Sixty percent of adults suffer from back pain every year, and half become chronic sufferers. Back pain can be caused by problems with discs, joints, muscles and ligaments. Back pain is most often the result of acute trauma / injury, poor postural habits and the accumulation of physical stress on the spine but there are other causes of back pain such as inflammation, and rarer, more serious problems such as progressive diseases affecting bones and joints.
A back problem, in turn can cause sciatica in which nerve pressure is experienced as pain in the leg, ankle or foot. Pins and needles and numbness are also common. Sciatica may be triggered by very small, normal movements like bending over to one side at a bad angle to pick something up, as well from suffering a trauma. Sciatica can also be caused by a stretch type injury as well as a gradual onset for no apparent reason. It usually affects only one side of the pelvis and leg. Pain extending from the lower back along the back of the leg is a common symptom of sciatica. Our Chartered Physiotherapists are trained to diagnose problems in the joints and soft tissues of the body and will carry out a comprehensive assessment and treatment plan for your particular problem.
Physiotherapy is very effective in the treatment of Sciatica and back related pain. Treatment by our team of highly skilled Physiotherapists can relieve nerve root compression caused by fibrous scar tissue following a disc prolapse and can treat conditions related to compression of the sciatic nerve by other structures also.
Our Physiotherapists also aim to prevent further episodes of back and/or sciatic pain through teaching correct postural techniques, and exercises to correct any muscle imbalance in the spine.
Exercise prescription from a fully qualified Physiotherapist has been shown to play a key role in the successful management of back related problems when prescribed from a fully trained professional.
Physiotherapists are university trained in the assessment and treatment of spinal problems. The important thing to realize is that back pain can most often be prevented by keeping the back muscles flexible and strong and by being careful not to bend forward either repetitively or while carrying heavy weight.
Treatment can involve postural education (see Postural Assessment & Dysfunction), acupuncture, exercise and movement instruction, joint manipulation and mobilisation, massage and a variety of other techniques and modalities. Exercise may also be used to increase general fitness or to strengthen muscles which support the spine.
If you are prone to back pain, our Physiotherapists can also offer preventive advice.