Low Back Pain Treatment
85% of the population will experience an episode of back pain at some stage of their lives, whether it be from injury, degeneration or postural factors.
We can help you treat and manage lower back conditions that include;
Other spinal conditions we commonly treat include
- Disc bulges
- Muscle strains
- Joint degeneration
- Reduced core stability
We have extensive experience working closely with spinal specialists at Lingard Private Hospital for over 10 years.
We understand the lower back, how to best reduce your pain and manage lower back pain long term.
- We do a full assessment to diagnose the most likely structure causing the problem
- We develop a holistic management program addressing all aspects that are limiting a persons recovery including but not limited to
- office ergonomics
- incorrect movement patterns
- misalignment of spine and correcting the causes such as poor spinal stability, tight/stiff structures etc.
- incorrect exercise or training programs
- poor weekly routine for spinal health
The term sciatica describes the symptoms of leg pain with possible tingling, numbness or weakness—that originate in the lower back and travel through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of the leg.
The sciatic nerve is a large nerve, formed from nerve roots that originate from the spinal cord. These nerve roots pass out between the disc spaces and join up to form the sciatic nerve. It passes from the spine into the buttock, then into the back of the thigh and leg.
The sciatic nerve controls sensation, reflexes and function to the back of the leg and foot. In sciatica, prolapsed or 'slipped' discs, or cysts can press on the intervertebral nerve(s). This pressure irritates the nerve, causing referred pain.
Sciatica can also be caused by narrowing of the nerve tunnel or the foramina between discs due to osteoarthritis. Elderly people who suffer from disk or joint degeneration as a consequence of ageing tend to be troubled the most by sciatica.
Symptoms of sciatica
The symptoms of sciatica include:
- sharp pain in the buttock, back of the thigh (hamstring) and calf
- pain in the ankle and foot
- pins and needles in the buttock, back of thigh, calf or foot
- increased pain when lifting, sitting, stooping or coughing
- loss of power to the muscles of the leg and foot.
The area of the spine that takes the most punishment from movement and activity is the lower back, or lumbar region. This consists of five relatively large vertebrae. The discs cushioning these vertebrae are particularly susceptible to degeneration and injuries. The cushioning discs become progressively thinner and harder, which stresses this portion of the back and may result in a variety of lower back pain disorders, including sciatica.
Traditional advice for treating sciatica recommended complete bed rest. However, recent Australian studies have concluded that lying in bed may offer only minimal improvement, or may even exacerbate the condition.
Unless specifically advised by your doctor or physio, remaining active may be the preferred option. But getting the right advice on the type and intensity of activities is also very important.
Gentle exercises can help but needs to be guided by a clinician who can assist you to make a functional recovery. Swimming can useful at the right time of a person recovery., as it is not a weight bearing exercise so flexibility and strength can be improved without unduly stressing your back. Herniated spinal discs usually heal themselves with time as long as the client understands the conditions to maintain the correct postures to reduce the likelihood of recurrence or re-tear.
Suggestions for managing sciatica include:
- relative rest in the correct alignment, resting in provocative positions such as sitting can further worsen the condition.
- over-the-counter pain-relieving medication
- ice packs or warm packs
- upright posture
- resting the back by not bending, flexing or lifting heavy weights
- warm baths
- sleeping on a mattress that is not too soft or too hard
- ergonomic furniture, such as chairs with lumbar support
- gentle exercises to strengthen and support the lower back.
- gentle walking program as pain permits can reduce sciatic pain
Types of treatment for sciatica
Sciatica that doesn't resolve itself after a few days needs medical attention. Different treatment options for sciatica includes:
- medication, including pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory medication
- manipulative therapies, such as chiropractic or osteopathy
- epidural injections – medication injected directly into the spine
- complementary therapies, including acupuncture
- surgery as a last resort.
Surgery for sciatica
The operation for sciatica that is caused by a ruptured or 'slipped' disc is called a 'partial discectomy but there are a number of different types of surgeries depending on what is causing the injury to the nerve'. Most the surgeries all performed using cameras and the structures that causing the compression removed.
- Osteopathic or Chiropractor