80% of the population will experience back pain at some time during their life.
Back pain is not always associated with a specific injury. Occupations that involve long periods of driving
or sitting can cause back pain due to prolonged periods in what can be a poor position for the spine.
When looked at from the side the spine is ‘S’ shaped and the risk of spinal pain can be reduced if the spine
is maintained in this position. Good posture is not only good for the structures of your spine (muscles, ligaments
and discs) it also allows your vital internal organs to function normally.
The lower back supports the entire body weight whilst having the ability to bend and twist. It is the most
commonly injured part of the spine and is susceptible to wear and tear.
Poor posture for prolonged periods can also cause injury and symptoms to the neck and middle part of the
back (thoracic spine).
Symptoms can range from discomfort locally in the spine to referred pain in the form of numbness, pain or pins
and needles into the legs or arms if nerves have become irritated.
Current research recommends that the management of acute spinal pain is to continue with normal activities,
including work, with the use of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, if required. Manual therapy and
manipulation has been found to be of benefit and appropriate rehabilitation is essential. Bed rest should be
avoided as this can make things worse.
What treatment can physiotherapists offer for spinal pain?
- Soft tissue massage
- Joint mobilisation and manipulation
- Postural advice
- Core stability exercises