Easing your Lower Back Pain

Has it happened to you? Studies indicate that between 60% and 80% of people will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. This looming number suggests that it’s fairly likely that you, or a family member, will go through it -- but, thankfully, it’s rarely serious and can be managed effectively. Still, it’s certainly an ailment that can impact your day to day life, since its discomfort is usually constant.

While there can be many different causes of lower back pain, the good news is that the team at Creekside can help you find effective solutions that will help ease it. So, despite that large percentage of people who will experience it, lower back pain isn’t a reason for undue stress.

More often than not, pain in the lower back is caused by improper or unbalanced movements, such as lifting heavy objects the incorrect way, for sitting for too long. Thankfully, these are often easy to fix with manual therapy from your physiotherapist, and a series of exercises that they’ll prescribe for you to do at home, too. These will likely focus in part on core stability and strength, which is key to moving through life with a stable and pain-free lower back.

 
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Sometimes, when back pain is a little sharper or more sudden, it can indicate something slightly more complex, such as a muscle strain, spinal disc injury or irritation, sciatica (which is when pain radiates through the glutes and down the back of the leg), compression fractures, or structural irritation that pinches a nerve. 

For some of these injuries, such as a muscle strain, your physiotherapist may want to include electro-physical modalities as a part of your rehabilitation plan. These include ultrasound, TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) or Interferential Current. These treatments (which aren’t as complex or intimidating as they sound!) can be very effective in decreasing or even eliminating pain. They involve using electric currents to stimulate blood flow to an area and relieve tense muscles -- and don’t worry, it’s completely painless!

 
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Perhaps surprisingly, one of the most common causes of pain in the lower back is one referred to as “non-specific low back pain,” which means it doesn’t have a known, identifiable pathology. If yours falls into this category, your physiotherapist will still find you an effective solution, thanks to a thorough assessment to see how the spine, muscles, and ligaments are functioning in the affected area. 

Regardless of its cause, often a solution to an injury in the lower back is found over the course of a few months, weeks, or even days while working with a physiotherapist. Your treatment won’t involve bedrest: mindful movement and hands-on modalities are key eliminating pain in this area. 

Manual therapy -- which will likely be an important part of your unique treatment plan -- is comprised of various hands-on techniques that help patients rebuild muscle strength and regain their range of movement, both of which are usually impaired in even minor low back injuries. Your physiotherapist will gently manipulate the body in ways that reduce inflammation and relieve tense muscles, and will help you learn how to move with less pain.

 
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Even if the pain in your back feels debilitating, there’s reason for optimism: the team at Creekside has a wide range of modalities and treatments that relieve even the most complex causes of low back pain, and we’ll piece together a unique rehabilitation plan that will work best for you. Often, multiple complementary treatments like acupuncture, massage therapy, and - most importantly - appropriate exercise will be part of your successful recovery. Thankfully, all of these services are available at Creekside, so we can help get you moving freely and living fully! A pain-free back is key in enjoying the sports we love, feeling good at work, and even simply enjoying a good night’s sleep -- and we’re committed to getting you back to that, as soon as possible.

Creekside Physio