Lower Back Pain
Non specific back pain affects 80% of the population. Other people may experience more complex back pain where they experience referral into the buttocks or legs.
Having experienced lower back pain myself I know how debilitating and frustrating it can be. In my blog ‘What to do if you get ‘stuck’ with severe’ back pain I talk about the challenges of simple putting a sock on let alone having to face a physical job or look after a family.
A assessment with a professional can help give you peace of mind that it isn’t anything serious and to let you know whether urgent referral or MRI is necessary.
Lower back pain is complex and physio’s spend years learning the science to make sure we treat you effectively. Unfortunately some people will experience back pain for a prolonged period of time and this can affect the patient both psychologically and physically as they are unable to work and continue on normal life as they had before.
The good news is with the right treatment lower back pain can be helped. Now its important to manage your expectations. If you have had back pain for years we are not offering a miracle cure. But its amazing that, with the right routine, you can take control so that you ahem the right tools to keep it at bay and minimise exacerbation.
What Is Causing My Lower Back Pain?
So here’s bit about the science…
More than one pain type or generator can coexist in the same patient at the same time.
- Nociceptive (chemical i.e. inflammation, pressure or thermal)
- Neuropathic ( injury to the nerve – allodynia, neuralgia, phantom limb pain, peripheral neuropathy)
- Referred (pain which is experienced in a different part of the body than its source)
Possible pain generators
- Facet Joint
- Sacroiliac joint
How A Thorough Assessment Of Lower Back Pain Guides Treatment
Our expert professionals are all autonomous practitioners. This means they can access you before you have seen a GP.
We will ask relevant questions to get a clear history of your problem. This will include ruling out red flags – clinical signs which might suggests that symptoms may be more serious in nature. Luckily these more serious pathologies are rare and we can hep reassure you of the likely diagnosis.
Most lower back pain, although very painful, is coming from the muscles or other sensitive structure of the back although its hard to believe this when we’re experiencing severe pain and can’t move normally. Until you have experienced this pain its difficult to understand.
The high incidences of findings on MRI’s such as disc degeneration in people with no pain is high so its important that you proceed with care if wanting immediate investigations. Particularly as this has been shown to reduce patient well being. Yes, thats right just from having a scan!
How Do You Know If Lower Back Pain Is Serious?
The big question playing on peoples minds is ” Is my back pain serious?”
There are a few key questions we ask
Firstly, it is important to remember all Chartered Physiotherapist are autonomous practitioners which means you do not need a referral from the GP to come and see us. We have the knowledge and skills to understand how to recognise serious or sinister pathology and refer you on if you display and signs called ‘red flags.
This is a screening process that GP and all professionals should use.
Whilst its always best to seek assessment from a musculoskeletal specialist GP of physio here are some key questions to ask yourself
- Do you have unrelenting night pain which doesn’t change despite position?
- Do you have a high fever?
- Do you have gross weakness in both legs ?
- Do you have pins and needles in BOTH legs?
- Do you have numbness in the saddle are?
- Are you experience bowel or bladder incontinence?
Although they are rare some back pain can be caused by spinal infections or Cauda equine. These need immediate medical attention.
If you are experiencing these symptoms we would recommend asking a love one to take you to A and E or call 111 for more information to check whether you need to attend.
Treatment For Lower Back Pain
Finally after all the doom and gloom I can help you understand the solution!
With 80% of the population experiencing non specific lower back pain you can understand that we treat this condition a lot. Whether you have normal back pain or something bit more complex we can help you recover.
Educating you on sleeping positions, lifting techniques, how to turn in bed and how to put shoes on can make live a lot easier.
We then use a combination of hands on soft tissue techniques, joint mobilisation, acupuncture/ dry needling, exercises and massage to help relieve pain.
It is important to use that we also educate you on why you are experiencing the pain. This can help you move more normally and understand that although ‘it will hurt you, you won’t hurt it’
Back pain is complex but with the right education and treatment physiotherapy has excellent results.
As a patient said to me last week “I can’t believe it. I really can’t believe it. So much better! You can’t believe how good it feels to put my socks on”
If you are interested in finding out how physio could help you why not book a 30 minute complimentary discovery call?
This gives you 30 minutes of uninterrupted time on the phone with a physio so that we can learn about your injury and give you advice on the steps you need to take to treat and rehab it. Simply follow the online booking directions and book it today.