How to Relieve You Lower Back Pain in 5 Steps with Physiotherapy
Allow me to introduce you to Katherine. Katherine works a 9-5 office job and spends the rest of her nights caring for her 3 young children. She used to love playing with her children, but recently, she has no longer been able to due to excruciating pain in her lower back. Instead, she spends her nights cooped up on the couch, trying to find a comfortable position that eases the pain.
Katherine was trying to push through the pain, but decided it was time to pay a visit to the Physiotherapy clinic when the pain started traveling down her leg. When she met with the Physiotherapist, he noticed that even her walking gait had been affected due to the pain traveling down her leg. She explained her difficulty sitting in her office chair, walking up the stairs, and her inability to pick up her children. It was clear that her pain was affecting her entire life and something needed to be done.
Katherine’s story is unfortunately very common. I hope for you to be able to share in her lessons after suffering for months with excruciating back pain. With such a busy schedule, she did not think she had time for Physiotherapy. She now regrets waiting as long as she did. “I wish I would have gone to the clinic sooner; it would have saved me from painful workdays, sleepless nights, and most importantly, it would have allowed me to play with my children again sooner”.Does this sound familiar? I’d like to share the steps you need to help relieve your back pain and get you back to living your life.
What is Lower Back Pain? Does it matter where on my back it is?
Isn’t Back pain the same?
Radiating back pain is a type of back pain that starts in one place and travels to a different part of your body. Typically, radiating back pain starts in the lower back but it doesn’t stop there. Radiating back pain can shoot into one or both of your legs and can even travel all the way to your toes.
But it doesn’t always happen this way…
➔ Radiating back pain can travel along a nerve of the thoracic spine into the stomach and chest area.
➔ It can also travel and cause pain all the way up into your arms.
➔ Along with pain, you may also experience tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness in the arms or legs.
Radiating vs Referring vs Radicular Pain
Perhaps you’ve heard of these terms before. Or not. If so, what do they actually mean?
1. Radicular pain occurs when the spinal nerve becomes inflamed or compressed. The pain radiates from your back and hip into your arms or legs through the spinal nerve root.
2. Referred pain is when the pain you feel in one area of your body is being caused by pain or an injury in another area of your body. This means your back pain may actually be caused from injury to another area of the body.
3. Radiating pain starts in one place of the body but travels to another. It is usually caused by irritation of a nerve and the pain typically travels along the path of a nerve.
Why does this matter to me?
Radiating back pain is usually only the beginning. This means that there are likely multiple areas that are irritated and injured.
This is not your typical back pain due to a tight and achy muscle. In terms of treatments, Physiotherapists have to find all of the injured tissues and dig deep to treat not one but multiple causes for your radiating lower back pain.
How to relieve your lower back pain in 5 steps with physiotherapy
Step 1: Write it down
If this is not your first time seeing a doctor or therapist, you will know that the first
meeting typically involves answering some questions. These questions are important because they will help to guide your next steps. If you have these questions answered ahead of time, you don’t have to try and remember something that may have happened years ago. Your first visit will go faster and smoother.
Here are some important questions that you need to be able to answer.
❏ When did your pain start?
❏ How did it begin? (Was there an accident or incident, did it come on gradually?)
❏ What daily activities aggravate your lower back?
❏ Is there anything you do that helps to relieve the pain?
❏ What time of the day is your pain at its worst and what time of the day is it at its best?
Step 2: Movement tests
Your answers to the above questions will help to determine which physical and
movement tests if any are performed. Each movement will cause one of three things to happen: Your pain will increase; Your pain will decrease; or, it will remain the same and have no effect.
From your responses to the tests, your Physiotherapist will be able to determine which specific area and nerves or muscles have been injured. This helps determine where the injury may have originated and where it has traveled to. With this information, your Physiotherapist can then create a treatment plan that is best fit for your specific injury and goals.
Step 3: Passive Physiotherapy
Once the Physiotherapist has determined the cause of the pain, they can help alleviate it with the use of modalities such as needling, massage, heat application, ice packs, electrical stimulation, and ultrasounds.
These modalities help to relieve pain and muscle tension, helps to decrease inflammation, and can help with tissue healing. These modalities alone will not fix your lower pain problem. Further steps need to be completed.
Step 4: Active physiotherapy
Active Physiotherapy involves actual movement of the joints and stretching of the muscles with or without the help of your Physiotherapist. Active exercise is also important during this step. Your Physiotherapist helps to coach you into the correct stretching and exercise positions.
Step 5: At home portion
Once you have learned proper technique, your Physiotherapist will then prescribe the sets and reps of each exercise/stretch to be done at home. It is very important that you follow the instructions correctly. The at home portion is a key step and should not be neglected or overused.
Ending your lower back pain for good
Back pain is very debilitating and can affect your entire life. With Physiotherapy you can achieve the quality of life you deserve. You are just 5 steps away from feeling like yourself again and stopping lower back pain from taking over your life. Just imagine being able to do the things you love most. Stop suffering every day and relieve your back pain with Physiotherapy.
- BOOK AN APPOINTMENT: our easy-to-use website allows you to book your own appointments. Choose a time that is most convenient to you to come in to see one of our amazing Physiotherapists www.sportingedgephysiotherapy.com
- Still have questions ? Call us 9054174646 for a 10 minute phone consultation with one of our available Physiotherapists.
- LEARN MORE: with this easy to read article on 8 Simple Stretches to Relieve Lower Back Pain https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/stretches-for-lower-back-pain
Can a Physiotherapist help with lower back pain?
Physiotherapy is a type of treatment that helps to improve the movement and function of your joints and muscles. If you have lower back pain, Physiotherapy can help to reduce it and get you back to normal mobility. It can also help you to make changes that reduce the chances of hurting your back again.
When should I seek help for my lower back pain?
If your pain is consistent and does not ease up within a few days, you should consider booking an appointment. Seek help if the pain radiates to another part of your body, affects the way you walk, affects your daily activities, or affects your over wellbeing. Do not try to suffer through the pain, it is ok to receive help.
Is there anything I can do to avoid low back pain?
Yes. It is important to take care of your body and be aware of the dangers you may putting yourself in. This can be done by:
- Avoiding prolonged sitting
- Maintaining good posture
- Doing exercises to help strengthen supporting muscles
- Stretching to increase flexibility
- Lifting using safe, proper techniques
- Avoiding excessive shear force to the spine such as bending and twisting.