The most important thing to consider when beginning to treat low back pain is to attain a correct diagnosis. This means finding out whether the pain is mechanical (coming from your musculoskeletal system) or organic (tumours, infections of bones/organs, or fractures). Mechanical pain can be resolved quite well through chiropractic care and/or physiotherapy and is the first choice recommended by the American Medical Association.
Generally, there are 4 phases of treatment to go through until an injury is fully healed. These are Pain, Mobility, Stability and Strength.
During the pain phase, the first goal is to reduce a patient’s pain. Modalities such as cold laser, massage, electro physical therapy and gentle joint mobilisations are all evidence-based methods that our trained chiropractors and physiotherapists use at Spinal and Sports Care clinics in Parramatta and Castle Hill to reduce pain and enable people to move better. Contrary to popular belief, rest (except for 2-3 days) is actually harmful for your back as this can cause further muscle spasms, loss of joint motion and wasting of core muscles. That’s not to say that going back straight away to full duties at work or sport is the idea either. The key is slow controlled movement to allow the body to heal.
The mobility phase involves identifying joints that move poorly, such as the hips which may be loading the low back incorrectly and causing pain. Some of this will be in the clinic with us as practitioners and some will be given as home exercise to further help mobility when you’re not at the clinic.
Stability is then improved by assessing your biomechanics and seeing where this can be improved. Poor mechanics will load muscles, joints, ligaments, and discs incorrectly and over time can cause chronic pain. Improving stability is done through home and supervised exercises. Many of these exercises will target at your gluteal complex as these are frequently under active in patients with low back pain.
The final phase is strength. Once your body moves well and is stable, its time to ensure it can deal with the loads placed upon it day to day. This will vary greatly, depending on whether you are an office worker, elite athlete, or tradesman.
At Spinal and Sports Care, we will work with you and your goals to give you the most tailored program we can. If you require lower back pain treatment, arrange an appointment at one of our spinal treatment centres in Castle Hill or Parramatta today by calling (02) 9683 1110.