Unraveling the Mystery of Lower Back Pain: Causes, Recovery, and the Role of Neu Release™ Massage

Lower Back Pain is a common problem, but can arise from different causes. It’s crucial to understand what’s causing the Lower Back Pain, Tension, and Soreness, to find the right path to recovery for you.

The Aching Back Dilemma

Lower back pain can be an agonizing experience that affects people of all walks of life. The reasons behind this discomfort vary depending on a multitude of factors, such as age, body type, and activity level. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the diverse causes of lower back pain, from muscular tension to more severe underlying conditions.

Muscular Tension: The Most Common Culprit

The most frequent reason for lower back pain is the tightening of muscles in the lower back and hips. These muscles can become tight due to various factors, leading to constant tension that worsens over time. Muscular tension in the lower back and hips can be a significant source of discomfort, often starting with tension in the hip muscles and extending into the quadratus lumborum (QL) and paraspinal muscles of the lower back.

Hip Tension

This tension in the hips can stem from a variety of factors, including prolonged sitting, poor posture, or strenuous use of these muscles during physical activities. As the hip muscles tighten, they can disrupt the natural alignment of the pelvis, which sets off a chain reaction of discomfort and pain.

Tight muscles of the hips can even create Sciatica-like symptoms. When the piriformis muscle of the hip gets too tight, it can compress the Sciatic nerve. This will create pain in the lower back and even run down the back of the hip and leg. In these cases, the Sciatica is coming from the tight hip muscles, an extremely common condition.

Tight Muscles of the Lower Back

The quadratus lumborum (QL) muscles, located on both sides of the lower back, play a crucial role in stabilizing the lumbar spine and pelvis. When tension in the hips pulls on these muscles, it can result in imbalances in the lower back’s musculature and alignment. This imbalance can lead to discomfort and pain as the QL muscles struggle to maintain stability and support for the spine.

Furthermore, the tension often extends into the paraspinal muscles, which run alongside the spine. These muscles can become tight and knotted due to the stress and strain caused by the altered pelvic alignment and the QL’s attempts to compensate. As the paraspinal muscles contract and spasm, they can pinch nerves, limit range of motion, and generate a persistent ache, dull soreness, or sharp pain in the lower back. The interconnectedness of these muscle groups underscores how tension in the hips can have a cascading effect, ultimately contributing to discomfort and pain in the lower back. Addressing this muscular tension through targeted therapies like massage and stretching can be crucial for finding relief and restoring proper alignment and comfort in the lower back and hips.


When the Strain is Real: Lifting Heavy Weights and Reacting to Life’s Challenges

Lifting heavy weights or objects improperly can strain the muscles and ligaments in your lower back. While improper technique is the most common problem, it’s possible to get soreness in the lower back even with good form. Even lifting with perfect technique can still apply stress to the lower back, as the muscles adapt to the load.


Overexertion, especially during physical activities or lifting heavy objects, can strain the muscles and ligaments in your lower back. When you push your body beyond its limits, the muscles may not have adequate time to recover, leading to micro-tears and inflammation in the muscle fibers. This can result in acute lower back pain. To avoid such strains, it’s crucial to listen to your body, take regular breaks during strenuous activities, and use proper lifting techniques. Maintain a strong core through exercises that target your abdominal and lower back muscles, which can provide additional support during physically demanding tasks.

Sudden Movements

Sudden movements like twisting, bending awkwardly, or making rapid jerking motions can place immense stress on the lower back, leading to muscle or ligament strains. These abrupt movements can catch your muscles off guard, causing them to contract excessively or unevenly. If you’re engaged in activities that involve quick or unpredictable movements, consider warming up and stretching to prepare your muscles for action.
It is possible for even a simple sudden movement to cause strain in the lower back, such as twisting around to the back seat to talk to your child, or if your dog pulls too hard on the leash, yanking your torso. These small events can sometimes cause a severe reaction in the lower back.

Lifting Techniques

Lifting heavy objects with improper techniques is a common cause of lower back strain. When you lift with your back rather than your legs, it places excessive pressure on the muscles and ligaments of the lower back. To avoid such strains, remember to bend at the knees, keep the object close to your body, and engage your leg and core muscles as you lift. Proper lifting mechanics are crucial not only for avoiding acute injuries but also for maintaining long-term lower back health.

However it should be noted that it’s possible to stress the lower back even with perfect form. Some weightlifting activities, like the Deadlift or Good Mornings, will simply place stress on the lower back. This is an ongoing challenge as the muscles of the lower back strengthen to handle the load. If you are regularly stressing the muscles of the lower back with these exercises, it’s important to prioritize release and mobility. Massaging the muscles regularly and moving through a full range of motion are crucial to keeping the muscles happy as they strengthen.

The Severe Cases: Underlying Conditions

Extreme lower back pain can also result from more severe conditions in the spine.


Herniated Discs or Disc Herniation

Herniated discs occur when the soft inner material (nucleus pulposus) of a spinal disc pushes through the tough outer layer (annulus fibrosus). This protrusion can irritate nearby nerves in the spine, leading to pain, numbness, or tingling that often radiates down the leg, a condition known as sciatica. The lower back is a common location for herniated discs, and the compression of spinal nerves in this area can result in intense lower back pain.
This type of pain will usually be intensely severe, pain may be sharper with sneezing, and the pain will not improve very much with massage. In contrast, other forms of lower back pain can be extremely responsive to massage. So if you are getting regular massages or working on the tight muscles yourself, and don’t find relief that lasts, you may want to consult a chiropractor about a potential disc herniation.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease is a condition characterized by the gradual breakdown of the spinal discs over time.As the discs lose their elasticity and cushioning, they offer less support for the spine, leading to instability and pain. The spine may respond to this instability by forming bone spurs (osteophytes) that can narrow the spinal canal and put pressure on nerves, contributing to lower back pain.
In these situations, the muscles of the lower back will tighten up to protect the joints. Massaging the surrounding muscle can still be beneficial and therapeutic, to help ease the lower back pain.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the spinal canal, which houses the spinal cord and nerves.This narrowing can occur in the lower back (lumbar stenosis) and puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves in that region. Symptoms may include intense lower back pain, as well as pain, weakness, or numbness that radiates into the legs or buttocks. Walking or standing may exacerbate these symptoms.
In these situations, the muscles of the lower back will tighten up in response to the locked joints. The tight muscles can in turn cause more lower back pain than just the Stenosis itself. Massaging the surrounding muscle can still be beneficial and therapeutic, to help ease the lower back pain.

The Weakening Factors: Osteoporosis and Arthritis

Osteoporosis and arthritis are conditions that weaken bones and joints in the spine, making them more susceptible to pain and discomfort. They are common conditions that happen as people get older, and can significantly contribute to lower back pain.

Osteoporosis and Lower Back Pain

Osteoporosis is characterized by a weakening of the bones, making them more fragile and susceptible to fractures. As individuals age, their bone density naturally decreases, increasing the risk of osteoporosis. When the vertebrae in the spine become porous and brittle due to osteoporosis, they are more prone to compression fractures, especially in the lower back. These fractures can result in acute lower back pain.

Osteoarthritis and Lower Back Pain

Arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis, is another condition that often develops with age. Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of bones wears down over time. In the spine, this can lead to the breakdown of the cartilage between the vertebrae, causing inflammation and pain. When the joints in the lower back become inflamed and painful, it can result in chronic lower back pain.

Muscle Tension with Severe Conditions

When individuals experience lower back pain due to severe underlying conditions, the muscles in the affected area often respond by tightening up. This muscle tension is a protective mechanism initiated by the body to stabilize and support the spine when it senses instability or pain. While this response is intended to protect the spine, it can exacerbate discomfort by limiting range of motion, causing stiffness, and leading to additional muscle pain.

Massage can still be an effective tool for managing and relieving lower back pain caused by these conditions, despite the presence of inflamed joints and muscle tension. Skilled massage therapists can use techniques that focus on releasing tension in the muscles surrounding the affected area, promoting relaxation, and improving circulation. By targeting tight muscles and addressing soft tissue restrictions, massage can provide relief, reduce muscle spasms, and reduce symptoms of pain and discomfort, even though it will not fix the underlying condition.

Risk Factors: Poor posture, Obesity and a Sedentary Lifestyle

Lower back pain isn’t just about specific causes—it’s also influenced by certain common risk factors.


Excess weight, especially when concentrated around the abdomen, places a significant strain on the lower back. Here’s how obesity contributes to lower back tension and pain:

Increased Load

Carrying excess weight causes the spine to support a heavier load than it’s designed for, leading to added stress on the lower back muscles, discs, and joints.

Altered Posture

Obesity often leads to a forward-leaning posture as individuals attempt to balance their center of gravity. This altered posture can result in muscle imbalances and increased pressure on the lower back.

Risk of Herniated Discs

The extra weight can increase the risk of herniated discs as the spinal discs endure more pressure. Herniated discs can compress nerves, leading to intense lower back pain.

Poor Posture

Poor posture is a common contributor to lower back tension and pain, and it can be a consequence of various lifestyle factors, including prolonged sitting, improper ergonomics, and lack of awareness. Here’s how poor posture affects the lower back:

Muscle Imbalances

Slouching or hunching can lead to muscle imbalances in the lower back, causing certain muscles to become overly tight while others weaken.

Spinal Misalignment

Poor posture can disrupt the natural alignment of the spine, leading to undue stress on the vertebral discs and facet joints. This can result in chronic lower back pain.

Strain on Soft Tissues

Incorrect posture can place increased strain on the soft tissues surrounding the spine, causing inflammation and discomfort.


Sedentary Lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle, characterized by extended periods of sitting or minimal physical activity, can have detrimental effects on lower back health:

Muscle Weakness

Lack of physical activity leads to weakened core muscles, including those supporting the lower back. Weak muscles are less capable of providing the necessary support for the spine.

Reduced Circulation

Prolonged sitting can reduce blood circulation to the lower back, limiting the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, which can result in tension and discomfort. This stagnancy can create a constant sense of soreness in the lower back.

Loss of Flexibility

Muscles and joints have to be regularly moved through a full range of motion in order to maintain good mobility. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to decreased flexibility and mobility in the lower back from stagnancy. This in turn makes it more susceptible to strains and pain, because it is not ready for the full range of motion that life’s challenges may require.


Recovering from Lower Back Pain? Yes, It’s Possible!

The good news is that recovery from lower back pain is often achievable with the right approach. The right treatment plan will vary based on what factors are causing the pain. In any case, reducing the tension in the muscles of the lower back and hips will help create ease and comfort in the lower back, reducing pain, soreness, and aches.


The Neu Release™ Massage Solution

Neu Release™ Massage emerges as a promising therapy for addressing lower back pain. Explore how this signature deep massage and stretching method targets tight muscles, trigger points, and promotes flexibility and mobility.

Deep Relief: Neu Release™ Massage for Lower Back Pain

Neu Release™ is a unique and highly effective massage and stretching method designed to alleviate lower back pain by specifically targeting tight muscles, trigger points, and promoting enhanced flexibility and mobility. Here’s how Neu Release™ works to reduce lower back pain:

Targeting Tight Muscles of the Lower Back and Hips

Neu Release™ therapists are trained to identify and focus on the specific muscles that are tight and tense in your lower back and surrounding areas. These muscles often contribute to discomfort and pain.

Through skilled manual techniques, the therapist applies deep pressure to the tight muscles. This pressure helps to release knots and tension within the muscle fibers, encouraging them to relax and return to their natural state.

By targeting tight muscles, Neu Release™ not only provides immediate relief from muscle tension but also helps to restore the proper function of these muscles, reducing the strain on the lower back.

Releasing Trigger Points in the Back and Hips

Trigger points are localized areas of muscle tightness that can refer pain to other parts of the body. Neu Release™ therapists are trained to locate these trigger points and apply precise pressure to release them.

By releasing trigger points in the lower back and surrounding areas, Neu Release™ can alleviate referred pain, reduce muscle spasms, and promote relaxation in the affected muscles.

This targeted approach to trigger point therapy is integral to Neu Release™, as it helps to break the cycle of muscle tension and pain in the lower back.

Promoting Flexibility and Mobility in the Hips and Lower Back

Neu Release™ incorporates stretching techniques that are specifically tailored to improve flexibility and mobility in the lower back and hip region. These stretches are performed in a controlled and gradual manner to avoid overexertion or injury. Your therapist can even help you identify which muscles are the tightest and which muscles you may need to stretch more frequently at home.

Stretching not only helps to elongate tight muscles but also enhances joint mobility. Improved flexibility and mobility in the lower back can lead to better posture and a reduced risk of strains and discomfort.

The combination of deep pressure, trigger point therapy, and stretching in Neu Release™ ultimately promotes a more balanced and relaxed musculature in the lower back, which can significantly reduce lower back pain. Neu Release™ is a highly specialized massage and stretching method that directly targets the root causes of lower back pain, including tight muscles and trigger points. By applying deep pressure and incorporating tailored stretches, Neu Release™ helps to release tension, improve flexibility, and enhance mobility, leading to effective and long-lasting relief from lower back discomfort. This holistic approach to addressing lower back pain has been proven to be highly beneficial for individuals seeking to alleviate their discomfort and improve their overall well-being.


Short-Term Relief, Long-Term Recovery

Many individuals report significant relief from lower back pain after a single Neu Release™ Massage session. With continued sessions, full recovery is possible, in cases of muscle strains and tension. In more serious cases, continued sessions can be an essential part of pain-management. While the underlying issues like Arthritis may never go away, it’s possible to reduce the pain and increase quality of life.
Lower back pain may have diverse causes, but recovery is often within reach. Whether you’re dealing with muscular tension, strains, or underlying conditions, a holistic approach that includes therapies like Neu Release™ Massage, lifestyle adjustments, and proper treatment can pave the way to a life free from lower back pain.

Maia Spertus LMT

Maia Spertus is a Licensed Massage Therapist in Austin Texas, with a background of experience in Medical Massage, Sports Recovery, Trigger Point release, as well as the traditional practices of Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage. Through her experience working with people suffering from chronic pain, active athletes, as well as desk jockeys, she is an expert in helping people feel the best in their bodies. She is also a trained yoga teacher, and avid fitness enthusiast herself.