What is Back Pain
Back pain is a common problem that can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain. It can also be caused by poor posture, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. Back pain can be felt in different parts of the back, such as the neck, upper back, lower back, or tailbone.
What causes Back Pain?
1. Vertebral Dysfunction
Herniated disc: discs are the cushions that sit between the bones in the spine. A bulging or ruptured disc can press on nerves, reduce structural support in the spine, and create inflammation.
Degenerative disc disease: the discs between vertebrae may lose their height and become thinner, which can lead to reduced range of motion and compression of the spinal nerves.
Spinal stenosis: occurs when the spinal canal becomes narrowed, which can put pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves.
Spondylolithesis: occurs when one of the vertebrae in the spine slips out of alignment, which can put pressure on the spinal nerves.
Compression fractures: occurs when the body of the vertebrae collapses and deforms, which can put pressure on the spinal nerves.
2. Soft Tissue Injury
Muscle strain: dysfunction in muscles of the back due to trauma, overuse, or prolonged poor posture.
Ligament sprain: dysfunction in connective tissues of the back due to excessive bending, trauma, or poor posture.
3. Postural Imbalance
Scoliosis: a sideways curvature on the spine can lead to muscle imbalances, pain, and discomfort on one side of the back.
Lordosis: an excessive low back arch may indicate excessive back muscle overuse.
4. Muscle Imbalances
Muscle imbalances such as poor core and glut stabilization can lead to overuse of the back muscles.
5. Trauma to the back
Accidents or injuries that cause damage to the spine can lead to back pain.
The extra weight, postural changes, and strain on the back can cause overuse of the back muscles.
The extra weight and strain on the lower back during pregnancy can cause overuse of the back muscles.
How does physiotherapy Treat Back Pain
resolves the root cause
During the assessment, your therapist will determine the contributing factors of your back pain. Your therapist will then provide treatments, prescribe exercises, and/or educate you on how to reverse your sciatica symptoms.
1. Manual Therapy
Myofascial release: to reduce pain, tightness, and inflammation of the muscles, joints, nerves, and fascia of the affected areas.
Joint mobilization: to promote smooth joint movement and mobility of the spine, pelvis, hip, and other affected areas.
2. Biomechanical Optimization
Postural conditioning: corrects resting, sitting, and standing posture to ensure proper alignment and stability of the spine, pelvis, and legs.
Movement pattern conditioning: optimizing movement mechanics by properly recruiting the back, pelvic, hip, and any other relevant muscle groups.
3. Exercise Therapy
Stretching: to improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension in the lower back and legs.
Strengthening: to improve the activation and stability of the muscles in the lower back, core, and lower extremities which can restore optimal function and help reduce the risk of future injuries.
Low-impact aerobic exercise: low-impact endurance activities such as walking, cycling, or swimming can improve blood flow and reduce muscle tension.
Home exercise program: individualized exercise prescription to restore optimal and balanced movement.
Acupuncture: use of thin needles to improve local and systemic function, regulate the nervous system, and promote the body’s natural healing processes.
Heat and cold therapy: to manage reduce pain and tension or control inflammation.
Electrostimulation: use of electrical currents to stimulate muscles and reduce pain.
Ultrasound: use of high-frequency sound waves to produce deep tissue heating to reduce muscle tension, fascial tension, and inflammation.
Laser therapy: to improve blood flow, reduce pain and inflammation, and promote tissue healing.
Recommendations regarding lifestyle and activity modifications, posture, sleeping position, and shoe wear to help reduce load, risk of recurrence, and further injury.