The most important thing to consider when beginning to treat lower 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.
Phases of Recovery In Lower Back Pain Treatment
Generally, there are 4 phases of lower back pain treatment to go through until an injury is fully healed. These are Pain, Mobility, Stability and Strength.
Pain Phase of Recovery
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.
Mobility Phase of Recovery
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 Phase of Recovery
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.
Strength Phase of Recovery
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.
What Causes Lower Back Pain?
Lower back pain treatment is best when tailored to the initial cause of pain, and there are many potential reasons for lower back pain to occur.
Strain on Muscles and Ligaments:
Overexertion from heavy lifting or sudden, awkward movements can strain the muscles and ligaments in the back, leading to discomfort. Individuals in suboptimal physical condition are at a greater risk of experiencing painful muscle spasms due to consistent strain on their back, and this may result in lower back pain.
Bulging or Ruptured Disks:
Disks function as cushions between the spinal bones. Sometimes, the soft material inside a disk can protrude or rupture, exerting pressure on a nerve. It’s worth noting that a bulging or ruptured disk might not always be the direct cause of back pain. Disk issues are frequently identified incidentally on spine X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs performed for unrelated reasons.
Osteoarthritis can impact the lower back, potentially resulting in a narrowing of the space surrounding the spinal cord, a condition known as spinal stenosis.
When bones in the spine become porous and brittle, it can lead to painful fractures in the vertebrae. These fractures can be the cause of more severe lower back pain, and they require delicate treatment from our team.
Ankylosing Spondylitis (Axial Spondyloarthritis):
This inflammatory issue has the potential to cause fusion of certain spinal bones, and this can reduce spinal flexibility. A more limited range of motion is a common symptom of lower back pain, and our team can work to identify a suitable form of lower back pain treatment for the condition.
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