Back Pain

There are disturbing statistics for the incidence of lower back pain within the population. Some studies indicate that up to 85% of us will incur an episode of lower back pain that require professional attention and treatment.

Back Pain:

There are disturbing statistics for the incidence of lower back pain within the population. Some studies indicate that up to 85% of us will incur an episode of lower back pain that require professional attention and treatment (Walker et al, Decade of Bone & Joint). This rate of lower back injury can be attributed to our rapidly changing sedentary lifestyle and work environment. The combination of these changes and the ongoing risk of local back trauma makes lower back injuries one of the more common reasons to present to Gladesville Healthcare for ‘hands-on’ therapy.

Anatomy:

The lower back (known as the lumbar spine) is the lowest region of the spinal column and supports the weight and mobility of the entire torso and upper body.
It is made up of 5 different bones (or vertebra) named L1 through to L5. These vertebrae are considerably larger than those found higher in the spinal column to create strength and stability to support the rest of the body. This allows a blend of mobility and stability through this region. This mobility and stability is created by a complexity of muscles that encompass the lower back (known are the Core Stabilisers).
Between the vertebrae are intervertebral discs that allow movement and help absorb force. Exiting from between the vertebrae are nerve roots which travel throughout the lower body and even down legs, including the sciatic nerve.

Skeletal view of lumbar area of the lower back 

 

Common Injuries to the Lower Back:

There are many different injuries associated with the lower back, some common examples include:

  • SciaticaThe Spine with Disc problems
  • Muscle tear or strain
  • Facet joint sprain/strain
  • Sacro-Iliac (SI) Joint sprain/strain
  • Ligament sprain/strain
  • Disc bulge
  • Disc protrusion
  • Herniated disc
  • Nerve root injury / Sciatica
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Osteoarthritis / Wear and Tear
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (& varying other arthridities)
  • Postural straining
  • Vertebral fracture

 Causes:

There are varying causes to lower back injuries, some common examples include:

  • Direct or indirect trauma to the lumbar spine
  • Poor lifting technique & heavy lifting
  • Poor posture
  • Incorrect workplace ergonomics
  • Inappropriate exercise technique and selection
  • Accumulative straining
  • Leg length inequality (structural or functional)
  • Scoliosis
  • Pregnancy
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Poor lower back biomechanical function
  • Poor pelvic biomechanical function
  • Poor hip biomechanical function
  • Poor knee biomechanical function
  • Poor foot / ankle biomechanical function

Treatment:

It is imperative that an accurate diagnosis is made before a treatment program can be formulated. A treatment program is of course tailored to an individual’s injury, age and physical condition, but should include:

  • Specific soft tissue massage
  • Specific lower body muscle stretches
  • Gentle correction of lumbar biomechanics
  • Improve pelvic and hip girdle mechanical function
  • Correction of thoracic mobility and biomechanics
  • Lumbar stability exercises
  • Postural control/stability exercises Activity and exercise modification to suit stage of injury

 

 The practitioners at Gladesville Healthcare specialise in the treatment of lower back injuries of all types and commonly deal with all of the above condition and problems. Our success is based on a blend of evidence based therapy, clinical experience and individual injury management.

 

 Neck & Upper Back Exercise Video:

 

Lower Back & Core Stability Video: