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Back Pain

MassageMore than 8 in 10 of us will suffer with back pain at some stage in our lives. Indeed, back pain is one of the most common clinical problems reported by physiotherapy patients.

The symptoms may cause debilitating pain and stiffness that lead to time off work; they can also prevent or severely limit your ability to perform sports, engage in hobbies and enjoy life.

 

Back Pain Causes

Back pain has many causes usually due to musculoskeletal issues and is generally diagnosed as non-specific low back pain. Non-specific low back pain is caused by problems with structures such as muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints particularly when pain arises suddenly during or following physical loading of the spine (postures).

Various uncommon bone disorders, tumours, fractures, infections, inflammatory conditions and pressure from structures near to the spine occasionally cause low back pain (less than 1% of cases). Diseases including osteoarthritis, spondylosis and osteoporosis can also cause pain due to joint degeneration.

Poor Posture

One of the major causes of back pain is poor posture, something that is becoming more and more common in modern society.

Basically, we humans were built to move – and we rarely do.

Poor posture, whether due to sitting, standing and lifting during work, or participating in hobbies and sports over a prolonged period of time, overloads the structures of your lower back. This overload leads to accumulated micro-trauma causing injury and back pain.

Muscles fatigue, ligaments overstretch, discs stretch and this places spinal joints and nerves under pain-causing pressure. Your brain tries to alleviate the pain by moving your body into postures that slacken the nerves being irritated. However, this can lead to the muscles being placed into shortened positions which eventually causes further irritation and pain, thus beginning a vicious circle of pain and dysfunction.

Disc Bulge

A bulging disc can be a common injury sustained to your spine’s intervertebral disc, and it can occur in your lower back (lumbar spine), upper and mid-back (thoracic spine) or your neck (cervical spine).

A bulging disc is also often referred to as a slipped disc or a protruding disc. If the disc bulge is large enough to injure the annulus (outer layer of the disc), the nucleus (inner substance of the disc) can press outwards on the weakened disc wall, causing your disc to bulge outwards.

Stress

Stress and other emotional factors play a major role in low back pain, particularly persistent / chronic low back pain – and many people unconsciously tighten their back muscles when they are under stress. The major drivers of chronic pain states are stress and anxiety; they have been found to cause around 80% of sufferer’s symptoms.

In cases where there was an injury this will usually heal in approximately 3-4 months. However, the pain is still experienced, driven by chemical release from the stress hormones adrenalin and cortosol. A number of vicious circles form as a result, thus perpetuating the pain state.

Good news

You can take very quick and safe steps to prevent or alleviate most back pain episodes.

Our physiotherapists at Gosforth Physio and Wellness are highly skilled experts in diagnosis, treatment, education and prevention of mechanical back pain. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential to aid speedy recovery from back pain and help prevent its recurrence.

Treatment

We use our head before we use our hands!

At Gosforth Physiotherapy and Wellness we are specialists in assessment, diagnosis, treatment and education of pain and dysfunction from neuro- musculoskeletal back conditions. You can be sure that you’re placing your health in the right hands. Once a detailed assessment is completed and we have established your diagnosis all appropriate treatment options will be discussed with you.

Treatments include:

  • Manual Therapy
  • Mobilisation
  • Manipulation
  • Acupuncture
  • Dry needling
  • Massage
  • Taping
  • Soft Tissue Release
  • Trigger Point Muscle Release
  • Muscle Energy Techniques
  • Postural Education / Advice
  • Postural Strengthening

You will be taught specific strengthening, stretching and Pilates exercises to perform at home to enhance and speed up your recovery, allowing you to effectively self manage your problem.

It is very rare that an MRI scan or X Ray is required. However, if your Physiotherapist or you feel that further investigation is necessary we can arrange private scans quickly. Referrals can be arranged in 2-5 days at The Newcastle Clinic and at North Tyneside MRI Centre.

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