Back Pain is a very common problem that affects almost all people at least once in their life. It usually feels like an ache, tension or stiffness in the back. Back pain can affect people of any age, but it is more common among adults aged between 35 and 55 years.
Back pain can be due to a problem in the bony spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, back muscles, sacroiliac joint or abdomen and pelvic internal organs.
Causes and Risk Factors:
- Lifting or carrying heavy things
- Accident or falling down
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Strenuous physical work or physical exercise
- Anxiety or mentally stressful job
- Bad posture
- Standing for long periods
- Bending down for long periods
- Coughing or Sneezing
Signs and Symptoms:
There are different types of back pain which is related to different cause of the pain which are:
Muscle pain or Ache
Dull pain or ache at the back or radiating to the buttocks or legs
Sharp centralized pain at the back
Numbness or tingling in the buttocks or legs or foot
Numbness around Genitals or Anus
- Loss of sensation of control of the bladder and bowel (this is a medical emergency and should be seen to immediately)
Various types of back pain can be differentiated by some specific functional and orthopedic tests which are usually performed by a physiotherapist. Sometimes X-rays, MRI, CT Scan or in rare case bone scan are required to help the practitioner in diagnosis specially in suspected disc,nerve, tendon or bone tumor problems. This is only neccessary in severe cases that do not respond to physiotherapy.
If back pain is not due to structural problem, it is usually manageable without medication or surgical intervention. Physiotherapy can help almost all types of back pain in order to solve the source of the problem and bring the patient back to his/her normal lifestyle.
The Physio Savvy treatment plan for back pain cases include: the application of heat, ice, ultrasound , as well as some muscle-release techniques (positional release technique, trigger point release), spinal mobilisation and manipulation, stretching and most importantly strength and core exercises to stabilise the spine. Every patient will be taught some techniques to improve his/her posture, ergonomic advice, as well as correct lifting techniques . The patient will be encouraged to practice the techniques regularly, even after the pain has gone, to prevent back pain recurrence.