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Did you know that more than 80 percent of the population deals with lower back pain?

Think about it: so much of what we do on a daily basis, whether it’s moving or sitting, involves the back. Humans are constantly twisting, sitting, reaching, and lifting. There’s no wonder so many people suffer from lower back pain!

Now, does that mean a bad back is inevitable? Not exactly.

While some conditions might be out of your control, a bulk of back injuries can be avoided by exercising and moving properly.

Sure, lower back pain can be brought on by serious injuries. But they’re often the result of a muscular imbalance somewhere else in the body. Fellas – here are a few common imbalances that could be contributing to your pain.

Tight hips

If you work a desk job (or haven’t stretched since high school gym class), chances are your hips are tight. That’s because you’re sitting for at least eight hours every day– and this doesn’t even include the time you’re sitting in the car or relaxing on the couch! This type of position creates an anterior pull on the pelvis (a pelvic tilt), which inhibits your glutes’ ability to contract. A pelvic tilt often leads to a strain on your back, which reactively causes pain.

The good news, however, is that this tightness can usually be corrected with the use of a foam roller, or even by practicing the “couch stretch.”

TFL trigger points

Are you a runner? Ever get that weird tightness on the side of your leg near the hip bone? That’s your tensor fascia latae, otherwise known as your TFL. A tight TFL can lead to pain in numerous areas, especially the lower back, because it’s a hip stabilizer.

By this point, you’re most likely aware that the hips and the lower back are two peas in a pod. To avoid a painful lower back, you must do all you can to keep those hips open and healthy. The TFL balances our pelvis any time we move on our two feet, so keeping that muscle loose is essential. Much like with the hips, you can release the TFL with a foam roller, but keep in mind: this area is extremely tender. It will hurt the first time or two.

Sciatica and piriformis syndrome

If you’ve ever had any back pain that also involved numbness in one of your legs, you may have experienced an episode with sciatica. Piriformis syndrome is a very similar issue in that they both involve muscles compressing the SI joint, but the two are treated very differently.

The symptoms caused by both conditions can be alleviated with the use of a foam roller or through different stretches. Sometimes the pain even goes away on its own.

However, if the numbness persists for more than a few days, you should see a doctor immediately to confirm you do not have a herniated disk.


Stress is not an imbalance, but rather one of those issues that never seems like a big deal until it causes people to break—literally.

Stress can sometimes be even worse for men because they’ve been shown to respond to stress by both mentally and physically shutting down. They withdraw socially, which can lead to bad habits like poor sleep patterns, a bad diet, and less exercise. All of these can contribute to low back pain because your body needs good nutrition to function at optimally. Stress also tenses your muscles, which can lead to unwanted strain on the lower back.

Sleeping position

Hitting the sack might make you feel like you’ve been hit by a sack.

Humans spend roughly one-third of their lives sleeping. If sitting for eight hours every day causes people so many problems, why would sleeping in a bad position for the same amount of time be any different?

The big thing to know when it comes to sleep and back pain is that sleeping on your stomach is a big no-no. Your spine bends and loses support when forced into that position, which makes it irritable the following day. And while guys do tend to snore more than women, and sleeping on your stomach can surely help with that problem, your back will pay the price.

Similarly, sleeping on your back can also be an issue when there is no knee support and your spine isn’t properly aligned, so your best bet is to either sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees or to make sure you have knee support while sleeping on your back.

There are so many different contributors to back pain, and it can seem impossible to find the one causing you trouble. Still, that doesn’t mean you should give up. Try and see if some of your symptoms might match the ones above, and if so, find a solution that works. Your back – and your body – will be better for it. Please do not hesitate to see a doctor if your back pain persists.

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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To best serve your individual needs, please choose from the following options:

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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