Back pain, in particular low back pain, is one of the most common presentations to a physiotherapy clinic. Fortunately most occurrences of back pain resolve within a few days to weeks with the proper management and treatment.
Back pain generally lasts a few days or weeks. It is often mechanical in nature and can be caused by some form of trauma such as lifting or prolonged activities such as gardening or sitting. Physiotherapy can help to reduce your pain and get you moving again.
Common back injuries
The discs in the lumbar spine are designed to transfer load. Occasionally with sustained bending or with trauma the disc may become damaged. This can cause back and sometimes leg pain (“sciatic pain”) and other nervy type symptoms in the legs.
Ligament/ facet joint sprain and muscle spasm
These injuries are often caused by heavy lifting, prolonged bending or sporting injuries. The joints in the lower back can be overstretched and the muscles surrounding the spine can become tight and spasm to help protect your back.
Postural back pain
Poor posture is one of the most common causes of back pain. Sleeping position, poor work station set-up, standing and sitting posture may all be contributing factors. Typically patients presenting with postural back pain need to address muscle imbalances and often work on core stability.
Back pain and stiffness may develop from ‘wear and tear’ to the spinal joints and discs. These degenerative changes are typically gradual in onset and may be aggravated by long periods of standing.
Back Pain Treatment
A physiotherapy assessment for back pain will allow diagnosis and identification of underlying causes for the problem. The physiotherapist can tailor a treatment programme to meet your goals. Back Pain physiotherapy and treatment may involve joint mobilisations, massage, dry needling, taping, stretches, postural corrections and ergonomic advice. Rehabilitation for a back injury may also involve an exercise program to strengthen core and postural muscles and improve flexibility.