Back pain will affect most adults at some point in their life however the pain can originate from a number of sources: muscles, discs, nerves or joints, to name but a few. Back pain can be felt throughout the spine however the area that is “dysfunctional” is not necessarily the painful area. Pain may be felt in the groin, buttock, legs or feet in addition to pain in the back itself.
Back problems can be complex but respond well to physiotherapy. Treatment may include joint mobilisation and manipulation; soft tissue mobilisations; electrotherapy; Advanced Spinal Technology; Acupuncture and Clinical Modified Pilates to improve core strength.
Sciatica is a broad term used to describe a group of symptoms characterised by irritation of the sciatic nerve. Pain may be felt in the back, buttock or leg and can present as pins and needles, numbness or weakness in the lower limbs.
Sciatic symptoms are often related to dysfunctions of the spine but may also be due to “Piriformis syndrome” or occur during pregnancy.
The cause determines the course of treatment and modalities used.
A scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves from side to side, typically when looking at the back from behind it will look like an ‘S’ shape. The problem can be congenital, idiopathic or neuromuscular.
Symptoms may include muscle imbalances, rib or shoulder prominence on one side more than the other or a leg length discrepancy. Pain may be felt along the spine and the patient may have difficulty with balance and performing smooth movements.
Depending on the severity, scoliotic deformities are managed in the long term conservatively. Physiotherapy treatment focuses on maintaining soft tissue length and alleviating some of the associated pain through patient education and participation, particularly when treatment involves self care.
Spondylosis is a term used to describe degenerative arthritis between the vertebral joints. As the space between the vertebral joints diminishes, pain and stiffness may increase and the nerve root may become compromised.
The degenerative process cannot be reversed but it can be slowed down. Physiotherapy treatment aims to provide symptomatic relief and faciliate long term management.
Treatment may include spinal mobilisations and manipulation; soft tissue mobilisations; electrotherapy; Acupuncture and Clinical Modified Pilates to improve core strength.
Spondylolithesis is a condition in which one of the vertebra typically in the lower back slips forward on the bone below. Symptoms can vary in severity.
Typically the patient may complain of lower back pain, a “tightening” of the surrounding soft tissue, weakness and some neurological symptoms which may include pins and needles, tingling or numbness.
It may occur in those suffering from degenerative arthritis, the overweight and individuals who have weak core muscles. Surgical intervention is indicated if the slippage is more than 50%, otherwise conservative treatment including physiotherapy is appropriate.
Treatment may consist of spinal mobilisations and manipulation; manual traction; soft tissue mobilisations; electrotherapy and Clinical Modified Pilates to improve core strength.