What is back pain?
Pain and stiffness of the lower back is so common that most of us can expect an episode at some stage in our lives. It may come on suddenly or be more gradual, but often it can be accompanied by pain in the upper back or arms, headaches and dizziness, or even the sensation of pins and needles.
What causes it?
Rarely is it just one structure that’s involved but rather a combination of joints, ligaments, discs, nerves or other soft tissues. While tension can contribute, repetitive activities and postures are most often at fault. Prolonged sitting or standing in the same position is often associated with back pain. Traumatic injuries like whiplash or from contact sports and lifting injuries can also cause back pain.
What will a Physiotherapist do?
Physiotherapists are musculoskeletal clinicians and are therefore skilled in helping with back pain. Expect an examination to include questions about your condition and general health; watching your movements and then feeling how your back moves. Treatment may involve moving your back joints with mobilisations or manipulation; soft tissue massage, acupuncture and advice on how to modify your habits to aid your recovery as well as a home exercise programme.