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Good news for lower back pain sufferers on the Northern Beaches

If you’re suffering from lower back pain that won’t go away, you’re one of approximately 4 million Australians who suffer from the condition at any one time.[1] Having spent my career as a sports physio on the Northern Beaches, I’ve seen my fair share of sport related back injuries along with back pain that seems to be related to nothing at all. For most of us who suffer a bout of back pain, it doesn’t usually last longer than 6 weeks, but for an unlucky group it becomes chronic, lasting 12 weeks or longer. I’ve been there myself and it’s absolutely the pits.

What causes lower back pain?

Back pain can be caused by sitting too much, standing too much, bending over too much, reaching out too much, running too much, lifting weights incorrectly and any other movement that puts  pressure on the body. Basically, lots and lots of things can cause lower back pain.

The majority of lower back pain is caused by the degeneration of the spine due to normal wear and tear as we get older. Lower back pain can also easily be caused by injury, obesity, pregnancy, poor posture and awkward sleeping positions.

What is different about chronic back pain?

Chronic pain is complex and can be difficult to pinpoint straight away. Associate Professor Daniel Belavy of Deakin University’s Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition understands just how difficult non-specific chronic lower back pain can be to treat; “it means there is no specific anatomical cause – a bone defect or compression” with patients typically hurting their back in a random way and it doesn’t resolve itself as it normally would.

Belavy added that “when the pain has been there for more than 12 weeks … there are changes that happen in the brain and central nervous system that can cause the pain to stay there,” which adds to the difficulty in treating chronic lower back pain.

When do I see the physio?

The sooner the better. If you have suffered an acute injury playing sports or on the weekend mowing the lawn, FIXIO is your Dee Why physio chronic pain specialist. The longer an acute injury of the back is left to fester, the more chance of the body over compensating in other areas and causing further imbalances and referred pain.

People with lower back pain need to get to their doctor if they have any of the following symptoms:

  • difficulty walking or moving the legs
  • loss of bowel or bladder function
  • loss of sensation in the legs
  • very severe pain

How do physiotherapists treat back pain?

Physiotherapists can draw on years of study, observation and curing back pain of all varieties and use literally dozens of different techniques for treating back problems. First, your physio will take you through an in-depth physical examination in order to determine the exact cause of your back pain – back pain can have a variety of root causes.

Titled Musculoskeletal Physiotherapists are uniquely qualified to understand the complexity of lower back pain and use an evidence based approach to injury management in order to get results. Musculoskeletal physiotherapy is the most common form of intervention for chronic back pain and your back pain physio on the Northern Beaches will create and prescribe a bespoke program to not just combat the pain, but to protect and strengthen your back against future problems.

If you are suffering from back pain on the Northern Beaches and avoid seeing a physio you are increasing your chances of your back pain persisting longer and a recurrence of the injury in the future. Don’t wait until the pain becomes severe or chronic, give FIXIO a call on (02) 8964 4086 or email us to book at info@fixio.com.au.

[1] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2004). Eighth biennial health report of the Australian institute of health and welfare. Canberra, Australia: Author

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