A thorough physiotherapy assessment of back pain will allow accurate diagnosis of the problem, and a treatment plan to be individualised to your specific needs. This will include a thorough biomechanical analysis of your posture and movement, and assessment of specific muscular control around you spine and pelvis.
Treatment may involve joint mobilisations, massage, traction, stretches, and always some exercises.
Physiotherapy rehabilitation for a back injury will involve a graded exercise program to first restore normal movements, and then strengthen postural muscles and improve flexibility and control. This has been scientifically proven to speed up recovery, reduce chronic pain and prevent reoccurrence.
Advice on back care, back injury prevention and a strengthening program is a key component of physiotherapy treatment for back pain.
Types of Spinal Conditions
There are various types of spinal conditions that we can assist you with at Redfern Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine. However some of the more common conditions we see are:
- Postural back pain
Many of our activities of daily living predominantly involve sitting for extended periods. We sit at home, at work on the computer and whilst driving. Due to our increasingly sedentary lifestyle, primarily involving sitting, we tend to have a poor posture involving slumped positions. This leads to weakness of our abdominal and back muscles, contributing further to poor posture and reduced ‘core strength’, thus predisposing us to back pain and injuries
- Degenerative changes
Back pain and stiffness may develop from ‘wear and tear’ to the spinal joints and discs caused by our strenuous jobs, lifestyles or sporting/recreational activities. This can be degenerative in nature, be gradual in onset, and may become chronic. Early morning stiffness and pain with prolonged sitting or standing is a common complaint.
- Disc bulge (sometimes referred to as herniated or ruptured disc)
The disc between the vertebrae may become damaged and suffer tears to its outer wall. This can cause some bulging or complete herniation or the disc material. Physiotherapy management is usually indicated, and can help to educate you on how to best manage the condition. Occasionally further investigations such as an MRI scan may be required.
- Nerve compression (commonly referred to as ‘Sciatica’)
When the above-mentioned disc bulges are large enough, or located in a specific position, they can cause pressure on the surrounding nerves. This can cause symptoms of more severe back pain and leg pain, as well as pins and needles and possible numbness into the lower limbs. Early assessment and management is essential in these cases.
NB: it is important to note that many of these conditions can exist without the presence of pain and people can be functioning normally in their daily lives. They are only a concern when they become symptomatic, and our physio can help you to manage the condition at this stage.