Back pain is increasingly common. About 80% of the Dutch suffer from back problems now and then. The back consists of several parts. Your neck, upper back, lower back, and pelvis/SI joint. For more information about neck complaints, check out the page about neck and shoulder complaints.


In humans, the back consists of seven cervical vertebrae, twelve thoracic vertebrae, five lumbar vertebrae, five sacrum vertebrae and the tailbone. The vertebrae are separated from each other by an intervertebral disc or discus. In the middle of your spine runs your spinal cord and nerves that control your arms, legs and torso.

There is a very nice video from Spine-health which shows what the spine looks like and how things work. Check it out: Spine-health video
In the spine there is an S shape. This S shape gives the spine flexibility and stability. This S shape also ensures a natural shock absorption. For each person, the S shape is different. The size of the S shape has little correlation with complaints.
It is true that if you cannot actively influence the S shape, for example by stretching your upper back, this can lead to complaints.


Upper back pain often manifests as back pain and stiffness between the shoulder blades and/or at the base of the neck. coughing, sneezing or deep breathing can also become sensitive or even painful.
Most of the upper back complaints are caused by the inability of the vertebrae of the upper back to fully stretch. If your upper back is continuously in a curved position and cannot stretch properly, then this can have a lot of consequences…
This way, the rib joints can get stuck. Stiff rib joints can hinder your breathing during exercise or rest.
The position of your shoulder blades depends on the rounding of your upper back. A convex posture from your upper back causes your shoulder blades to slide up over your torso. This reduces the movements of your shoulder blades. This limits your shoulder movement and can cause complaints in your shoulder.


The fact that you suffer from back pain once in a while is not so bad. After a day of moving, (too) heavy lifting or after sitting long days in the same position, you can experience a shooting pain in the back. In the past it was called sciatica or lumbago. Nowadays it is called non-specific low back complaints. About 80% of the people experience that sometimes and in most cases it is resolves itself within 6 weeks, without treatment. However, if it happens more often, it can quickly become a problem. More and more people live with chronic low back complaints.

A back is very strong and is not easy to break. Then why is it that so many people suffer or get problems with their backs?

In addition to bones and nerves, the back also consists of a lot of connective tissue, muscles and joints.

Joints, connective tissue and muscles are made to move. This stimulates the blood flow and provides all tissues with sufficient nutrients and oxygen.

If joints, connective tissue or muscles are not moved for an extended period of time, they become stiff and this can lead to muscle pain or joint pain in the lower back. It is therefore important to move these muscles and joints more often during the day.


Back pain can also be caused or influenced by your pelvis. Complaints to the Pelvic are common and can have a huge impact on your life.
Your SI joint is the joint between your sacrum and your two halves of the pelvic. The pelvic halves must move in relation to each other. If your SI joint gets stuck due to an overload or wrong movement, this can cause complaints around the dimples in your lower back, the rest of the lower back or in the buttock and hamstring. Piriformis syndrome can also be caused by an SI joint that does not move properly.
Pelvic or SI joint complaints can also give radiation to the buttock and hamstring.

ORIGINAL back pain – pelvic pain

Also with pelvic and back complaints the same rule applies: Where you have the pain, is rarely the place where the pain originates from.
In particular, the lower back and pelvis often compensate for reduced movement in surrounding areas such as your hips, upper back or shoulders. But also a sprained ankle or broken toe that was injured in the past can cause pain or stiffness in your back. It is therefore important to look beyond your sore back and look for the underlying cause.
Back and pelvic complaints can also be caused by scars from abdominal surgery, such as caesarean section or apendicitis surgery. If your scar is still stuck and sensitive, it is possible that this will affect your back and pelvic complaints.


Sometimes back pain and/or pelvic pain is accompanied by radiation to the buttock or hamstring. Although this is very annoying, in most cases you do not have to worry about it and it will go away by itself. Sometimes the large nerve in your leg can be pinched between the muscles in your buttock or hamstring which can give radiation to your leg. If you are worried about it, please feel free to contact one of our therapists.

BEST TO DO for back pain

  • Move your back in all directions, within the pain threshold.

  • Move the surrounding joints and areas, within the pain threshold. This means your hips, ankles, shoulders and upper back.

  • Relax! You can do this with breathing exercises, stretches or simply walking in the nature.

Especially if you have acute problems with your back, it is more important THAT you move than HOW you move. Moving within the pain threshold has a pain dampening effect and accelerates the recovery process. So go for a walk, go dancing, get moving!

OUR TREATMENT for back pain

Physiotherapy can quickly provide relief from back pain. Our treatment helps to move the connective tissue, muscles and joints better and to reduce your pain quickly. We also provide you with exercises which help you to keep everything flexible.
Even if there is a nerve entrapment in the buttock or hamstring, we can solve it quickly.

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Do you have pain in your back



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