Physiotherapy For Back Pain
Back pain, and specifically lower back pain, is one of the most common causes of discomfort and disability in Canada. It has been estimated that 8 in 10 Canadians have experienced at least one episode of lower back pain in the past.
While back pain can be caused by an injury, such as; a fall, sport and exercise or car accidents, things like posture, flexibility and strength are most commonly the cause. The pain can arise from structures like discs, ligaments, joints and muscles, but it is most commonly not due to any major injury to these structures.
What Types Of Back Pain Do You Treat?
While Sciatica is not a medical diagnosis, it is a commonly described symptom by Lower Back Pain patients.
The Sciatic Nerve is formed in the lumbar spine and travels down the posterior part of your leg towards your foot. For various reasons, this nerve may become irritated, compressed or inflamed. This can cause pain and various other symptoms to be experienced. You may be feeling pain that is described as searing or burning down your leg, constant pain in your buttock area or other neurological symptoms.
Nerve Root irritation
Lumbar Nerve Root Irritation is when your nerves become sensitised or irritated as they exit your spine.
This can be because of changes in structure in your spine, like arthritis or osteophytes forming, and it can also be because of inflammation formed by the repetitive strain of soft tissue structures in your lower back. When this happens, the nerve roots become irritated and pain can be felt down your leg. You may also feel changes in sensation, like; numbness, tingling or pins and needles.
Sacro-iliac Joint Dysfunction
Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction is the term given to pain and symptoms that arise from the joints in you buttock area. It is estimated that up to 30% of lower back pain arises from the Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction.
The Sacroiliac Joints are the joints that connect the wedge-shaped sacrum to each pelvic bone. The Sacroiliac joints are designed to absorb and transfer your weight from your legs to your spine when walking, because of this they are inherently strong and stable.
Lumbar Nerve Root Compression or Lumbar Radiculopathy refers to pain or neurological symptoms that arise from compression of the nerve root as it leaves the spine to travel down the leg.
The pain that arises is commonly felt in the leg and is commonly referred to as sciatica or lumbago. Weakness, numbness or other neurological symptoms may also be present.
Lumbar disc degenerative disease
Degenerative disc disease in the lumbar spine, or lower back, refers to a syndrome in which age-related wear and tear on a spinal disc causing low back pain. Despite what the name suggests, degenerative disc disease is neither considered a true disease nor does it progressively worsen with time. Discs naturally stiffen with use and age, and everyone experiences some disc degeneration. Degenerative disc disease refers only to the condition of painful disc degeneration, and it is not uncommon for symptoms to alleviate as the spine gradually stabilizes.
Can you treat my back pain?
Your physiotherapist will perform a thorough examination of your back and the surrounding joints in order to fully understand how your back pain is affecting you and your life. With this information they will be able to create a personalised program to treat your back pain. Typically, this might involve modalities likes IMS dry needling or Shock wave therapy or Laser therapy or Graston technique or IFC or manual therapy techniques designed to decrease your pain levels and return your back to full mobility and function. Your treatment plan will also include exercises to help you to return to full function and prevent any future recurrences.