|Non Specific Low Back Pain|
|Low back pain can come with many different symptoms and can include problems with the muscles, joints, nerves and other soft tissues.
Normally low back pain is due to relatively small injuries in the smaller joints in the back which can lead to muscle spasm. This can be very painful, but it is largely protective as it prevents you from aggravating the injured area. There be a change in your posture in standing or sitting and can last for a few days or even weeks. If it is strong enough, it can even lead to nerve like symptoms (pins and needles and numbness). It is worth noting that in these cases, there is seldom any major injury, and the symptoms may just need a little rest to calm down.
However, symptoms can often persist causing prolonged and general stiffness and pain in the lower back. This is where physiotherapy can be very effective.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
|Localised pain over the lower back (may include pain referred into the buttocks or legs in a vague pattern).
There is usually restricted movement possibly when bending forwards or backwards.
You may find that certain things like movement (walking around) and heat (warm bath) can ease the symptoms.
Any pins and needles are possible and often made worse with prolonged postures or positions.
|Clinical questioning to ascertain the cause of the back pain, and any patterns to its behaviour (signs and symptoms). This will also help to lessen suspicion of any serious injury or pathology.
Clinical examination will assess posture, and movement of the spine will help isolate any more specific problems. Palpation (touching) of the back muscles and bones may help to focus in on the problem further.
The assessment should look at any problematic movements (eg. Bending forward or Golf swing) as there could be inherent technique or functional problems that caused the pain or will make it go on for longer.
There is little need for any further investigation (scans etc) as they will provide no further clinical information at this stage.
|Qualified and relative rest will help (especially from any aggravating activities)
Physiotherapy including joint mobilisation, massage and exercise prescription will help to loosen any stiffness and restore any strength loss due to the pain.
The exercises will also help to stop it from happening again.
Acupuncture can also help with pain reduction.
WHICH HEALTH PROFESSIONAL TO CONSULT
|PHYSIO X||MEDIC ||PODIATRY |
Put an ‘X’ next to each health professional that most commonly deals with this injury.
i.e. tennis elbow would be Physio and Medic as injections are common, whereas for muscular LBP it would be Physio and not Medic as they would just refer them to a Physio.