Back Pain Specialists
Almost everyone (between 70-90% of individuals) experiences chronic back pain that requires specialist treatment at some point in their life. The lower back is crucial for movement and mobility, yet is one of the easiest parts of the body to injure. Significant force is not necessary – simple movements such as bending incorrectly or repetitive movements over time can predispose a person to a lower back injury which can cause debilitating pain.
Another consideration is long term changes in posture, in which the body doesn’t transfer load or force correctly, enabling muscles, ligaments and tendons to change the way in which they work.
The prescribed form of back pain treatment will vary depending on the mechanism of injury, the type of injury and the current history of the client’s lower back and presentation.
Back Pain Treatments
Back Pain Specialists perform the following:
- Assessment of your back and posture, to identify causative structures
- Soft tissue treatment to muscles that may be contributing to your symptoms
- Dry needling for pain relief and to decrease muscle tension
- Assessment of your muscle balances including functional and strength testing
- Prescription of strengthening and stretching exercises to improve movement and mobility
Elite Myotherapy have performed pain relieving treatments in Melbourne for over 20 years. Our back pain specialists have alleviated pain for local residents and numerous professional athletes such as:
- Tennis players at the Australian Open
- Essendon Football Club
- Australian Swimming Team
- Australian Basketball Team
Specialist Back Pain Treatments
Common causes for back pain that can require treatments:
Poor posture is becoming more and more common, as we increase the number of hours we sit in front of the computer and hunched over our smartphone. This sustained injury places stress upon your spine which potentially can lead to back pain that can make everyday activity a painful task.
Poor posture can often lead to Accumulated Microtrauma – disc injury caused from extended periods of poor posture. Through treatment, education and training yourself to sit up straight and perform everyday activities with proper posture, the likelihood of experiencing back pain can be significantly reduced.
People often use the term “slipped disc” or “bulging disc” to described back pain. This term can often refer to a disc prolapse. A disc prolapse can occur in your lower back, upper back or your neck.
The spine is made up of bones called vertebrae and each vertebra is cushioned by spongy structures called “intervertebral discs”. Intervertebral discs are incredibly robust, however they don’t like repetitive movements as this can impact on the integrity of the structure.
The discs have a flat structure with a jelly-like center. The spinal cord runs from the brain and through the center of the spine. The nerves that send messages to the arms, legs and rest of the body exit the spine from the spaces between the vertebrae.
A disc prolapse occurs when there is a protrusion of one on the discs between the vertebrae. However, it is important to note that most people with back pain do not have any damage to their spine.
The back pain comes from the danger signals sent from the muscles, ligaments, and joints. More persistent back pain may also be associated with arthritis of the facet joints and degeneration of the discs. A disc prolapse can put pressure on nerves, causing back pain, cramping, spasms and numbness.
Back Muscle Strain
Back muscles can be strained due to fatigue, lifting loads which are too heavy or lifting with poor form. Not only can a pulled back muscle cause pain and muscle spasm, it can cause additional injury to joints, ligaments, spinal discs.
Back Ligament Strain
Back ligaments are strong connecting tissue that help support the joints that connect your bones together. These cause healthy limitations on the amount of movement you have, however when stretched too quickly or too far they can tear, causing pain, swelling and bleeding into nearby tissue. Ligament strain is a common cause of back pain in sports injuries and car accidents; however it can also occur from lifting an object incorrectly.
Approximately 5%, mostly women, experience a condition called Fibromyalgia, which can cause back pain and stiffness along with a number of other symptoms. Fibromyalgia can often be linked to physical injury such as a car crash or a traumatic life event. This results can then ilicit a sudden chronic illness.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune condition and although it is more commonly associated with causing pain in areas such as wrists, elbows, ankles, hips, back pain can also occur. This occurs when your immune system identifies the synovial lining of your spine joints as foreign and ilicits an immune response. This can lead to compression of the spinal cord and nerve roots, causing significant back pain.
If you’re experiencing a tingling pain sensation running from your lower back down your leg, you may be experiencing sciatic pain. This pain can make performing basic daily activities uncomfortable and can even affect your balance. We work with clients to ensure to manage the pain and improve your quality of life.
Tips for Managing and Reducing the Likelihood of Back Pain
Exercising regularly – To increase strength and flexibility. Regular exercise has been shown to greatly reduce back pain, even low-intensity exercise such walking 30 minutes a day has a large effect.
Maintain a healthy body weight – being overweight has been show to create extra strain on your back.
Be aware of your posture – consider your posture, particularly when seated, such as sitting at a desk for long periods of time. Please see our computer/desk article for more information.
Take regular breaks – sitting or standing for long periods of time can increase the level of work your muscles have to do, sometimes due to fatigue or proprioception (where your brain thinks you are in space).Take regular breaks to change the position of your joints and reset your muscles.
Relaxation and mindfulness – learn some relaxation techniques to help reduce stress levels and subsequent muscle tension.
Back pain self-management – Try self-massage, heat or cold applications and gentle exercise
Be mindful of your sleeping posture- On average, we spend 30% of our lives sleeping so it is important to sleep with a good posture as well. Mattresses that are too soft or too hard can aggravate a sore back as can sleeping on too many pillows. Try to avoid sleeping on your stomach.
Our clinics are located in Toorak, Prahran, Richmond, Carlton, Balwyn, Greensborough and Hawthorn East. It’s time to start living your life without back pain – make an appointment.