Is Physiotherapy Good for Lower Back Pain?

3 May, 2021

Did you know that one in six Australians struggle with episodes of low back pain? Fortunately, there are treatments to ease that pain naturally. Medication and surgery are only options if all else fails.

Low back pain (LBP) affects between 60 and 80% of people during their lifetime. Many things can cause lower back pain. Overuse, heavy lifting, and remaining inactive can be some of the culprits.

The lumbar spine consists of five vertebrae that support the body. They’re the most common cause of discomfort.

Home-based mobile physiotherapy is convenient and accessible. There’s no need to struggle with transportation, and appointments fit your schedule. Physiotherapy can help people of all ages in the community feel their best.

back pain

Types of Lower Back Pain

There are three subtypes of lower back pain. The categories and details are shown below;

  • Acute – Pain lasts less than six weeks
  • Subacute – Pain lasts six to 12 weeks
  • Chronic – Pain lasts more than 12 weeks

Treating Lower Back Pain

Before beginning treatment, your healthcare professional will review MRIs, x-rays, and medical summaries. A complete physical exam helps to locate any tenderness and the source of pain.

Next, a full assessment takes place to establish baselines to track improvement. A pain history log tells us when the pain began. Consulting your medical history identifies any predisposing risk factors or conditions.

From these records and observations, a treatment plan evolves. Treatment plans include diagnosis, choice of therapies, treatment goals, and length of treatment. Programs are flexible as conditions change.

Types of Treatments

There are various forms of treatment. Physiotherapists use test results and observations to create a suitable course of therapy.

Pain Relief Therapies

Some pain relief forms are:

  • Heat and cold treatment
  • Increasing activity levels as pain decreases
  • Exercise to increase strength, flexibility, and fitness
  • TENS units stimulate nerves and release endorphins to decrease pain
  • Short-term massage, lumbar mobilisation, and manual therapy
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or steroids
  • Pain-relieving medications like acetaminophen

Manual Therapies

Manual therapies exclude devices or machines. Therapists use hands-on techniques to put pressure on muscle tissue and manipulate joints. This type of treatment decreases muscle pain and joint dysfunction. Massage can also be helpful.

Dry Needling

Dry needling therapy involves placing filiform needles into your skin. The placement targets points of stiff or knotted muscle. These short stainless steel needles inject no liquids. This is how dry needling got its name. Also known as intramuscular stimulation, the needle location may be in or around the pain point.

Exercise Tips

Exercise helps you remain pain-free during the day. Make sure you take care before, during, and after an exercise session.

You should:

  • Warm-up so your muscles are ready to move
  • Drink water to stay hydrated while you exercise
  • Take it slow by building up to a longer, more difficult workout
  • Listen to your body. Pain is a sign to stop

Exercise Programs

With lower back pain, you must stay active. Back-healthy exercises will improve mobility, stretching, and stability. Physiotherapists use exercise programs to strengthen the back muscles. The Australian Pain Management Association recommends the following exercises:

  • Standing thigh stretch
  • Lying back stretch
  • Standing hamstring stretch
  • Lying glute stretch
  • Lying pelvic lift
  • Planks
  • Crunches
  • Standing back curve

Physiotherapy Helps Lower Back Pain

Using narcotics for back pain can be dangerous if not taken under supervision. These drugs impair judgement, reduce reaction time, and are addictive.

Physiotherapy helps decrease low back pain and provides effective pain relief. It also improves mobility and a return to everyday life. There’s no need to suffer. See what physiotherapy can do for you. Get in touch with Gen Physio today and book one of our mobile physiotherapists.

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