LOWER BACK PAIN
Lower back pain is a common injury seen in our practice.
It is important to treat the cause and not just the symptoms.
Causes include bulging and degenerative discs, pinched nerves, facet joint pain, and muscle pain.
CAUSES OF BACK PAIN
Some common contributors to the cause of low back pain can include:
Weak core muscles
Poor lifting technique
Sciatica is a regular complaint Sydney physiotherapy practitioners see. Sciatica is a set of symptoms that can be caused by irritation or compression to one of the lumbar spinal nerve roots that make up the sciatic nerve. Sciatic pain is typically felt in the lower back, buttocks and/or varying parts of the leg and foot. In addition to pain, numbness, pins and needles, tingling, muscular weakness may also be felt or noted in the lower extremities. A diagnosis of sciatica does not give an indication of what is irritating the nerve root – it is just a set of symptoms that suggest the nerve root is being irritated.
Sydney Physio Clinic see’s patients complaining of sciatica symptoms regularly. Prolonged poor sitting posture is a common problem with a lot of office workers, and is a frequent cause of sciatica symptoms due to the result of the impact prolonged stress has on a number of structures with in the lower back and the pressure that is placed on the lumbar discs. Sydney Physio Clinic physios are very experienced at getting to the root cause of your sciatica.
COMMON LOWER BACK CONDITIONS SEEN BY SYDNEY PHYSIOTHERAPY PRACTITIONERS
Ay Sydney Physiotherapy Clinic, we commonly see a variety of other low back pain conditions including conditions such as spondylolysis – a common condition in adolescents who over train in activities such as rowing, tennis, diving, martial arts and gymnastics. Spondylolisthesis (when one vertebra slips forward in relation to an adjacent vertebrae) is also a very common complaint in patients who fall between the 30-50 year old age bracket who require lower back pain physiotherapy.
Whatever the condition, having the right combination of strength and flexibility around your spine is vital for a well functioning lower back and the long term health of your spine. Sydney Physio Clinic practitioners are qualified and experienced, and are ready to help you achieve the right combination for your spine and eliminate your pain.
UPPER BACK PAIN At Sydney Physio Clinic, our key aim is to restore normal function and improve any required strength and mobility in the thoracic spine and related areas caused by upper back pain. Physiotherapy – following assessment and diagnosis – will use a combination of techniques to achieve the above goals. As previously stated, upper back pain isn’t as common as low back pain and neck pain, however; each year we see a substantial number of patients complaining of upper back pain as a result of a variety of triggers including overuse, poor posture, unaccustomed activity or injury. Caught early, upper back pain physiotherapy can be a very successful way to manage thoracic complaints of musculoskeletal origin.
WHAT IS SCIATICA?
The sciatic nerve is the longest and thickest nerve in your body and runs from your lower spine through your buttocks all the way down the back of each leg dividing into branches at the knee ending in your foot. Statistics suggest up to 40% of people will get sciatica or sciatica symptoms at some point in their life. So, what is sciatica? Anything putting pressure or irritating this nerve can cause pain to shoot down the leg which people refer to as sciatica. The nature of the pain can vary being anything from a dull ache to a sharp or burning sensation causing extreme discomfort. Frequently accompanied with this pain people may experience numbness and tingling in specific areas of the leg and foot or weakness in particular muscles. When people comment they have sciatica, what they are referring to is the experience of pain, numbness, tingling, weakness… caused by the compression or irritation of this nerve and the symptoms are felt along this sciatic nerve pathway.
COMMON CAUSES OF SCIATICA
Sciatica is not a diagnosis in itself but a potential set of signs and symptoms indicating the compression or irritation to the sciatic nerve. This irritation or compression can come from a number of different origins. Meaning being told you have sciatica does not explain the cause of the pain, the origin of the nerve irritation or compression it just highlights that the irritation is present. Technically sciatica simply refers to the pain caused by irritation or compression of one or more of the nerves exiting the lower spine making up the sciatic nerve and there are a number of conditions which are capable of doing this.
SOME OF THE COMMON CAUSES OF SCIATICA ARE:
Bulging or Herniated Disc: A bulging or herniated disc may compress or press on nearby structures including the exiting nerve roots coming from the spinal cord that eventually join up to form the sciatic nerve.
Spinal Stenosis: In lumbar spinal stenosis, the spinal nerve roots in the lower back are compressed, (or choked) which can produce symptoms of sciatica.
Spondylolisthesis: Isthmic spondylolisthesis can cause sciatica as one vertebral body slips forward over another and pinches the nerve root.
SIJ Dysfunction: Sciatica is generally defined as ‘pain in the lower back and hip radiating in the distribution of the sciatic nerve’ SIJ dysfunction can also give pain in a similar pattern to sciatica.
Piriformis Syndrome: The piriformis muscle begins inside the pelvis and the sciatic nerve runs under (and sometimes through) this piriformis muscle on its way out of the pelvis. As a result of this relationship between piriformis and the sciatic nerve the piriformis muscle can squeeze and irritate the sciatic nerve in this area, leading to the symptoms of sciatica.
Disclaimer: Sydney Physio Clinic does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products mentioned. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific orthopaedic advice or assistance on What Is Sciatica? should consult his or her orthopaedic surgeon, general practitioner or physiotherapist.
Tags:back pain, LBP, Low Back Pain, lumbar discs, Sciatica
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