Physiotherapy for Back pain

According to NHS England, back pain is the largest single cause of disability in the UK. Before you consider Physiotherapy for back pain, I would like to explain the common causes, symptoms and possible solutions available to you.

Back pain can be as a result of several different pathologies, and some people will have more than one problem contributing to their pattern of pain. These can include damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, discs and vertebrae. Having said that, most back pain is not related to anything serious and by keeping moving, avoiding aggravating tasks, doing gentle exercise and stretches it should be possible to control it.

An article that was published in the Lancet examined the research into low back pain assessment and treatment. The conclusion was that there was very little evidence for most of the invasive investigations, x-rays, scans, injections and surgeries. They did show that some manual therapy was helpful, together with a graded exercise programme.

However, there are some ‘red flag’ symptoms which may indicate a more serious problem and if you are experiencing any of these, it is very important to seek medical attention so that you can be checked and treated if necessary; especially if they come on following trauma such as a fall. The symptoms to look out for are:

• Numbness or pins and needles between your legs, in the area which would be in contact with a saddle
• Inability to pass urine
• Urinary or bowel incontinence
• Leg weakness
• Extreme pain in both or one of your legs

Intervertebral discs are the soft, gel-filled cushions that sit between each vertebra in your spine. They act as shock absorbers, while allowing safe movement of your spine. Spinal scans often report degenerative changes of the discs or wear and tear. This is a natural change as you age and the water content of the discs reduce from the 80% that you are born with.

If a disc is compressed too much on one side – by trauma or muscle tension, the gel is forced out to the other side (imagine what would happen if you filled a balloon with water and then squeezed it on one side). This pushes the disc out of its normal position and into the space occupied by the nerves; a slipped disc, resulting in very painful conditions such as sciatica and nerve pain down your arms.

When seeking treatment for disc problems, it is important to remember that even though your pain may be on one side, the cause is probably on the other side. Relieve the compression and the disc will have space to come back into its rightful position, as long as it has not completely ruptured or displaced too much.

Physiotherapy for back pain can help to reduce pain and tension and also treat the cause.

If you would like to discuss options for Physiotherapy treatment, please feel free to contact us via this website or give us a call on 01279 718331.

Holisticare is a UK based treatment centre, situated in a beautiful, rural Hertfordshire and Essex border location, with easy access via London and Cambridge rail and road links.

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