SYMPTOMS OF LOWER BACK PAIN

Lower back pain symptoms can include:

  • Dull ache in your hips and/or pelvis
  • Pain that worsens with positions or activity and can improve with changes to positions and/or activity
  • Muscle spasms or tightness
  • Sharp, tingling pain that starts in your lower back and travels down one leg (also known as sciatica)

It is important that we remember our lumbar spine (lower back), plays a crucial role in supporting the weight of our upper body. It’s responsible for everyday movements, such as bending, twisting and coordinates with our hips, pelvis, legs, feet, upper trunk and arms. Due to our everyday use, sometimes the bones, muscles, ligaments, discs, or our nerves can get overloaded causing pain in the lower back.
Most patients experience a combination of these symptoms, which can develop suddenly or over time. Typically, we hear the story of back pain episodes that are getting progressively worse over time.

TWO OF THE MOST COMMON CAUSES OF ACUTE BACK PAIN AREA

  1. Strain
  2. Sprain

Lower back sprain or strain can result from an acute injury. Incidences that’s can cause injury can be falling, lifting something too heavy or playing sports. A sprain or strain can also develop over time due to repetitive movements or poor function.
Most of the time straining or spraining our back, will effectively respond well to a treatment plan and aren’t long-lasting — taking anywhere from a few weeks to heal or, at most, a few months.
Treatment for this type of low back pain can include pain medications, specific exercise, and avoiding strenuous activity until the pain settles. It is useful to engage with a course of strengthening to enhance your back once the pain symptoms have settled with the aim of reducing reoccurrences and building your capacity to perform more strenuous daily activities. As physiotherapists we can help you determine the course of care that can help heal your lower back pain.
If your lower back pain persists despite treatment, it may be time to consider other causes of lower back pain.

COMMON CAUSES OF CHRONIC LOWER BACK PAIN

Chronic low back pain is more likely to be caused by issues with the discs, nerves, joints, or vertebrae but is complex and has strong association with our genetics in combination with our weight, psychology, sleep, general-fitness and wellbeing.
Possible causes for chronic/persistent pain might include:

  • Herniated disc
  • Facet joint injury
  • Compression fracture
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis

WHEN TO SEE A CHARTERED PHYSIOTHERAPIST FOR LOWER BACK PAIN

If you’re experiencing lower back pain that’s not responding to rest and self-care, it’s time to consider seeing a physiotherapist.
As physiotherapists, we can diagnose the possible root cause after a detailed physical examination and history taking. Depending on your diagnosis, we will then design a treatment plan aimed at alleviating your pain and preventing it from disrupting the everyday activities you enjoy.