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Low Back Pain Blog

November 28, 2016

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What You Didn’t Know About Back Pain

Low Back Pain (LBP) is the most common complaint of all musculoskeletal problems, affecting up to approximately 80% of people throughout their lifetime. LBP plagues its victims by causing pain that can be quite varied in nature and can lead to symptoms or complaints that:

  • Radiate down the leg, which is often referred to as sciatica
  • Be local and sharp in the back, and may prevent them from standing completely straight
  • Be a general, constant ache in the low back or buttocks which results in an inability to work and therefore results in a loss of income, then affecting the quality of life

Low Back Pain is a complaint that changes people’s lives, leaving those people wondering if their life will ever return to normal. If you are a sufferer of Low Back Pain, dive deeper into this blog and see how Eramosa Physiotherapy can help you get back to normal.

Back Pain: Quick Facts

What is the difference between acute and chronic back pain?

  • Acute pain starts quickly and lasts less than 6 weeks. It is the most common type of back pain. Acute pain may be caused by things like falling, being tackled in football, or lifting something heavy. Chronic pain lasts for more than 3 months and is much less common than acute pain.

 

Can back pain be prevented?

The best things you can do to prevent back pain are:

  • Exercise often and keep your back muscles strong.
  • Maintain a healthy weight or lose weight if you weigh too much. To have strong bones, you need to get enough calcium and vitamin D every day.
  • Try to stand up straight and avoid heavy lifting when you can. If you do lift something heavy, bend your legs and keep your back straight.

 

Changing Your Behaviour

You can learn to lift, push, and pull with less stress on your back. Changing how you exercise, relax, and sleep can help lessen back pain. Eating a healthy diet and not smoking also help.

Source:  National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).

“Back Pain.” Fast Facts About. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Aug. 2016.

The Source of Your Low Back Pain

Many clients report that their LBP has had a gradual onset. However, LBP can also have a sudden onset triggered by a specific movement that would normally be pain free such as carrying the laundry or even leaning over to brush your teeth. The source of your Low Back Pain could be:

  • Poor lifting techniques or prolonged positions that overstress structures like the disc, ligaments, muscles, or nerves
  • Compression on a nerve causing shooting pain, numbness, or tingling
  • A gradual stress in the tissues from prolonged postures like sitting or bending
  • Advances arthritic changes to the joints which may be related to history of repetitive use
  • Poor core or abdominal muscle control and strength
  • Sedentary lifestyle

 

Treatment to Improve Your Health

At Eramosa Physiotherapy Associates, our physiotherapists will develop a unique treatment plan to get you on the Path to Improved Health and back to normal in the most efficient way possible. We address the causes of Low Back Pain using treatments such as:

  • Hands-on therapy, such as mobilization, traction, soft tissue techniques, or, when appropriate, manipulation
  • Rehabilitative and preventative core strengthening exercises
  • Education regarding sitting postures and lifting mechanics
  • Ergonomic education and employer recommendations
  • Modalities for pain control like electrotherapies, heat/ice, or acupuncture

 

“When will I be back to normal?”

Our goal is to return you to your pre-LBP level of function and to assist in preventing recurrence. Whether that means getting back to work, sport, or simply sitting comfortably.

Just like your treatment plan, the time in which you recover from Low Back Pain will be unique to you. Most LBP resolves in 6-8 weeks with your commitment being 2-3 times a week for 20-30 minutes. In order to minimize the alarmingly high recurrence rate, often quoted as high as 80%, you will be instructed and encouraged to continue on your LBP home strengthening program designed by your physiotherapist.

In the unlikely event that your LBP does not improve, we will work with you and your family physician to explore other diagnostic imaging or tests. The majority of Low Back Pain is treated conservatively, or without surgical intervention, but there can be specific examples of LBP clients that may go into surgery consult. While this is by far the exception, our Path to Improved Health process will recognize these symptoms, communicate with your family doctor, and be ready to assist you with post-surgery recommendations.

After Physiotherapy

Just like you, at Eramosa Physiotherapy, we do not want your condition to recur. To help keep you on the Path to Improved Health, you will receive a home-based exercise program as a tool for you to prevent your injury from recurring. Your primary healthcare provider will also receive an overview of changes, improvement of pain and overall function.

We want you to remain at the peak of your Path to Improved Health and will follow up on your progress after you are discharged from the clinic. Should you have an recurrences or would like to have another concern addressed, we invite you to return to the clinic at your convenience.

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