a FREE Lower Back Pain Information Sheet

Lower back pain - A familiar Problem
More than 80% of us will experience some form of lower back pain within our lifetimes. It is a common problem although
at times a difficult one to recover from due to the many potential causes and structures that may be involved are many.
The main structure of the lower back, or lumbar spine is made up of the bones that make up the spine, the sacrum and
coccyx (tailbone) at the bottom. Around the spine lie an interconnected network of muscles, ligaments, nerves and
tendons which act to stabilise as well as move the parts of the spine. The spine itself is made up of the vertebral bones
with discs between them that act as shock absorbers as well as allowing for movement for your spine to bend with nerves
and blood vessels that distribute to the lower part of the body exiting the spine close to these discs
What is causing your lower back pain?
Although lower back pain is very common there are many potential causes and
at times it can be difficult to specify the actual structure that may be causing
the pain.
Some potentially serious but relatively straight forward causes of lower back
pain. These include:
Discogenic low back pain. Pain coming from damage to the discs
which may put pressure on the nearby nerves.
Fracture. A break or crack in the bones.
Spondylolisthesis. Where one vertebrae slips forward on top of the
Osteoarthritis. A condition related to the wear of the joints.
If you are experiencing any loss of bladder or bowel function, numbness,
tingling or shooting pains you should see your GP or health professional as
soon as possible to rule out any serious injury.
In the majority of cases the causes are not considered serious. Pain often
results from the inflammatory reaction in the tissues and joints and the acute
reactions of the muscle and fascia.
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What tests should I do?
If pain isn’t settling or if a serious condition is suspected then X-rays, CT scan
or MRI will help pin point the problem. In most cases your GP or therapist will
perform an assessment to specify what type of lower back injury you are
dealing with.
An assessment will include a comprehensive history and tests of your spinal
movement as well as specific tests to determine the contribution of other
structures such as nerves, discs, ligaments and muscles.
What if my back doesn’t improve?
In a relatively small percentage of people, lower back pain will persist despite
treatment. If appropriate investigations and assessment have taken place and
treatment has not returned you to function then it may be appropriate to
speak to your GP about further options. These could include injections or
surgical procedures.
Clinic Services
Physiotherapy & Chiropractic
Spinal manipulation
Active Release
What can I do to prevent and manage my back pain?
The challenge for many with low back pain is not the management of acute
episodes. It is often the challenge of preventing future episodes from
occurring. This is where your physiotherapist or chiropractor can help. Some
of the ways they can help you prevent future exacerbations include:
Specific exercises to improve movement and strength.
Education regarding posture and lifting techniques.
Advice on modifying problematic activity.
Management of secondary issues that may lead to back pain such as
hamstring flexibility, weight management, foot posture and gluteal
Most importantly, pay attention to your symptoms and see your health
practitioner if they persist.
Post-surgery rehab
Sports injury
Work injury
Dry needling
Postural analysis
Sports taping
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about other conditions &
treatment techniques
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© February 2014 by Activ Therapy Pty Ltd