Lower Back Pain
Although symptoms might vary, people tend to experience pain that radiates into the lower back area, to the glutes and sometimes even down the leg (due to irritation of the sciatic nerve root).
Can Low Back pain physiotherapy help me?
Low back pain is normally musculoskeletal in nature, in other words you have muscular pain.
However, there are symptoms to look out for which indicate more serious underlying conditions. You should seek immediate medical attention if your Low Back pain is accompanied by any of the following:
- Bowel or bladder issues
- Sudden weight loss, generally feeling unwell
- Numbness around the tail bone area
- Pain which increasingly worsens, uncontrollably
- Back pain that won’t settle, even after physio intervention
- Loss of control of your legs, sudden giving-way of your legs
- Tingling, numbness and pins and needles in your legs
Such symptoms could indicate cauda equina syndrome, which concerns the network of nerves that supplies your lower extremities, bowel and bladder.
However, assuming that you have none of these symptoms, and that your condition is essentially muscle-related, Low Back pain physiotherapy can be effective.
How does Low Back Pain physiotherapy work?
A good physiotherapist recognises that Back Pain should not be treated by a single generic programme: instead, the treatment must be individualised specifically to you.
The most immediate issue is to deal with your discomfort. In order to do this, the physio should firstly carry out an assessment of your condition. The physio will look for movement imbalances, range of motion at the low back and any compensation in movement patterns.
Then, the physio should identify a set of targeted exercises for you. The purpose of these exercises will be to address any movement abnormalities contributing to your pain and building your confidence to safely use your lower back.
As well as commencing your treatment, it is extremely important to identify the factors which have caused your Lower Back pain in the first place.
The physio can help you here by taking you through the potential factors. Clearly these depend on your lifestyle and occupation, but the sort of things you should think about will include:
- How strong are the key muscles that are supposed to protect my Lower Back? If you have weaknesses in glutes then you are at greater risk of Low Back pain and injury. In these cases, the physio can help by taking you through targeted strengthening routines to improve your stability and resilience.
- Am I lifting things correctly? If your job (or leisure activities, such as gardening) involves lifting, are you bending your knees to help support your back while lifting?
- Can I get assistance for heavier and awkward tasks in my work environment? There is a wealth of information available to employers regarding Ergonomic Health and Safety. Occupational Health professionals can conduct workplace assessments to identify where there is a higher risk of injury and recommend actions to improve the job.
- Am I sitting for long periods at a time? Whether you are watching TV or working at a desk, it’s important to get up and move a little and often. This helps your circulation and keeps muscles loose. Your chair, desk and computer screen heights need to be correctly set to enable you to achieve a good posture.
- Modify your day-to-day activities: be aware of not overloading yourself. For instance, carrying the shopping can cause issues when you try and hold too many bags at once. Carry less each time and instead take a few more trips.
Fixing the underlying issues that gave rise to your Back pain is essential in preventing it from happening again.
Lower Back pain – what not to do
Don’t take Lower back pain lying down! It is imperative that you continue to stay as active as possible. After you have decided on the best route to recovery with your physio, aim to gradually return to your previous levels of activity as pain allows. The risk is if you take time off and lay down for extended periods, you will develop chronic back pain and further decrease your levels of mobility. This will perpetuate the problem, not improve it.
Staying active doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym and lifting heavy weights! It can be as simple as going for a walk, getting some fresh air, and increasing your heart rate. With the right approach, back pain can often be significantly improved in a matter of a few weeks.
If you choose Full Motion Physio
My approach is described in the Full Motion Method page. Extensive research has identified four essential elements for the best physiotherapy. The Full Motion Method covers each of these elements.
I will tailor your treatment specifically to your body and your condition. We will review and refine the treatment throughout your recovery. Your input at each stage is an essential part of the process. My aim is to be a partner in your recovery.
The end result is more than simply fixing your current symptoms. I will help you understand your condition and how specific exercises aid recovery. And I will guide you on injury prevention.
One last point: Early diagnosis and intervention minimises the risk of the injury getting worse.
Start your treatment
Book an Initial Consultation - Online or In Clinic
Get some initial advice
Book a Rapid Response Consultation