Low Back pain is a very common complaint – an estimated 60-80% of people are affected at some point in their lifetime. People can experience back pain at any age, but it is most common between the ages of 35 and 55 and one of the main reasons for a sickness absence from work.
Causes of back pain:
Your back contains numerous structures, including bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons and is made up of 24 individual bones called vertebrae. There are discs between each of the vertebrae that act as shock absorbers and allow flexibility in your spine. Your spinal cord travels down the central canal of each vertebra, carrying nerves from your brain to the rest of your body. Back pain can be caused by any of these structures but more often than not the problem relates to a sprain or strain rather than nerve damage. More serious causes of back pain are quite rare.
Back pain is classified as either ‘acute’ or ‘chronic’ with NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) classifying pain as acute if it has been present for less than 6 weeks.
There are a number of factors that can lead to the development or aggravation of back pain:
- sustained postures such as standing and sitting
- repetitive movements such as bending and twisting
- If you lift, carry or pull loads that are too heavy for you it may lead to symptoms.
- You will be more prone to back pain if you are stressed, anxious or overweight.
Your physiotherapist will ask you detailed questions about your symptoms and perform a physical assessment in order to diagnose the cause of your low back pain. There is not usually a need for further tests though investigations, such as an x-ray or MRI scan can be arranged directly by us or through your GP if it is deemed appropriate.
Evidence recommends conservative rehabilitation as the first line of treatment – The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends ‘hands-on’ Manual Therapy, prescribed exercises and Acupuncture as the most clinically evidence-based treatments for low back pain.
- Manual Therapy consists of spinal mobilisation & manipulation, soft tissue release (massage) and stretching all of which we specialise in here at The Village Physios. If a nerve entrapment is found on examination other techniques such as peripheral nerve stretch and myofascial release may be employed.
- Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine, solid needles into various parts of the body to mediate the pain from trapped nerves and to release the spasm in over-tight muscles – several of our physiotherapists are also trained in Acupuncture and use Acupuncture & Physiotherapy treatments in conjunction with each other to successfully treat Back Pain.
- Exercises – as part of your treatment with us you will be given a tailored programme of exercise to help restore movement and function progressing to core stability and strength regimes to help prevent the re-onset of symptoms in the future
How to look after your back
We can help you
Contact us on 0113 2670576 or tell us about your problem by clicking here.
Taking care of your back can minimise the risk of developing recurrent back pain:
- we advise that you take regular physical activity each week
- minimise the amount of stress in your life
- take measures to look after your posture and the way you use your body.
Your physiotherapist can advise you on all of these matters.