Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain

Lower back pain is a common problem that affects the majority of people in their lifetime. It’s often caused by a simple muscle, tendon or ligament strain or muscular cramp and not usually by a serious problem.

Low back pain can be acute, sub-acute or chronic in duration.

The cause of back pain can be linked to the way that the bones, muscles, and ligaments in the back work together. Back pain can come on suddenly or gradually. The complex structure of your lower back means that even small amounts of damage to any part of the lumbar region can cause a lot of pain and discomfort.

Some of the most common causes of stress and strain on the spine include:

  • Poor posture – slouching in chairs, driving in hunched positions and standing badly

  • Lifting incorrectly

  • Sleep; sleeping  on an aging, unsupportive mattress.

  • Overall Fitness

  • Overuse; over tiring muscles and not following a gradually increasing work or sports program. Not warming up or cooling down before and after exercise will also cause muscle pain.

  • Inactivity / Poor movement patterns are usually at the root of simple back pain. Inactivity results in weak tight muscles so they are unable to support the back properly. This leaves the spine more vulnerable to damage when certain movements put too much strain on one area.

Principal symptoms of a lower back injury may feature...

  • Ache and stiffness into the base of the spine.

  • The pain may radiate down the front, side, or back of your leg, or it may be confined to the low back.

  • The pain may become worse with activity.

  • Occasionally, the pain may be worse at night or with prolonged static positions.

  • You may wake up with stiffness and lack of mobility in the lower back.

  • You may have pain, numbness or weakness in the part of the leg that receives its nerve supply from a compressed nerve, this could be anywhere from the hip to the toes.

What is involved in treatment?

Treatment is dependent on your diagnosis of what is causing your pain, however common techniques we utilise are:

  • Massage

  • Dry needling

  • Manipulation

  • Mobilisation of the joints

  • Flexion traction

  • Sacro-occipital techniques

  • Trigger point therapy

  • Taping

At Bristol Chiropractic we use our clinical experience along with quality standards set by the Royal College of Chiropractors and clinical guidelines from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) to deliver the best effective treatment plan.

Common injuries to the lower back

At the clinic, we find chiropractic effective for resolving acute and long term lower back pain.

The length of time it takes to resolve depends on how long you have had the injury and our current fitness levels.
The spine works on a specialised set of muscles and ligaments to provide stability and support.

The aim of any chiropractic treatment session is to make these active parts of your spine healthy and educate you in strengthening therefore preventing any recurrence of back pain.

Disc bulge/herniation; Can cause acute localised pain in the lower back or sciatica down the leg. It can be extremely painful, your chiropractor needs to determine which way your disc is bulging by a series of tests and then can prescribe effective exercises alongside manual therapy to help resolve the problem. its a common but May take 8 weeks to resolve with injury care.

​Sciatica is usually a result of a disc injury, caused by poor movement patterns. The pain will be varied from burning, sharp pains that originate deep into your buttock muscles, the pain travels down the leg.

Mechanical/simple back aches 1- 5 days old injury that is characterised by a dull ache or stiffness, localised to the lower back, these injuries are usually straight forward and respond to treatment and exercise really well.

Sacroiliac joint injury (pelvic joint pain) These joints cause pain in the buttock area, they are load bearing joints and a common injury site as most of us spend our lives sitting and compressing these joints.
Treatment options are to address the compression and locking and rehabilitate to create a strong core! also known as Pelvic Girdle Pain during pregnancy.

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