Almost everyone experiences some type of back pain at some point in time. The pain may occur suddenly and be gone within a couple of days or weeks, or it may occur repeatedly, never completely going away, and can sometimes have a major impact on your regular daily activities.
Back Pain Has Many Causes and Forms
A few of these causes are:
Poor posture stresses your spine. The soft tissue becomes overstretched, muscles tire and joints and nerves are put under pressure.
Minor back muscle strains quickly improve on their own, but more severe strains will need physiotherapy treatment to relieve pain and promote healing.
Discs are the shock absorbers of the spine and are anchored to the vertebrae, above and below, so they cannot slip out of place. The disc has a soft (jelly-like) interior that can bulge (prolapse), herniate or even rupture in response to such mechanical stresses as lifting or twisting. Although the majority of disc problems are a result of an injury, discs wear down and thin with age leading to degenerative disc disease.
Vertebral joints can be affected by degenerative arthritis, causing inflammation within the joint and the growth of bony spurs on the edges of the vertebrae. The pain may be limited to the back or it can radiate to the lower abdomen, groin, leg or foot. The distance the pain travels can be an indicator of the seriousness of the injury. Symptoms such as pins and needles, numbness or a burning feeling in the leg or foot region that accompany the pain pathway are also an indication of severity and should not be left untreated. These symptoms may be a result of damage to the sciatic nerve, which travels from the low back down the back of the leg to the foot, enervating most of the leg muscles and bringing sensation to the leg. Lifting with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your hips and knees, keeping your back as straight as possible. Grip the load firmly and hold it close to your body, tighten your stomach muscles and use the strong muscles of your legs as you lift the object. Keep your back straight and avoid twisting. Point your feet in the direction you want to go.
Think tall with your chest lifted, shoulders relaxed, chin tucked in and level. Posture should be stable, balanced and relaxed when sitting, walking or standing.
Don’t sit for long periods of time; stand up, stretch and walk around. Use a back support in your chair if necessary but make sure it fits you.
A healthy body-weight puts less strain on your back. Your physiotherapist can show you how to keep your back flexible and strong with correct back and stomach exercises.
Position your car seat so your back is supported and your legs are relaxed and slightly bent. If you need extra lower back support, use a lumbar roll or a rolled-up towel.
Sleeping on your mattress should be firm enough to support your spine in a neutral position no sagging! Consider adding a layer of foam for added support. Normally, pain resulting from muscle or ligament strains will repair itself in the first 24 to 48 hours after injury. If the pain does not subside after 24 hours, or is getting worse, you should consult a health care professional.
physiotherapy can Help
Physiotherapy's benefits include reducing pain, improving joint mobility, increasing strength, coordination and improved recovery.
Our physiotherapists are highly experienced with treating many types of back pain from many causes. They employ a wide range of specialized techniques to help you reduce and recover from your back pain.