Lower Back Pain

Back pain can be particularly difficult to diagnose due to the complexity and the number of structures and tissues in the lower back that can cause pain. The most common causes are slipped discs and this can sometimes cause leg pain called Sciatica. In addition, scoliosis, spinal canal stenosis, spondylytis, spondylolisthesis, spondylolysis, spondylosis, transverse process fracture, facet joint pain and more.

Inversion therapy involves hanging upside down to apply gentle traction to the spine.We explain the benefits of Inversion Therapy and how it can help with back pain.

In the case of minor back injuries, it is recommended to follow a modified version of the P.R.I.C.E. therapy principle. This series of treatment methods can be applied at home for at least the first 2 - 3 days. P.R.I.C.E. stands for Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

Most back injuries will settle with appropriate rest and treatment however some require further assessment. Minor back injuries are usually recommended to apply protection (back support), rest, ice and compression. Here we outline when it might be suitable to seek professional advice.

Mild or moderate low back pain can be from a chronic or long term back problem or can follow a bout of acute low back pain. It may be difficult to diagnose a specific cause of long term low back pain as a number of structures can cause or contribute to the pain.

Acute low back pain is a severely painful back pain which usually comes on suddenly from a movement such as bending over or twisting. It often results from a chronic or long term back injury which flares up worse from time to time.

Scoliosis

Scoliosis is an S shaped or C shaped curve in the spine. You can be born with it, or it can develop over time. It can also range from very mild which is hardly noticeable to sever cases causing deformity.

Premiership Physiotherapist Neal Reynolds demonstrates a simple Kinesiology taping technique which can help relieve low back pain.

Spondylitis

Ankylosing Spondylitis (Bechterew's disease or Marie Struempell disease as it is also known) is a form of chronic, degenerative arthritis that affects the spine and sacroiliac joints and often other joints of the body.

Paravertebral Trigger Points

Paravertebral trigger points are tight localized knots or lumps in the muscles either side of the spine which cause back pain. Trigger points can be active or latent.

Sciatica

Sciatica is the term used to describe back pain which radiates down the leg. Sciatic nerve pain can be caused by a number of factors although a prolapsed or slipped disc is one of the most common along with piriformis syndrome. We explain the symptoms, causes and treatment.

Muscle strains in the lower back can occur for a number of reasons and may be a weak point waiting to happen. It is very important muscle strains are treated properly as imbalances in the back can lead to problems later on.

Spondylosis

Spondylosis is a term used to describe bony overgrowths of the vertebrae which form the spinal column. It has previously been known as spinal osteoarthritis although this is not technically accurate.

Spondylolysis

Spondylolysis is a stress fracture of a part of the spine called the the pars interarticularis. It is an overuse injury and is more common in young athletes involved in sports requiring lots of bending backwards and rotation of the spine.

Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a back injury involving a forward slipping of one vertebra over another and is most commonly seen in children between the ages of 9 and 14.

Spinal Canal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a condition seen more in older athletes where the spinal canal narrows causing pressure on the nerves with resulting pain and numbness.

Weak back and especially core and abdomen muscles will be unable to support the back sufficiently leading to pain and tiredness.

If you suffer back pain either during or after driving long distances, then you might ask yourself the following questions; Why does driving cause low back pain? What is the best driving position? What can help ease low back pain when driving? How do I know if my seat is positioned correctly?

Broken Tailbone

A broken tailbone or fractured coccyx as it is also known occurs after a fall where the patient lands directly on the tailbone at the very base of the spine.

For many people back pain is directly related to poor posture, in both standing and sitting. The majority of people will have at least one, usually more, postural abnormalities. After all if you go back a few evolutionary steps, we walked on all fours! Evolving to walk on two legs has placed a large amount of stress on our spines.

If you sit at a desk for work for long periods and suffer with back pain, the cause of the back pain might be the way you are sitting or the way your desk is set up.  The first line of treatment for this type of back pain is to carry out an ergonomic assessment.  This can either be done by a health and safety officer at your work or by yourself.

Bruised Tailbone

The tailbone (also known as the coccyx) is a group of 3-5 fused bones at the base of the spine. This is the remainder of a tail and has no real function in humans!

Transverse Process Fracture

A transverse process is a bony protrusion from the back of a vertebrae bone in the spine. There is one on each side of every vertebrae in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine.

Compression Fracture - Spine

A compression fracture of the spine is a break in one of the vertebrae bones due to a compression force. These occur most frequently in the lower back due to the additional weight of the vertebrae above.

Iliolumbar Ligament Sprain

An Iliolumbar ligament sprain is an injury to the Iliolumbar ligament between the pelvis and the 5th lumbar vertebrae. This ligament may be injured after a sudden movement or repeated bending and lifting.

Hyperlordosis

Lordosis or hyperlordosis is an exaggerated lumbar curve in the spine. To put it another way, the lower back curves inwards more than it would naturally do.

Lumbago

Lumbago is the term used to describe general lower back pain. The exact cause of the lumbago/back pain is often unknown.

A lumbosacral sprain is a ligament injury in the lumbar or sacral areas (lower back). A sprain usually occurs after a forceful or rapid movement which overstretches and maybe tears a ligament.

Slipped disc

A herniated disc is sometimes also known as a slipped disc or prolapsed disc. It can occur anywhere in the spine although is most common in the lower back.

Coccyx Injury

A Coccydynia is a type of tailbone pain, it is also known as coccygodynia is pain in the area of the coccyx or tail bone as it is sometimes called. It is five times more common in women than men.

Facet Joint Pain

The facet joints, also known as zygapophysial joints are synovial joints which help support the weight and control movement between individual vertebrae of the spine.