The back is one the most centralized parts of the body, and its connection to all other parts cannot be understated. Your back health depends on lots of factors because many parts of the body can cause the spine to come out its natural alignment, resulting in discomfort.
Your spine is connected directly to the pelvis, and therefore the legs, knees, and feet. The other end of the spine is the neck, which is connected to the head and jaw. The central nervous system, which involves the nerves to the neck and back, is also associated with nasal breathing. If you have a problem with your breathing, then you will most likely have back problems as well.
A Level Pelvis. Your pelvis naturally sits parallel to the ground; this helps to keep integrity in the curve of the spine. Without a level pelvis, your back can become misaligned, causing pain or tenderness in the back, neck, or shoulders. When your pelvis is misaligned, the body learns to adjust by compensating in other areas, and back pain can be a side effect of this compensation.
The key to a level pelvis is maintaining a strong core. The core of the body is the center of strength and includes the pelvic floor muscles, abdominal muscles, paraspinal muscles (on either side of the spine), and the diaphragm (which controls your breathing). For at-home exercises and stretches to strengthen your core and level your pelvis, see our article “Five Great Exercises to Level Your Pelvis” (LINK).
The Power of Breathing. There is a strong connection between obstructed nasal breathing and back pain. If you have a problem with your breathing, such as sleep apnea or a physical obstruction of the nasal passage, you will likely also suffer from back pain.
In his book, Finding the Source: Maximizing Your Results—With and Without Orthopaedic Surgery, Dr. Romano shares a story of a middle-aged athlete who suffered from weakness in his left leg and back pain. After a few tests, Dr. Romano found that both of these issues were related to the patient’s breathing. The patient had a history of playing contact sports and had broken his nose so many times that he only had about five percent capacity to breathe out of his nostrils. After undergoing nasal surgery to improve his breathing, the patient’s back pain and leg weakness subsided.
In his book, Dr. Romano goes on to say, “A deviated septum, enlarged tonsils, or excessive inflammation in the sinuses from diet, flu, allergies, or infection can cause one or both nasal passages to completely obstruct breathing. That can lead to problems such as sleep apnea; loss of balance; pain and stiffness of the neck, upper and lower back, and pelvis; worsening back and shoulder pain at night; and weakness of the shoulders, arms, and hips.”
Who knew your nasal passages had such a huge effect on your body?
Promote Good Posture. Sometimes the solution to easing chronic back pain is to improve your posture. Many of us do the same things day in and day out, like sitting at a computer or in a car. While you’re going through your day, periodically check in with your posture.
The goal of good posture is to maintain the natural curves of the spine. Sit or stand with your weight distributed evenly either on your hips or feet. Keep your shoulders back and your head stacked directly over your spine. Try not to sit with your legs crossed or lean on one hip while standing.
For more information on the body-back connection, check out Dr. Victor Romano’s book, Finding the Source: Maximizing Your Results—With and Without Orthopaedic Surgery. If you suffer from chronic back pain and want real solutions, set up an appointment with Dr. Romano today!