Low back pain or lumbago is a common complaint that affects many people. It can be a source of great pain and discomfort, and can limit one's ability to perform daily activities. But did you know that there is an important link between low back pain and balance?

Balance is crucial for maintaining good posture and avoiding back strain. When balance is impaired, it can lead to unnatural movement patterns and incorrect loading of the back. This in turn can lead to lower back pain and other spinal problems. Balance affects our health more than we think. Falls are a major cause of accidents, and back pain affects many people around the world. It is therefore important to look at the connection between these two things.

What does research say?

Research shows that lower back pain and balance are linked. But it is not always easy to say what is cause and effect. When people have back pain, they often try to avoid the pain by moving differently, which can negatively affect our balance. On the other hand, poor balance can lead to back pain because it affects how we move. Back pain can vary in severity. Mild back pain may not have a major impact on balance, but moderate to chronic back pain can affect it. Severe back pain, especially over time, can disrupt your balance and control of your body.

To maintain balance, our bodies need both stability and flexibility. When we have back pain, it can limit our mobility and how we feel our joints. Poor balance can also cause us to lose control of our muscles, which can negatively affect our back.


If you're struggling with recurring episodes of back pain, it's important to look at your whole body. Sometimes pain relief can temporarily help, but if the pain is persistent, it could be a sign that your brain is having trouble controlling your movements. In such cases, it's important to get a thorough assessment that includes a check of your whole body's sensory organs, such as vision, balance and joint sensation.


Our balance sheet depends mainly on three things:

  • Our vision
  • The inner ear (Vestibular apparatus)
  • Proprioception (How we feel our joints)

These should work in harmony. If we rely too much on our vision, it can lead to poor balance. If we have little feeling or movement in our joints, this can lead to poor balance and dizziness. Back pain can also affect how we use our joints, which can make it harder to maintain balance.

So what to do?

To improve balance, we need to train our sensory organs correctly. This can be, for example:

  • Exercises where we close our eyes to force the brain to rely more on the sensation in our body and the vestibular apparatus.
  • Stabilization exercises
  • Motor training of the eyes and neck
  • Coordination exercises
  • Make complicated or synchronized movements with arms and legs

Not just low back pain

This relationship between pain and balance can also apply to other parts of the body. For example, neck pain can occur when balance is poor, because balance affects how we move our head, neck and eyes. When you turn your head, part of the signal from the inner ear goes to the eyes, guiding eye movement in the opposite direction. Much of this signal, about 75%, goes down to the neck and back to stabilize the spine during movement. Consequently, disturbances in vestibular function can lead to changes in neck stability and manifest as conditions during head bends or rotations. Muscles that are continuously activated to maintain these abnormal postures can pinch the neck joints and nerves, contributing to pain that can radiate to different parts of the body.

What about attitude?

It is important to understand that good posture is not the same for everyone. Young people may struggle to maintain ideal posture due to increased screen use and sitting, and older people may also have posture issues due to aging and inactivity. The most important thing is to have the strength and flexibility to suit your own needs.

To summarize, it is important to have good balance as you get older to avoid falls and injuries. Balance exercises and maintaining mobility are important to promote stability and reduce the risk of injury. Understanding the link between back pain and balance is important for maintaining good health and wellbeing.





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