Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain can be debilitating, but at the same time, it is important to know that it is perfectly treatable. If you want to help alleviate any lower back pain that you may be experiencing, then take a look below.
What is Lower Back Pain?
The lower back is a complex structure of bones, joints, nerves, muscles and ligaments which is well engineered for supporting your body weight and providing mobility for every day movements. As there are a lot of structures at play though, it can be susceptible to injury and pain. Lower back pain is essentially any pain that occurs from the base of your ribs to the top of your legs. It can result from your ligaments, tendons, nerves and joints.
Lower back pain can either be ‘acute’ or ‘chronic’. Acute pain comes on rapidly and can last from a few days to a few weeks. Chronic pain is when the pain lasts more than 3 months.
What are the Symptoms of Lower Back Pain?
Generally, lower back pain is signalled by a dull and aching feeling in the back. Other symptoms may include:
- Pain that gets worse after sitting for long periods of time
- Pain that eases when you change positions
- Pain that worsens slowly with time
- Pain that travels down to your feet or legs.
Is Lower Back Pain Common?
Lower back pain is incredibly common. Studies have shown that it affects approx. 60-80% of people in their lifetime, with up to 12% of the adolescent population experiencing low back pain each year. At least 23% of adults suffer from chronic pain.
What factors can put you at higher risk?
Depending on various lifestyle factors, you may find that you are more at risk of experiencing lower back pain. This includes;
- Sedentary habits; are you sitting a lot with limited movement throughout the day?
- Ageing; as we age the chance of back pain increases.
- Incorrect movements; whether it’s lifting heavy items or doing gym-based exercises, incorrect techniques cause strain to back muscles.
- Psychological stress causes the muscles to tense and increase the chance of back pain
How is Lower Back Pain Diagnosed?
At your initial consultation, our healthcare professionals will discuss your symptoms with you, and also explore some of the contributing factors for your lower back pain.
As a first step, our skilled Sydney Pelvic Clinic therapist will conduct an interview to gain a good understanding of your history and any other conditions you may have had.
A physical examination will be conducted to rule in or out certain conditions. X-rays might be recommended when the therapist suspects there is a more serious condition of the spine.
How can Lower Back Pain be Treated?
After an assessment of the severity of your lower back pain, your Sydney Pelvic Clinic therapist will provide some further understanding around the nature of your condition and discuss appropriate exercise therapy. Pain relief support will further be provided through manual therapy at the Clinic.
The therapist will then develop an exercise program for you to take home so you can continue working on the areas that require strengthening and conditioning.
How to Minimise your Lower Back Pain?
Here are some useful tips from our healthcare professional to minimise the chance of experiencing back pain:
- Integrate exercise into your daily routine. The spine loves to move.
- Check in with your therapist when experiencing episodes of lower back pain.
- Be conscious of your seated and standing posture. See your therapist if you are unsure using certain postures.
Lower Back Pain Myths
Some common misconceptions when talking about lower back pains seem to always resurface. Here we discuss and demystify some of them:
- “My Back is Done For”
Your back is not done for. You are simply experiencing a small bout of acute back pain. It is common, and in a lot of cases, perfectly treatable.
- “My Back is Weak”
Your back is not weak. Your spine is designed to support all of your body weight and it also allows for movement. It may be that you just need to try and retrain some of your muscles so they can move or function in a way that is more efficient for your body.
- “Surgery is the Only Option”
Surgery is very rarely the only option. It is important to know that a lot of cases of lower back pain are perfectly resolvable, and most of the time it is easy to deal with them through conservative management. Sometimes undergoing exercise therapy can help drastically improve chronic back pain.
For more detailed information on lower back pain and the support we can provide, book an appointment with our team of specialists at Sydney Pelvic Clinic.