Back pain is the most common and debilitating medical problem that we see at South Tipp Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic, not surprising as it affects 80% of the population at some stage during their lives. Acute back pain is a sudden onset of pain anywhere in your back and can last from a few hours to a few weeks. It is termed chronic if the pain continues for over three months.
Symptoms of back pain can range from a constant, dull ache in your back or buttock region to a sudden sharp, intense pain radiating into your legs. Common descriptions of back pain we hear are ‘shooting’, ‘stabbing’, ‘like a toothache’, and ‘my back feels that it might break’. The description of pain helps us a lot in assessment of the back as different structures when injured or strained give rise to different sensations. If you have pain when you get out of bed in the morning, put on your socks, drive, cough/sneeze, lift your child, swing a golf club, run……then you would benefit from making an appointment with one of our Chartered Physiotehrapists.
If your back pain is severe or does not improve following three days, it is advised to seek advice from either your GP or Chartered Physiotherapist. At South Tipp Physio, our Chartered Physiotherapists have post-graduate qualifications in the management of back pain and work in conjunction with your GP to ensure recovery.
Back injuries can result from sports, prolonged sitting/driving, heavy lifting, repetitive movements, poor posture and trauma such as falls or car accidents. Feeling anxious or stressed can make your pain worse. Back pain is rarely due to a serious health problem.
- Muscle spasms, strains
- Myofascial pain
- Facet joint strains/locking
- Nerve root impingements-trapped nerves
- Herniated discs-bulging/slipped discs
- Spinal stenosis
- Pelvic girdle pain
- Piriformis syndrome
- Post fracture and surgery
- Postural-lordosis, kyphosis, scoliosis
Physiotherapy works very well in the management of back pain. Attending a Chartered Physiotherapist quickly can not only speed up your recovery but also prevent the problem happening again.
Treatments for back pain that we use at South Tipp Physio include hands-on manual therapy, massage, trigger point release, joint manipulation, deep dry needling, acupuncture, Pilates, electrotherapy, exercise rehabilitation and postural/ergonomic advice.
Back pain is complex and so the best treatment for you is one that has been devised following a thorough examination and assessment by someone qualified to do so.
- Exercise and activity are the most important ways of helping yourself if you have back pain
- Keep moving and continue with activities such as walking or swimming
- Paracetamol or similar pain-killers, taken as advised by your GP or physio, can help you keep moving comfortably
- Avoid sitting for too long when driving or at work
- Gently stretch to prevent stiffness
- Take care when lifting, bending your hips and knees to use the power in your legs
- Check your posture when using computers/games or watching television
- Check the mattress on your bed to ensure it supports you properly
- Don’t smoke – it impairs your circulation, which affects how quickly your body can recover
- Strengthen your trunk muscles as this may help to protect your back
- Make sure your car seat and office chair are adjusted correctly and support your back
- Eat a healthy diet and exercise, as being overweight can be a cause of back pain
Some aids can help offer support to relieve back/neck pain, chat to your Chartered Physio to see if they are appropriate for you. There are many on the market of varying quality and prices, here are some that we stock at the clinic.