Call or Text: 303-444-8707 | 2955 Baseline Road Boulder, Colorado 80303 | Email:

Low Back Pain: A Solution Might Be Right in Front of You

Originally posted July 7, 2010

Do you have a history of chronic lower back pain that has resolved temporarily with treatment, only to come back for no apparent reason? If so, there may be an underlying visceral (gut) restriction affecting the movement of your lower spine or pelvis.

Most traditional manual therapy approaches to low back pain address the structures behind the spine – joints, ligaments, muscles, connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels. When you get a back massage, do exercises to stretch your back, or have your spine adjusted, the attention is all at the back of your body. After you’ve done all the back treatment and you still have problems, then what?

The answer might literally be right in front of you. Without checking the structures in front of the spine, we could be overlooking a significant part of the body that contributes to back problems.

Like joints, organs must move to stay healthy. Organs have sliding surfaces that touch other organs, ribs, the spine and pelvic bones. Any limitation of motion in an organ can have far reaching effects. Therapists trained in visceral manipulation can assess organ movement and gently manipulate the organs to restore normal movement when restrictions are present.

Below are just a few of the possible abdominal or organ restrictions associated with back pain and tightness :

  • Restrictions between the back of the colon (sigmoid colon) and the front of the sacrum are common and can cause left sacroiliac joint pain. Diarrhea or constipation are frequently associated symptoms.
  • The beginning of the large intestine can adhere to the right side of the pelvic bone resulting in acute right low back and abdominal pain.
  • A restriction at the first lumbar vertebra often occurs from an old appendectomy scar, but any abdominal scar can affect movement of the spine.

What causes these visceral restrictions?

  • Direct trauma, such as from a fall or car accident
  • Inflammation and adhesions following acute illness, like food poisoning
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Scar tissue post surgery
  • Childbirth
  • The aging process
  • Bed rest or decreased activity level

What are the results/benefits I can expect from visceral manipulation?

  • Improved posture
  • Increased spinal motion
  • Increased soft tissue flexibility
  • Increased organ mobility
  • Decreased pain

A thorough evaluation of your spine includes an assessment of your visceral system as well as your spine. We are proud to offer this comprehensive evaluation at ALTA.

For more information on Integrated Manual Therapy which includes visceral release go to


Leave a Comment