What is Lower Back Pain?
Lower back pain is an extremely common condition with up to 80% of the population experiencing it at some time during the lives. Although the underlying pathology is usually not serious, it is an important cause of pain in the community and has considerable impact on the economy due to time taken off work.
Whilst the vast majority of patients with back pain will recover within 6 weeks, a small number will go on to develop long-term pain and a gradual deterioration of functionality.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
Most causes of back pain are the result of irritation or poor function of the bones, joints, ligaments or muscles in your back. Such irritation can be the result of Vertebral dysfunction, a common condition that occurs when the spinal bones (vertebrae) compress or irritate the delicate nerve structures of your lower back.
Injuries to these structures can result from poor posture, incorrect lifting technique, smoking, slips and falls.
Other causes of lower back pain include inflammatory arthritis (e.g. ankylosing spondylitis, Rheumatoid arthritis), and fractures due to osteoporosis. Back pain may also be ‘referred’ from another location. Less common conditions include cancer (usually from another source such as the prostate or lung), serious infections and compression of the spinal cord.
Assessment of Lower Back Pain
Your Physiotherapist will perform a detailed history, orthopaedic, neurological and spinal examination to determine the exact cause of your lower back pain. Other tests including x-rays and digital scanning may also be recommended.
Treatment of Lower Back Pain
Physiotherapy treatment of low back pain focuses on restoring function to poorly moving spinal joints, as well as reducing muscle tension and increasing muscle weakness. This results in improved movement, reduced pain and decreased nerve irritation.
Treatments are tailored to the individual case usually consisting of spinal and soft tissue mobilisation, core stabilization advice, strengthening exercises, stretching and heat/cold therapy.
Please contact us by clicking on one of the buttons to your left to arrange your comprehensive lower back consultation to help identify the exact cause of your pain and begin a course of corrective care today!