3 Steps in Back Pain Treatment

Back Pain can be a source of discomfort for some and extremely debilitating for others. Thankfully there a number of strategies from NQ Physio Townsville and other professionals that can help reduce your lower back pain.

To get us started let’s look at the various causes of lower back pain.  Back pain can be related to a number of different factors

Muscle Related Injuries

Tight muscles are a leading cause of back pain, tight muscles can often feel sore and uncomfortable and when placed under a great amount of stress can even seize up resulting a pain and restricted range of movement. Other muscled related injuries include strains, cramps and fibromyalgia.

Bone Related Injuries

Bone related injuries can be serious injuries causing significant amounts of pain in the lower back. Sometimes these injuries can be mistaken for muscle related injuries as the injury to the bone also results in significant strain being placed on the surrounding muscles. Bone related injuries include:

        Stress fractures*

        Osteoporosis

        Scoliosis

        Spinal Stenosis

        Spondylosis

*Stress fractures can be caused by significant repeated strain on the bones in the body. These can start out with a little discomfort but if not identified early and managed correctly can result in significant pain and rehabilitation.

Other injuries include:

Disc Related Injuries (e.g bulging or slipped disc)

Back Joint Injuries (Facet Joint Pain)

Nerve Related Injuries (Pinched Nerve, Sciatica)

Systemic Disease (Rheumatoid Arthritis)

Back Injuries in Youth’s

Teenagers can also be particularly vulnerable to back pain and injury as they are experiencing rapid rates of growth and possess high flexibility whilst lacking muscle strength and posture control. Although lumber back injuries result in less that 10% of sports related injuries, sports such as cricket, gymnastics and tennis have an increased number of twisting motions involved and as a result increased back injury.

Treatment of Back Pain

Stage 1 – Assessment

The first stage in treating back pain relies upon diagnosis to direct the ensuing course of treatment. With accurate diagnosis and treatment most back pain is able to be significantly reduced and improvement are seen in client’s quality of movement and physical wellbeing.

Tools that are used by physiotherapists to diagnose injuries include functional movements tests, understanding the symptoms and causes of pain and assessing the stability and function of joints.  If more thorough diagnosis is required a physiotherapist may refer their patient to a specialist doctor or for more detailed imaging such as MRI or X-Ray.

Stage 2 – Rehabilitation

Once a physiotherapist has determined the type and extent of injury, they can begin the rehabilitation phase. This aims to gradually incorporate increasing movement exercises and loads to improve the level of pain in the lower back and quality of movement. These can include strength exercises with address muscle atrophy or imbalances as well as flexibility exercises to increase the range of motion. Other aspects within the rehabilitation phases can include treatments such as massage, joint mobilisation and dry needling to relieve muscle pressure and increase blood flow.

Stage 3 – Graduation

The patient will be able to graduate from their rehabilitation protocols when they are free of pain and deemed to have an acceptable range of motion and musculoskeletal function. Once this has been achieve, they no long require treatment and should be able to carry out their daily life free from pain.

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