Back Pain Treatment

Back pain is one of the most common problems we see here at West Pennant Hills Physiotherapy and Sports Injuries Centre. It can affect 60-80% of people throughout their lifetime. Back pain can be caused by bending awkwardly, poor lifting technique, overstretching, twisting, repetitive bending, extended periods of sitting or standing, or accidents such as falls or motor vehicle accidents.

Physiotherapy can
help with back pain

by providing pain relief with massage and gentle joint mobilisation techniques to help relieve tightness and stiffness in your muscles and joints. We use ultrasound, heat packs and TENS to help relax your muscles and ease your pain. We provide education and thorough advice on ways to stay active and what normal activities you can continue to do. We can advise you on how long you need to take off sport, how to keep fit in the meantime, and when it is safe for you to return. We also provide individually tailored exercises to help improve your range of motion, strength, flexibility and endurance. We can advise you of any ergonomic adjustments to your work or study environment that may improve your posture and alleviate the stress on your back. We also offer weekly stretch classes here to improve your flexibility and we offer Physio Matwork classes 2 x per week to help to strengthen your core muscles and improve your stability which in turn helps to alleviate your back pain.

Disc injuries

The discs in the lumbar spine are the rubbery material that sits between each vertebrae and are designed to transfer load. Disc injuries can occur with sustained bending or trauma, or they can be due to gradual age-related wear and tear. This can cause a bulging disc, also known as a slipped or herniated disc. In more severe cases, the disc can irritate the nerve nearby and cause pain down the legs (often known as sciatica). Most patients respond really well to back physiotherapy treatment to help alleviate the pain. We use gentle joint mobilisation techniques and massage, as well as ultrasound, heat packs and TENS for pain relief. We provide a comprehensive exercise program that focuses on your core stability to help support the disc and your spine better and therefore help prevent future recurrences. We offer a twice-weekly Physio Matwork class that is specifically designed to increase your core strength following a back injury. Some disc injuries may require surgical intervention however this is very rare. A physiotherapist will advise you if a Specialist review is indicated.

Ligament/facet joint
sprain and muscle spasm

Heavy lifting, prolonged bending or sporting injuries can cause ligament/facet joint sprains and muscle spasms. The facet joints are the joints between the vertebrae of your spine. There are two facet joints in each spinal segment and they function to guide and limit movement. The joints can be overstretched which causes the surrounding muscles to spasm and become really tight as a protective mechanism for your back. Physiotherapy helps to relieve this muscle tightness and joint stiffness through hands-on manual therapy which includes massage and gentle joint mobilisation. We also use ultrasound, heat packs and TENS for pain relief. We provide you with an individually tailored exercise program to help improve your range of motion, flexibility, strength and endurance.  It is important to build up your core stability to help prevent future sprains from occurring. Our Physio Matwork class that we run here in our clinic is specifically designed for patients who have suffered from a back injury, and has a strong focus on core strength and stability.

Postural back pain

Postural back pain is due to poor posture, including poor work station set-up, poor standing and sitting posture, as well as incorrect sleeping positions. If we spend too long in poor positions, we develop muscle imbalances and weaknesses which affect our back. Physiotherapy identifies these problems and helps to correct them through education, hands-on treatment, and the prescription of the most appropriate exercises tailored specifically to you. We provide stretching and strengthening programs targeted to address your muscle imbalances and work on your core stability. Education regarding your work station setup and how you can adjust it to best suit you is also really important in helping to alleviate your pain. We give advice on frequency of breaks at work or study, what exercises to do during your breaks and which would be the best forms of exercise or fitness you can do to prevent back pain. We offer weekly stretch classes here to improve your flexibility and we offer Physio Matwork classes 2 x per week to help to strengthen your core muscles. We also offer a twice-weekly circuit class which is designed to increase your overall strength and fitness to help you cope better with the demands of your work.

Degenerative changes

As we age, our bodies undergo gradual degeneration (wear and tear) to the spinal joints and discs. This can lead to back pain and stiffness. Physiotherapy helps to alleviate pain in your lower back through joint mobilisations and massage. We also use heat packs, TENS and ultrasound for pain relief and relaxation. We provide you with an individually tailored exercise program that addresses any muscular tightness or weakness that you may have, so that your muscles better support your spine. We provide advice on what activities and exercises are safe to do, give you tips on how to prevent back pain flare-ups from occurring. We run a balance class here once per week to help improve your posture and help address any balance concerns you might have as you age. Our twice-weekly circuit class is designed to build up your fitness and overall strength to help prevent injury.

Nerve pain

Low back pain can result from nerve irritation, commonly called a ‘pinched nerve’. This can also be referred to as radicular pain. The most common nerve affected is the sciatic nerve, which causes pain down the leg. Pressure on the sciatic nerve from a bulging disc often causes sciatica. Other causes include joint inflammation, bony arthritic growths causing nerve compression, or a locked facet joint. Pain usually begins in the lower back and spreads through the buttock and down the leg. The pain can be sharp and shooting, or it can be more of a dull ache. You may also experience pins and needles or numbness in the affected leg. Physiotherapy aims to alleviate your pain through joint mobilisations and massage. We use heat packs, TENS and ultrasound to help relax your muscles and provide pain relief. We also prescribe you with a comprehensive exercise program targeting your flexibility, strength and stability to help correct the problem and help to prevent any further recurrences.

Spondylolysis (Back stress fracture)

Spondylolysis is a common cause of back pain in children, adolescents and active young adults. It is a non-displaced stress fracture of the spinal vertebra, also known as a pars stress fracture. In more severe cases, the vertebral body can slip forward. This is called spondylolisthesis and is more common in individuals with pars fractures on both sides of the vertebra. Activities that require repetitive rotation and/or hyperextension can cause stress fractures, for example, cricket, gymnastics and dancing. The pain is usually sharp and aggravated by arching and standing. Most cases respond well to conservative treatment which consists of pain management and a comprehensive exercise program targeting flexibility, strength and core stability. Indication for surgery is extremely rare in this condition.

Contact Us Today