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Back Pain
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Back Physiotherapy

Back pain is a common problem which can occur suddenly or over time. The back is made up of many structures such as nerves, ligaments, discs, facet joints and muscles which means several areas are a possible source of pain. Back pain can also be associated with leg numbness, pins and needles and weakness. Lower back pain is very common, affecting around 80% of people at some point in their life.

 

What are the Causes of Lower Back Pain

Sudden (acute) lower back pain is often caused by an injury to the muscles or ligaments in the back. Most commonly the pain is caused by a muscle strain or spasm, however there are many other causes of lower back pain; some of the most common include:

  • Facet joint sprain or stiffness
  • Rib (costovertebral) joint sprain or stiffness
  • Sciatica
  • Spinal disc injury
  • Compression fractures
  • Spine cancer
  • Infection

There are three categories in which health care professionals place lower back pain:

  1. Radicular Syndromes: Research suggests that this cause of back pain accounts for 5-10% of cases. Radicular syndromes result from structural damage that irritates or pinches a nerve. One of the most common nerves affected is the sciatic nerve.
  2. Specific Spinal Pathologies: This is a more serious cause of lower back pain requiring urgent attention. Specific spinal pathologies are the cause of back pain in less than 1% of cases and include conditions such as cancer, spinal infections, rheumatoid arthritis and spinal fractures.
  3. Non-Specific Lower Back Pain: This type of lower back pain is a classification used for sufferers who have no specific back structure that has been injured. This diagnosis is done through excluding all other causes. Non-specific low back pain accounts for around 90-95% of back pain causes. It is almost always successfully treated without surgery and usually improves with treatment within two to six weeks.

 

Non-Specific Lower Back Pain Causes

Non-specific lower back pain (NSLBP) is of musculoskeletal origin. While there are many causes of NSLBP, they often fit into either sustained overuse injuries or traumatic (sudden) injuries. A traumatic injury usually results in a sprain, irritation or inflammation of the back structures; this can be caused by movements such as bending awkwardly to lift a heavy item when your body isn’t used to it. Sustained overuse injuries develop over time; such as unaccustomed repetitive work or working in a sustained awkward posture. The most common types of NSLBP are caused by ligament sprains, muscle strains, muscle spasms and chronic conditions such as degenerative joint or disc disease.

 

Lower Back Pain Treatment

Your physiotherapist can diagnose and treat non-specific lower back pain and rule out any sinister conditions. Once your diagnosis is confirmed your physio will advise you on a treatment plan and recovery time. Back physiotherapy in Como often involves a combination of physio treatment and home exercises. Back physiotherapy Perth can include a variety of techniques such as exercises, hands-on therapy (including dry needling) and education. Physio management often includes advice on ways to remain active during recovery whilst not exacerbating your pain and symptoms.

Lower back pain is common and affects the majority of the population at some point in their lives. Non-specific low back pain is the most common type of back pain which can be effectively treated with back physiotherapy in Perth. Physio for back pain includes a combination of techniques which aims to get you back to your previous level of fitness as soon as possible.

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