Over 80% of the population will suffer from lower back pain in their lifetime. Back pain can come on suddenly and last for up to six weeks (called acute pain), due to a fall or heavy lifting. Back pain can also be chronic, lasting for over three months.Read More
Signs and symptoms of back pain include:
The most common cause of lower back pain is a torn or pulled muscle and/or ligament. A strain occurs when a muscle is stretched too far and tears, damaging the muscle itself. Sprains happen when overstretching and tearing affects ligaments, which connect the bones together.
Common causes of sprain and strain of the lower back include:
Back pain can often develop without a trigger or cause, and can be linked to common conditions or structural problems including:
The jelly-like centre of a lumbar disc can break through the outer layer and compress a nearby nerve root causing an inflammatory response and pain radiating down the leg.
As the discs age over time, they lose their water content and wear down. Consequently, they cannot resist forces and transfers loads to the disc wall that may develop tears causing pain and disc herniation. The disc can also collapse and contribute to stenosis.
There are two facet joints behind each disc that join two vertebrae in the lumbar spine. These joints have cartilage between the bones and are surrounded by ligaments, which contain many nerves.Read More
Through degeneration or excessive loading, these joints can cause pain on its own or in conjunction with disc pain.
This condition occurs when one vertebra slips over the adjacent one. The most common type is secondary to a defect or fracture of the pars (between the facet joints) or mechanical instability of the facet joints (degenerative).Read More
The pain can be caused by joint instability (back) or compression of the nerves (leg).
This condition results from wear and tear of the facet joints. It causes pain, inflammation, instability, and stenosis to a variable degree, and can occur at a single level or multiple levels of the lower spine.Read More
Spinal osteoarthritis is associated with aging and progresses over time. It is also referred to as spondylosis or degenerative joint disease.
This includes scoliosis or kyphosis. The deformity may be associated with lower back pain if it leads to the breakdown of the discs, facet joints, or stenosis.
Management of the above conditions has been proven to be helpful in relieving pain, speeding up recovery, and rehabilitating chronic issues. Treatment involves education, self-care management, exercise therapy, and manual therapy and spinal manipulation are commonly used by a registered physiotherapist to treat back pain.Read More
Other treatments such as acupuncture, soft tissue release and massage therapy can also help. A registered physiotherapist can conduct a skilled assessment and examination of the spine and recommend the appropriate treatment. For most back pain issues, an x-ray and other imaging is not required for management in the initial stages.
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