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Back Pain and Physiotherapy

Conditions
Last Updated Sep 04, 2020

The back is a complex arrangement of muscles, ligaments and bones with the spinal column at its centre.  This is comprised of vertebrae which are formed in a column that protects the spinal cord.  Discs provide shock absorption and cushioning in between the vertebrae, and are a common source of back pain, especially as people age and their condition deteriorates. Back pain is perhaps the most widespread ailment affecting the general population, and is fast becoming the primary reason for workplace absenteeism. The modern workplace may actually be partly to blame, particularly the extended hours spent sitting at workstations. This is not a natural position for the back, as all the weight is placed on the intervertebral discs, which places prolonged strain on them.  This compression over time may lead to the disc becoming ruptured which may trap a nerve. This is termed sciatica, and is often very painful and debilitating and can also affect the legs.  Other types of back pain include muscle strains, ligament sprains, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.  Physiotherapy is an established medical profession that is often used to aid recovery after surgery or an injury, and is a popular treatment for back pain.

What is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a form of physical therapy that is designed to restore or alleviate a range of physical conditions.  It is also useful in developing or restoring the body’s movements and functions that have may have been affected.  These include, but are not limited to: musculoskeletal injuries, neurological conditions, spinal cord injuries and cardiothoracic conditions. As health professional physiotherapists can draw on a wide range of therapies including: massage, stretching, manual resistance training, ultrasound, laser therapy, posture work, muscle strengthening and cardiovascular training. A physiotherapist will assess a patient using a physical and verbal process of observation, including evaluating current mobility and range of motion.

How Can Physiotherapy Help Back Pain?

Physiotherapists are trained to help you relieve your back pain.  This may be in the form of a range of exercises or techniques to correct your posture, including safer lifting and handling techniques.  One of the most common pieces of advice for back pain sufferers from physiotherapists is to strengthen your back muscles, specifically the abdominals or transverse abdominals.  These are the deep muscles that support your spinal column, and are needed for enhanced mobility, balance and for lifting heavy objects. 

If you are considering physiotherapy as a therapy for your back pain, ensure that you consult a trained and qualified physiotherapist.

Find out about other effective natural back pain treatments on the pages of this site.

Originally published on May 13, 2010

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