Roughly two thirds of the adults suffers from back aches and pains every single year, and of these numbers, more than half of them become chronic long term back pain sufferers. Meaning, of a 100 adults, 66 has back pains, and 33 of them has back pains and aches consistently. They can be caused by a myriad of problems, from disc, joints, muscles or ligamental problems of the back. In our physiotherapy department, we note that most of the time, patients who have back aches has them as a result of prolonged or long term postural and accumulative mini-trauma on the back over years and months.
In some cases of back problems, it can cause sciatica where the discs in the spine dislocates to the side, and compresses onto the nerves; this causes pain that radiates down the buttocks, thighs and legs. Many of our physiotherapy patients also say that they experience tingling as well as pins and needles. Their bouts of acute, shooting and stabbing pain lasts from days to weeks at a time; for the long time sufferers, they can last for months.
Symptoms of back ache may include:
Our physiotherapists and occupational therapists would need to perform different assessments and tests, as well as differential diagnosis to find out the core cause of the pain in your back in our physiotherapy clinic.
The reason why we do this is because there may be more than one main or real reason for the back ache, and if we don’t treat the main problem, it will simply persist, even after the physiotherapy session.
You will undergo clinical interviews of your lifestyle, your work, habits; before undergoing physical examination followed by a physiotherapy treatment plan specific for you.
Pulled Lower Back /Lumbar Muscle Strains
Oftentimes, back aches occur because of soft tissues such as ligaments and muscles that are pulled due to improper lifting techniques or awkward positions or movements. If the back pain is lower and deeper down, they are more often lower back strain, nerve irritation or radiculopathy, or some other structures in the lumbar region.
Pain as a result of sciatica is a very specific type of pain that happens as the nerves at the side of the spinal columns are compressed because of the disc that “slips” to the side. The sciatic nerves runs on each side of the hips along the spinal column. When the back is injured, the disc may have been dislocated and pushed to the side, pressing on the nerves, causing moderate to severe pain and most definitely, weakness plus altered sensations.
Ruptured Spinal Disc
If the disc within the spinal column is damaged by trauma or injury or disease, this causes and leads to inflammation and swelling, causing muscle spasms in the nearby muscles, and this is the main cause of pain in a patient with ruptured disc.
The physiotherapy and occupational therapy intervention for a person with back ache depends on the nature of the injury; we start with providing pain relief through the use of modalities such as Ultrasound to accelerate healing, Cold Therapy to minimize inflammation, swelling and pain.
When the pain has subsided, we will then focus on spinal alignment, which we will use joint Manipulation & Mobilization techniques. After that, we will need to have the patient strengthen weakened muscles and body parts, especially the core.
Sessions are usually about 8 sessions for pain relief and management physiotherapy. We will also combine with postural management, and if necessary, perform a workstation or worksite assessment if we deem that the main culprit is from the office or work area.