Physiotherapy for Back Pain

All frequently asked questions for Physiotherapy for Back Pain

Physiotherapy plays an important role in back pain treatment. A Physiotherapist assesses, determines the cause of back pain and accordingly a treatment protocol is devised. Physiotherapy helps in the treatment of back pain in the following ways:

  • Pain Reduction mainly by using electrotherapy modalities like IFT, Ultrasound, TENS etc. and may be use of some manual mobilization techniques.
  • Improve Flexibility of the spine by stretching the muscles and the fascia associated with the back.
  • Improving strength and stability by core strengthening and strengthening the back muscles
  • Postural Correction and Ergonomic Advice to avoid further stress on the tissues and to prevent reoccurrence.

When you first start to develop postural back pain, it manifests itself as a low-grade ache normally combined with stiffness in your lower back. Symptoms tend to be relieved with light exercise or by avoiding long periods of sitting, for example at weekends. But if symptoms are ignored, the pain will become constant, just to varying degrees. The level of stiffness may also increase.
Occasionally symptoms may be related to conditions other than poor posture, for example, prolapsed disc, fracture, facet joint impingement or nerve root compression. You may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Pins and needles or numbness in the buttocks, lower limbs or feet
  • Pain going down the back or front of your leg
  • More severe back pain, especially when bending forward
  • Excessive levels of stiffness in your lower back
  • These symptoms need to be properly assessed by an experienced Physiotherapist. They will diagnose the cause of your back pain and provide appropriate treatment, management and advice.

A very small percentage of back pain can be caused by more serious conditions like cauda equina, where the nerves at the bottom of your spinal cord are being compressed.

If anyone of the following symptoms are experiences, an immediate medical advice should be taken:

  • Unsteady when standing or walking
  • Difficulties passing or controlling bladder or bowels or numbness in either area
  • If you have a previous history of cancer or osteoporosis
  • Back pain accompanied by unexplained weight loss or fever

The most common cause of back pain, especially lower back pain, is a combination of poor posture and lack of movement, typically seen with people who sit for long periods. This is known as mechanical back pain and is not a serious condition. However, it can be uncomfortable and frustrating to experience a constant ache or pain in your back.
There are more complex causes of back pain like disc prolapse, ankylosing spondylitis, osteoporosis, arthritis or fracture which require a more detailed assessment.

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