Low Back Pain

Low Back pain is a term used to describe pain coming from structures around the lumbar spine. These structures include facet joints, muscles, discs or nerves (i.e. Sciatica). It can be mild or severe in intensity.

What symptoms are associated with low back pain?

People can have localised low back pain, feeling it mostly inte centre of the spine. Low back pain can also be more widespread covering an area between the ribcage and the pelvis. Low back pain can be associated with referred pain to the pelvis, buttocks, groin and down the leg.

Some terminologies that are commonly associated with low back pain are the following:

  • Disc bulges/protrusions
  • Nerve root involvement
  • Facet joint pain
  • Degenerative spinal conditions
  • Lumbar stress reaction/fracture
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Postural related low back pain

It is important to know that you can have back pain without any specific pathology.

Low back pain can be acute, chronic or recurring. What does this mean?

  1. Acute low back pain This back pain can last anything from a few weeks up to a few months before the symptoms resolve.
  2. Chronic low back pain is when back pain persists beyond 12 weeks, even after injury or cause has been treated. The important thing to know is that even when the pain persists, it does not mean there is a serious underlying cause or even one that can easily be identified and treated. Finding out what is contributing to pain persisting can be very helpful in resolving or managing chronic low back pain in an effective manner.

Research tells us that 80% of humans around the world will suffer from back pain at some stage of their life. The good news is that less than 1-2% of back pain comes from serious medical conditions. These conditions are cancer, inflammatory disorders, fracture or an infection. Part of a physiotherapists’ role is to screen for serious conditions and rule them out as a contributing factor to your low back pain. The majority of low back pain presentations can therefore benefit from assessment and management from a physiotherapist.

What do I do if I have low back pain?

Remain active
There is a large amount of evidence that tells us it is very important to remain active. This is sometimes very challenging however by making some modifications you can remain active whilst in the process of recovery. Some examples are to sit for shorter periods of time, do lighter training, keep moving and avoid prolonged periods of resting

Modify activities
Staying active might be daunting for some as low back pain can be scary and very confronting. Some people need guidance to know what they can and can’t do. Seeing your physiotherapist that can assess you and provide you with strategies to ease and manage the pain while you recover and can help you keep moving

Non-pharmacological management
Physiotherapy treatment falls under this category and can involve mobilisation, massage, dry needling and psychological therapies that can be helpful. It is important to know that this needs to be done alongside active self management strategies

Pharmacological management
This can be used as a way to control your pain and to stay active. Guidance from your GP and or pharmacist is important to ensure that the benefit and risks for you have been considered

Physiotherapy for low back pain

At Body Sense, Physiotherapists explore what caused/contributed to your low back pain by performing a thorough assessment. After the assessment, your physiotherapist will help you understand why you have low back pain by explaining their findings. This explanation would include what the source of your symptoms might be, the possible cause and any contributing factors to your condition. Your goals and expectations will significantly assist in deciding what the best treatment plan is for you.

Physiotherapy management plan will often consist of:

1. Helping you make sense and understanding your diagnosis. In other words, you will understand better the following:

  • What is sore?
  • Why is it sore?
  • What can you do to manage it
  • How can you prevent it from returning

The above questions are often asked by people when they see us. These questions tell us that they want to be involved in helping themselves manage their pain.

2. Hands-on therapy can be beneficial to help with reducing pain and improving mobility. Different therapy options include the following:

  • Muscle release work
  • Mobilisation/ Manipulation
  • Stretching
  • Taping
  • Dry needling

3. Active self-help strategies are given to you to help you relax your muscles and move better and with more confidence. This helps you to resume your normal levels of physical activity and achieve the goals and expectations you set for your recovery.

4. Exercise rehabilitation exercise is essential in the management of low back pain. There are many types of exercise approaches that can be helpful. The best option is the one that you are more likely to be consistent with and enjoy.

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Strength and conditioning training
  • Neuromuscular training
  • Stretching and Mobility exercises
  • Gait and postural correction exercises
  • Group- based exercises sessions

For an appointment with one of our physiotherapists, call or book online.


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Please do not attend the clinic, if you are planning or have booked an appointment at Body Sense Physiotherapy and:

Please contact us by phone to allow us to assist with alternative appointment options. Body Sense Physiotherapy follows WA Health Department COVID-19 guidelines and these are subject to change.