Back pain can affect anyone and everyone. Regardless of your age, or whether you’re an athlete or an office worker – or both – the back is a complex, nerve rich structure that is susceptible to a wide variety of issues.
We provide a range of treatments to manage your back pain, including manipulation, mobilisation, remedial massage, stretching, dry-needling, and taping. The essence of our clinic is to provide long term solutions, so postural re education and specific rehabilitation exercises form an important component of our treatment.
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Our physios have the skills and facilities to create a complete, comprehensive program that is purpose-designed to meet your unique needs.
Through careful analysis, assessment and treatment, we can identify your issue and any associated knock-on effects, alleviate your pain, minimise your chance of recurrence, and get you back to your best in work and sport.
Sometimes, the cause of back pain can be identified and attributed to a specific structure or disease. However, there is frequently more than one structure at fault, and the range of potential issues can be complex. If you’ve experienced any of the following general signs or symptoms, we recommend you get in touch with the Pure team for an assessment and treatment plan:
- Localised pain, tenderness or stiffness in the neck or back.
- Pain extending downward into the groin or leg.
- Recurring pins and needles down the arms or legs.
- Chronic ache in the lower or middle back, especially after sitting or standing for extended periods.
- Sharp pains in the neck or upper or lower back when engaged in specific activities (like lifting something heavy).
- Pain in the back increases when coughing or bending forward.
- Inability to stand straight without pain or muscle spasms in the lower back.
Pain can vary from being:
- Chronic or ongoing.
- Recurrent ‘episodes’.
- Sharp, shooting or specific.
Onset may be:
- A sudden injury.
- Gradual, with no specific or identifiable ‘injury’.
- Normal everyday activities (i.e. sitting at a desk).
- Coughing or bending.
- Specific activities (including sports, or specific motions like lifting heavy objects).
- Pins and needles.
When we adopt certain postures over prolonged periods of time, the joints and tissues (muscles and ligaments) adapt into these postures by shortening and tightening, or lengthening and weakening. The way we sit or stand affects our joint position and our muscle length and strength.
Prolonged or poor sitting can fatigue muscles, putting extra pressure on the joints, discs and nerves. Over-correcting a slouched posture will also cause pain by overworking the extensor muscles, compressing down on the joints and nerves in the spine and decreasing the abdominal muscle activity.
Repetitive movements such as bending, or a sudden onset injury involving bending and twisting, can cause weakness or disruption of the fibrous ring on the outer surface of a disc. This allows the contents of the disc to push out of their natural location.
Prolonged sitting such as office work and poor posture also puts strain on the back of the outer ring of the disc as the spine is held in a flexed and stretched position.
This is often referred to as ‘pinched nerve’ or ‘sciatica’. True sciatica is compression of the sciatic nerve causing pain along the sciatic nerve into the leg. Compression can occur due to a disc bulge pressing on the nerve, or tight gluteal (buttock) muscles restricting the natural stretch of the sciatic nerve. Other nerves, apart from Sciatic, can also be affected. Each nerve root will tend to refer pain to a particular location. Sciatic will most commonly refer pain down the back of the leg to the outside of the calf and sometimes sole of the foot. Pinching of a root leading to the femoral nerve, however, will most likely refer pain into the groin or the front of the thigh.
Trigger points, or ‘knots’ in the trunk muscles can also refer pain into the buttocks or lower limbs. Referred pain can be described as throbbing, aching, or burning, pins and needles, or numbness.
This is a term used when one vertebra has slipped out of place on the vertebra below. The slipping reduces the space in the spinal canal and narrows the hole where the nerve exits (foramina). This can compress the nerve roots and cause referred pain, pins and needles, or numbness.
The most common cause of the condition is general wear and tear, although it can also be caused by traumatic fractures or stress fractures as a result of repetitive hyperextension (excessive bending) in various sports.
Diagnosis of a back injury involves comprehensive assessment. This incorporates medical history, physical examination, and may require medical tests like MRIs, x-rays or ultrasound (depending on the patient and issue). A physio will be able to determine diagnosis and create a treatment plan. If required, we can recommend you to specialised experts for additional examination and insight.
Each back injury is different, and every person will respond to rehabilitation and treatment differently. You’ll have a much better understanding of your recovery timeframe after meeting with one of our physios; establishing a clear diagnosis and relating it to your unique goals. Recovery involves increasing movement, increasing strength and returning to normal function.
Avoid any activity that aggravates the affected area and get in touch with someone from our team as soon as possible to book a detailed assessment.
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