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Back Pain

What can a Physiotherapist do?

Back pain is rarely  serious or sinister and usually originates from normal structures in the back that are not working as they should. However, sudden onset back pain or a new flare up of old pain, can be debilitating, distressing and make a patient very anxious. Your Physiotherapist will be skilled in assessing your problem and treating the physical causes of your individual symptoms. As experts in rehabilitation, physiotherapists can advise on different strategies to help you understand and reduce your pain. Where appropriate, this will involve specifically tailored individual exercise programmes.

Massage and tissue release will help. It acts by stimulating the skin and easing muscle spasm which in turn diminishes pain and lessens tension. Assessment of your problem will establish if you and your vertebrae are moving properly. Physiotherapists may use mobilising techniques to help restore normal function. Improvement should be seen relatively quickly.

Should You Use Heat or Ice?

You can use either. You may get some relief from placing a cold pack on the affected area. If you do not have a cold pack, try a bag of crushed ice or frozen peas. To avoid frostbite and assist the transfer of the cold, wrap the pack in a damp tea towel and leave it on for 10 to 20 minutes. Alternatively, if you prefer heat, use a towel-wrapped hot water bottle. Either method helps to reduce pain and muscle tension so it is a matter of preference. Some patients choose to use lotions or gels that can induce a sensation of heat or cooling.

Can I Use Other Therapies?

Research is ongoing in this area and you may have therapies that have worked for you in the past. As long as they help you to stay active they will be beneficial.

Control the pain

Visit your GP or pharmacist for advice. You may have taken pain killers or anti-inflammatories before and know which ones work for you. If you control the pain you can move easier and sleep better.

Warning Signs

Back pain isn’t usually due to anything serious. However if you have back pain that is not getting better quickly, or you are unwell with it, then you should see your GP.

There are very rare times when symptoms occur that mean you must contact a doctor immediately.  These are:

— Problems with passing or controlling your urine

— Numbness or pins and needles in the saddle area between your legs

— Numbness, pins and needles or weakness in both legs

Remember: these symptoms are very uncommon.

Examples of Conditions Treated:

Degenerative Disc Disease. Disc Herniation. Discectomy.  Facet Joint Pain. Lumbar Laminectomy. Spinal Stenosis. Spondylolyis. Spasm. Sciatic Pain.