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Back Pain and Physiotherapy

Common Back Complaints

Back pain can occur for a variety of reasons. Some causes of back pain include

  • Muscular strain
  • Problems with inter-vertebral discs
  • Poor posture/ Lifting techniques
  • Degenerative changes to bones and joints
  • Scoliosis
  • Poor core control

These are just some examples of why you may be experiencing pain in your back. Often there are many factors that contribute to your back pain. Sometimes problems with joints, muscles and nerves can lead to pins and needles, pain and numbness in your bottom, legs and feet.

Your Physiotherapist and/or doctor will be able to explain your condition to you in more detail, including the cause of your symptoms and what you can do to alleviate them.

How Can Physiotherapy Help?

Physiotherapy can help ease back pain and other associated symptoms.

The aim of Physiotherapy is to reduce pain, increase movement and strength, and to help improve you day to day functioning.

Physiotherapy can also help you to manage your condition, and to prevent painful flare ups in the future.

Physiotherapy Treatment

During your first session your Physiotherapist will discuss your symptoms, history, and goals before deciding on an appropriate treatment plan. Following are some examples of the kinds of treatments that might be used.

  • Manual therapy techniques, including massage and joint mobilistations, can help to alleviate symptoms and improve joint function. Physiotherapists often use such techniques in combination with exercise and other treatments .
  • Your Physiotherapist may also give you advice on how you can improve your posture at work and at home. This can include types of stretches you can do at work to help you break up time spent in one position, how to arrange your work station so it will encourage you to adapt the posture best suited to you. It is also important to discuss with your Physiotherapist, which of your normal activities are appropriate for you to continue, or if you need to modify them.
  • Heat or ice can also be used to achieve pain relief, depending on your condition. Your Physiotherapist will advise you of which of these is most appropriate.
  • Traction is a technique that your Physiotherapist might use to help stretch out the joints in your neck. This can be done with either a machine, or the Physiotherapist might use their hands. This can help to take pressure off joints, nerves and discs in your neck, which can reduce pain.
  • Physiotherapists often use strapping techniques as a part your treatment. It can help to improve posture because it reminds you to sit or stand in a certain way. Your Physiotherapist will then give you exercises to help maintain this posture, so you don’t have to wear the tape on a long term basis.
  • Your Physiotherapist will often give you some exercises or stretches in order to reduce pain, and improve your functioning. The exercises given will depend on your condition, history and goals. Your Physiotherapist will discuss with you the type of exercise that is most appropriate for you, and will provide you with any equipment they believe will enhance your treatment.
  • Aquatic Physiotherapy/ Hydrotherapy, or Clinical Pilates can also be effective treatment options. Your Physiotherapist may discuss these options with you.
  • Heat or ice can also be used to achieve pain relief , depending on your condition .Your physiotherapist will advise you of which of these is most appropriate.
  • Types of Exercises

Types of Exercises

Exercise is an important part of your treatment .It can help manage pain, increase strength and improve the function of your back and core muscles. Your physiotherapist will prescribe exercises, and/or stretches on an individual basis.

As mentioned exercise is an important part of your treatment. It can help you to manage pain, improve posture, and to perform your daily activities with increased comfort. Your Physiotherapist will prescribe exercises, or stretches on an individual basis, depending on your condition.

Often your Physiotherapist will ask you to perform some exercises at home, in order to complement what you do your Physiotherapy sessions. Home exercises programs are very important, as it gives you the best chance of achieving your goals, and improving your function.

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