BACK PAIN TREATMENT IN ALTON
Back Pain Causes
If you have low back pain, you are not alone. Back pain is the largest single cause of disability in the UK, with lower back pain alone accounting for 11% of the total disability of the UK population. In most cases, low back pain is mild and disappears on its own. For some people, back pain can return or hang on, leading to a decrease in quality of life or even to disability.
If your low back pain is accompanied by the following symptoms, you should visit your local A&E immediately:
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Numbness in the groin, inner thigh, or back passage
Signs and Symptoms:
The symptoms of low back pain vary a great deal. Your pain might be dull, burning, or sharp. You might feel it at a single point or over a broad area. It might be accompanied by muscle spasms or stiffness. Sometimes it might spread into 1 or both legs.
There are 3 different types of low back pain:
- Acute – pain lasting less than 3 months
- Recurrent – acute symptoms come back
- Chronic – pain lasting longer than 3 months
Most people who have an episode of acute pain will have at least 1 recurrence. While the actual cause of low back pain isn’t often known, symptoms usually resolve without any intervention. Psychosocial factors such as self-confidence and a perceived ability to cope with disability, have been shown to be predictors of who might not recover from low back pain as expected. We used to believe that the cause of low back pain was related directly to the tissues of our body, but we now understand that the condition can be more complex than that.
Although low back pain is rarely serious or life threatening, there are several conditions that may be related to your low back pain, such as:
- Degenerative disk disease
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Herniated disk
- Tumours of the spine
While we used to believe the above list contributed directly to low back pain, research has shown these conditions are also present in people without any pain (asymptomatic).
Your physiotherapist will perform a thorough evaluation that includes:
- A review of your health history
- Questions about your specific symptoms
- A thorough examination that includes assessing the quality and quantity of your movements, and any movement behaviours that might put you at risk for delayed recovery
- Tests to identify signs or symptoms that could indicate a serious health problem, such as broken bones or cancer
- Assessment of how you use your body at work, at home, during sports, and at leisure
For most cases of low back pain imaging tests, such as x-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are not helpful for recovery. If your physiotherapist suspects that your low back pain might be caused by a serious health condition, the therapist will refer you to other health care professionals for further evaluation.
How can a Physiotherapist Help?
Your physiotherapist can help you improve or restore mobility and reduce low back pain—in many cases, without expensive surgery or the side effects of medications. If you are having low back pain right now:
- Stay active and do as much of your normal routine as possible (bed rest for longer than a day can actually slow down your recovery.)
- If your pain lasts more than a few days or gets worse, schedule an appointment to see your physiotherapist in Alton
Not all low back pain is the same, so your treatment should be tailored to your specific symptoms and condition. Once the examination is complete, your physiotherapist will evaluate the results, identify the factors that have contributed to your specific back problem, and design an individualized treatment plan for your specific back problem.
Treatments May Include:
- Manual therapy, including spinal manipulation, to improve the mobility of joints and soft tissues
- Specific strengthening and flexibility exercises
- Education about how you can take better care of your back
- Training for proper lifting, bending, and sitting; for doing chores both at work and in the home; and for proper sleeping positions
- Assistance in creating a safe and effective physical activity program to improve your overall health
- Use of ice or heat treatments or electrical stimulation to help relieve pain
Can this Injury or Condition be Prevented?
As experts in restoring and improving mobility and movement in people’s lives, physiotherapists play an important role not only in treating persistent or recurrent low back pain, but also in preventing it and reducing your risk of having it come back. Physiotherapists in Alton can teach you how to use the following strategies to prevent back pain:
- Use good body positioning at work, home, or during leisure activities
- Keep the load close to your body during lifting
- Ask for help before lifting heavy objects
- Maintain a regular physical fitness regimen—staying active can help to prevent injuries
What Kind of Physical Therapist do I Need?
All physical therapists are prepared through education and experience to treat people who have low back and leg pain as a result of lumbar radiculopathy. You may want to consider:
- A physical therapist who is experienced in treating people with orthopaedic, or musculoskeletal problems.
- A physical therapist who is a board-certified clinical specialist or who completed a residency or fellowship in orthopaedic physical therapy. This therapist has advanced knowledge, experience, and skills that may apply to your condition.
- Get recommendations from family and friends or from other health care providers.
- When you contact a physical therapy clinic for an appointment, ask about the physical therapists’ experience in helping people with a herniated disc. During your first visit with the physical therapist, be prepared to describe your symptoms in as much detail as possible and say what makes your symptoms worse.