The most common injury treated by physiotherapists is lower back pain. Lower back pain occurs mainly from disc protrusions/prolapses at the L4/5 and L5/S1 intervertebral levels. Other causes of lower back pain are related to muscle, ligament and joint sprains (mechanical and traumatic in nature). Disc prolapses (bulges) cause ‘sciatica’ / nerve root irritation resulting in pain down the back of the leg. The cause of the disc bulge is related to repetitive lifting, bending and poor seated posture in the work setting. The most common site of pain is the lower back, gluteal (buttock) region and down the back of the leg.
Facet joint syndrome is mechanical ‘localised’ lower back pain related to a traumatic sprain in the joint, or poor posture.
How is lower back pain treated by a Physiotherapist?
Physiotherapists treat lower back pain using manipulation/mobilisation techniques, deep tissue massage, acupuncture and traction. Rehabilitation exercises using a pilates foam roller to strengthen core muscles and stretch the tight muscles and ligaments is advised. Sitting in a supportive ergonomic chair like a ‘knee chair’ or using a lumbar roll is imperative in preventing lower back problems.