Lower back pain can be linked to injuries of the lower back muscles and ligaments around the spine, discs between the vertebrae, spinal cord and nerves, as well as abdominal muscles and pelvic organs.
Back pain goes beyond the physical. It can have a profound effect on emotions and interferes with every aspect of your life. Irritability, fear, depression and anxiety often accompany back pain.
Before the emotional issues blow out of proportion, you need to find out what’s causing back pain and take care of that root problem by seeing the right specialist.
Most patients prefer treatment that can help them manage the pain until it passes. Doctors generally prescribe bed rest, pills and, in extreme cases, surgery. But lately, many physicians are recommending exercise and manual therapy as better approaches to treating back pain.
There are many types of health professionals with varied training and interests who can treat back pain.
In 2017, the American College of Physicians released new guidelines on noninvasive treatments for lower back pain. The group emphasised that pharmaceutical options should be treatments of last resort.
Instead, superficial heat, spinal manipulation and exercise were recommended by the authors for acute and chronic back pain.
Physiotherapy offers all of the below remedies to treat a wide variety of spinal conditions:
- Therapeutic Heat – This form of therapy, applies heating modalities locally to provide pain relief, promote tissue healing, increase blood flow, ease muscle spasm, relieve tissue tightness and joint stiffness, as well as relax stiff joints and tight muscles to prepare them for exercise.
- Manual Therapy – Physiotherapists use precise hands-on techniques including kneading and manipulation of the muscles, joint mobilisation and manipulation. This is to treat musculoskeletal pain and disability, as well as relieve stiffness and improve movement of the joints and muscles of your spine.
- Movement and Progressive Strengthening Exercises – This is tailored fit for your needs, designed to restore your motion and reduce pain. Along with therapeutic heat and manual therapy, progressive strengthening exercises are very effective in managing chronic low back pain.
- Dry needling – Based on modern day scientific studies of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, dry needling is a technique that uses a very fine “dry” needle. This is inserted through the skin into the muscle trigger points. In most cases, the insertion of the needle is not felt unless the trigger point is stimulated which may provoke a mild spasm and slight discomfort.
- Posture and Biomechanics – A physiotherapist will identify any posture mis-alignment or biomechanic dysfunctions that are contributing to your back pain and provide hands-on treatment, prescribe exercises or work together with other health professionals (such as podiatrists to correct issues in the foot) to avoid injury and achieve the best outcome.
- Professional Advice – A physiotherapist can give you specific advice for your daily activities to achieve optimal health and reduce your risk of pain or injury. Physiotherapy looks at the body as a whole, instead of focusing on the individual factors of an injury. Physical therapy was found to be as good as surgery and less risky for lumbar spinal stenosis.
Remedial Massage Therapy
Aside from being soothing, a massage also has many health benefits. Although more research is required, there are some studies that found massage to be beneficial for stress relief, anxiety and depression management, pain and muscle stiffness, blood pressure control, and sports-related injuries.
Although beneficial for the body and well-being, massage therapy can only touch the surface of your back issues. It’s also not for everyone. Massage therapy shouldn’t be considered for the following cases:
- Blood clots
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Severe Osteoporosis
Very rarely, massage therapy can cause internal bleeding, nerve damage, temporary paralysis and allergic reactions to massage oils or lotions.
Other Allied Health Professions:
Osteopathy is a noninvasive way of curing problems in muscles, bones, and nerves through manipulation or massage of the bones, joints and muscles. There are many conditions that can be treated or relieved by Osteopathy such as back pain, neck pain, physical stress, menstrual pain and even asthma.
Chiropractic is a non-surgical treatment of the nervous system and/or musculoskeletal system disorders through manipulation of the spine and its surrounding structures. The therapy involves either a high or low-velocity manipulation of the vertebra as well as stretching of the muscles and joints in order to improve functionality and restore range of motion.
At The Brisbane Spine Clinic, our spinal consultants offer our clients the highest level of care through effective, individualised, compassionate and nonsurgical physiotherapy treatment options for back pain.
Many health professionals look at back pain with tunnel-vision and don’t follow an adequate treatment plan to solve the complex nature of lower back pain.
We conduct a comprehensive examination using a holistic approach. We identify the true cause of lower back pain and identify all risk factors that may have lead to your problems.
Find out how our team at The Brisbane Spine Clinic can help you solve your condition.
*Please note, content within this article is for educational purposes only and treatment and advice mentioned may not be suited for everyone. Please consult a team member at the Brisbane Spine Clinic or your General Practitioner for specific advice.