Back & Neck Pain

Low back pain is one of the most common conditions with which patients present to a physiotherapist and for good reason. Scientific research continues to assert the effectiveness of physiotherapy interventions in the management of both acute and chronic back pain.

Our Approach

Firstly we give you a thorough examination and review your x-rays or scans.

Our examination aims to:

  1. Establish a diagnosis. We may order new x-rays or scans to assist in the diagnosis.
  2. Find the cause of your pain. Examples include:
    • Faulty postures
    • Incorrect lifting techniques
    • Underlying arthritic problems
    • Sleeping on bad mattresses
    • Inadequate support while sitting
  3. Woman sitting in yoga positionAssess any contributing factors.  Examples include:
    • Biomechanical problems
    • Muscle tightness e.g. in hamstrings, hip flexors
    • Muscle weakness e.g. deep core muscles, multifidus
    • Incorrect movement patterns
  4. Assess each spinal joint.
    1. We assess the mobility of each spinal joint comparing the levels above and below and the other side for mobility, resistance and pain to determine if and in which direction any faulty movement occurs.
    2. If a joint restriction/ positional fault is found we then select the appropriate mobilising or manipulative technique to free the restriction and ease the pain.
    3. We also provide expert guidance and advice regarding such issues as activity levels, ergonomics, return to work and sport and manual handling.

Spine IllustationCauses of Back Pain:

  • disc bulge, prolapse, herniation
  • spinal stenosis
  • pinched spinal nerves
  • facet joint arthritis, lumbar spondylosis, uncovertebral joint arthritis
  • facet joint hypomobility, restricted glides, positional faults
  • spondylolisthesis
  • ligament or muscle problem
  • sacroiliac joint problem
  • instability
  • vertebral fractures, osteoporosis
  • postural syndrome, excessive lordosis, kyphosis, scoliosis
  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • psychogenic
  • other non musculoskeletal causes

As you can see the list is long and so if you have back pain it is essential to see a professional such as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist or your doctor to establish the correct diagnosis. We are trained to detect when the pain is not of musculoskeletal origin and if so we will refer you to your doctor.

Treatments we use for back pain include:

Manual Therapy, Acupuncture, Exercises, Traction, McKenzie Approach & Core Muscle Retraining.

Spine ModelExercises We Prescribe For Back Pain Include:

  • Re-education of the deep core muscles (TA and multifidus) with rehabilitative ultrasound.
  • Core stability exercises/pilates.
  • Lumbar mobility exercises.
  • McKenzie exercises for dis pathology.
  • Self mobilising exercises.
  • Posture corrective exercises

Braces / Supports

We stock a wide range of braces and supports including:

  • Cervical collars
  • Lumbar rolls
  • Lumbar back supports
  • Lumbar braces
  • Tilted desktops
  • Posture supports
  • Ergonomic products

Tips for Back Care

  • Place a support in the small of your back when driving or sitting at a desk.
  • Exercise by walking or swimming regularly.
  • Try to lose weight to reduce the load on your spine and back muscles.
  • Stretch regularly to reduce stiffness and increase mobility.
  • Watch your posture; try not to slouch or slump.
  • Be careful when lifting; make sure the load is not too heavy or too large.
  • Consider whether your bed is providing the support you need at night.
  • Keep moving, even if you have an episode of back pain.
  • See us at Austens Physiotherapy for any significant episode of back pain or recurring or ongoing symptoms.
  • If we have given you specific exercises complete them regularly as instructed.