a stiff and/or painful back, but it is most painful near the fold of the hip in the front. They move stiffly and tend to have other back problems. The low back has flattened, sometimes on just one side. As well, they may or may not have back pain that feels sharp and fragile. On the other hand, they may have concern that they will move in a way that makes their back “go out.”

Many of the cases that I’ve seen have already been to a doctor for an ultra-sound or cat scan without notable problems in the radiology report.

The cases that I’ve seen fall into one extreme or the other. They are either young and very athletic or older and notably overweight. Both of these postures create an imbalance between the deep abdominals and the superficial abdominals. On the one hand, studies showed this as being most common in teenage female soccer players with very tight abdominals. As well, I have also seen this in overweight people with a tight, bloated abdomen.

How You Activate and Intensify This Pain Pattern

soccer kick from rockytopsportsworld.com

This is usually one of those problems that stem from a chronic imbalance, which was bumped into an acute condition. The younger, athletic client usually has a very tight, flat abdomen or very extended abdominal muscles from bloating.

If they can associate an activity that started the problem, it pulls the pelvis forward on one side. Clients have reported that this started after activities like kicking a ball, sex, and slipping on ice. In older, overweight clients, this is harder to pinpoint.


The Musculoskeletal Anatomy Behind Your Pain

Anatomy – Throacic Outlet

The anatomy of these structures is important to understand the syndrome. This post walks through the structures one at a time.

Psoas Minor

This muscle is highly variable based on race, gender and even varies from side to side in the same person. You can learn more in this post on the anatomy of psoas minor.

Getting Relief on Your Own

Clinically Proven
Self-Care Strategies

This post has strategies for getting relief on your own. Explore how to change your activities, stretch, and other strategies that relieve the pain associated with this trigger point.

Therapy Notes for Massage and Bodywork

Better Bodywork
Through Shared Expertise

This post has techniques, tips, treatment routines, and anatomy illustrations to improve the bodyworker’s approach.

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Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points, and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

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