Low Back Pain

Low back pain, Lower back pain, lumbago

We treat using a combination of techniques including soft tissue Active Release Techniques, Trigger point therapy which can include dry needling, spinal and pelvic manipulation, Microcurrent and particularly important rehabilitation of the spinal stabilising system where required.

Low back pain refers to pain arising from one or of structures in the lower back..

Low back pain results from damage to structures in the back (i.e. muscle, ligament, disc, nerve and bone). It commonly occurs following a relatively simple movement such as bending forward or twisting through the spine. However, lower back pain can also occur through more complex and forceful movements of the lower spine.

Low back pain is experienced as pain from the lower back. This is often a dull or strong ache, which is made worse by movement. In some situations, it may prevent you from ‘straightening up’ to a normal standing posture. The pain may be central in the back, to one side or on both sides of the spine. It may also radiate down into the buttocks, back of the thigh or lower leg.

If you have low back pain, you should consult your nearest sports medicine professional for an appropriate assessment, diagnosis and treatment.

If you have low back pain, you shouldn’t ignore the problem and continue to participate in sport. This may lead to the problem increasing and result in a prolonged recovery. In addition, you should avoid other activities which aggravate your pain.

Low back pain usually does not produce any long-term effects, as long it is properly diagnosed and appropriately treated. Recovery usually takes place in a number of days to weeks. The main ongoing problem associated with low back pain is its tendency to re-occur if poorly managed.

The assistance of a sports medicine professional is important in the treatment of low back pain. Initially, they can assist in diagnosing the problem and determining its severity. From this information, the we should be be able to determine an appropriate treatment plan. This may initially involve techniques to reduce your pain. These may the modalities mentioned above. When your pain has settled sufficiently, we will be able to provide you with a series of stretching and strengthening exercises designed to return you to your normal activities, while reducing the chances of your back pain re-occurring.

Acute nerve root compression

Acute nerve root compression refers to when a nerve leaving from the spinal cord is compressed by a  structure within the back.

Acute nerve root compression most commonly occurs when an intervertebral disc prolapses. An intervertebral disc refers to the disc between two vertebrae in the lower back. When this disc is injured, its contents may prolapse or bulge outwards into the spinal canal that contains the spinal cord and the nerves that lead on towards the legs. This bulge, therefore, can compress these structures. The mechanism of injury can occur following a relatively simple movement such as bending forward or twisting the spine, as well as through a more complex and forceful movement of the spine.

Acute nerve root compression produces a sudden onset of pain felt in the lower back. This may be associated with the inability to stand up straight and made worse by sitting, bending, lifting, coughing or sneezing. In addition, this nerve compression may produce pain within the legs. This results from compression of the nerves to the legs. This source of leg pain may be sharp, shooting, and accompanied with pins and needles, numbness or weakness in the legs.

If you have or suspect you have an acute nerve root compression, you should consult your nearest sports medicine professional. If, in addition to back and leg pain, you have numbness in the saddle region and are having difficulty passing water (urination) you should go to your nearest emergency department.

If you have or suspect you have an acute nerve root compression, you shouldn’t ignore the problem and continue to participate in sport. This may lead to your problem increasing which may prolong your recovery. In addition, you should not perform any activities that aggravate your pain.

Acute nerve root compression does not usually produce any long-term effects, as long as it is appropriately diagnosed and treated. Recovery usually takes place in a number of weeks. However, in some cases, this period may be prolonged. This will largely depends on the size of the disc bulge and the extent of nerve compression. If the disc bulge is extremely large and causing severe nerve compression, it may be necessary to undergo surgical procedure to release the pressure on the nerve. This will prolong your recovery time.

The assistance of a sports medicine professional is important in the treatment of acute nerve root compression. Initially, they can assist in diagnosing the problem and determining its severity. This may require the use of imaging techniques such as an X-ray, CT scan or MRI. From this information, the sports medicine professional will be able to determine an appropriate treatment plan. This may initially involve techniques to reduce your pain. These may include activity modification, anti-inflammatory medications, spinal traction, electrotherapy treatment, or taping of the back. When your pain has settled sufficiently, the sports medicine professional will be able to provide you with a series of stretching and strengthening exercises. These will be designed to return you back into sports participation, while reducing the chances of the injury re-occurring.

Stress fracture of the pars interarticularis (pars defect)

Often referred to as a ‘pars defect’, a stress fracture of the pars interarticularis refers to an incomplete fracture or crack within the rear portion of a vertebra.

A stress fracture of the pars interarticularis is usually a result from an overuse injury. In activities that require excessive arching or rotation of the lower back, the rear portion of the vertebral bones are overstressed. In response to this increased stress, the bone increases its bone turnover. Bone turnover involves the removal of weakened, damaged areas of bone and the laying down of new bone at the same location. To do this, old bone is resorbed (removed) before it is replaced with new bone. If bone formation cannot keep up with bone resorption, areas of weakness can develop within the bone. These can develop into a stress fracture if the bone is continually loaded. This is commonly seen in activities such as gymnastics, fast bowling in cricket, tennis, rowing, dance, weightlifting, pole vaulting and any throwing activities such as baseball pitching, javelin, discus and hammer throw.

A stress fracture of the pars interarticularis results in pain that is felt in the lower back. This pain is usually on one side of the spine and is made worse through activity, particularly those involving arching of the back. Occasionally the pain may extend into the buttocks. In some situations, the stress fracture of the pars interarticularis may be asymptomatic and it may have been discovered incidentally following an X-ray of the lower back.

If you have or suspect you have a stress fracture of the pars interarticularis, it is advised you avoid activities which aggravate your pain and seek the assistance of a sports medicine professional.

If you have or suspect you have a stress fracture of the pars interarticularis, you shouldn’t continue with activities which aggravate your pain by making it worse. These will lead to further pain and deterioration of your condition.

A stress fracture of the pars interarticularis is a serious structural problem within the back. Despite this, appropriate management can usually return you to your desired activities without ongoing problems.

The assistance of a sports medicine professional is important in the treatment of a stress fracture of the pars interarticularis. Initially, they can assist in diagnosing the problem and determining its severity. This may require the use of imaging techniques such as an X-ray, CT scan or MRI. From this information, the sports medicine professional will be able to determine an appropriate treatment plan. This may include activity modification, electrotherapy treatment, taping of the back, and the progression through a series of stretching and strengthening exercises relevant for injury recovery.

Spondylolisthesis

A spondylolisthesis refers to the slipping of one vertebra (spinal bone) forward on another. The term is derived from the Greek language spondylos, meaning vertebra, and olisthanein, meaning to slip or slide.

A spondylolisthesis results from damage to the rear portion of a vertebra. This portion of the vertebral bone acts as an anchor to stop the main body of the vertebra from slipping forwards. When the back portion of the vertebra is damaged, it enables the main portion of the vertebra to slip forwards resulting in a spondylolisthesis.

A spondylolisthesis results in pain felt in the lower back. This pain is usually aggravated by activity, particularly activities that involve extension or arching of the back. Occasionally the pain may extend into the buttocks, back of the thighs and the lower legs. In some situations, the spondylolisthesis may be asymptomatic and it may have been discovered incidentally following an X-ray of the lower back.

If you have or suspect you have a spondylolisthesis, it is advised you avoid activities that aggravate your pain and seek the assistance of a sports medicine professional.

If you have or suspect you have a spondylolisthesis, you shouldn’t continue with activities that aggravate your back or make the pain worse. These may lead to further vertebral slipping and deterioration of your condition.

A spondylolisthesis is a serious structural problem. It is a condition that does not repair itself and a condition with which people have to live with for the rest of their lives. Despite this, appropriate management can usually help you continue with your desired activities, without ongoing problems.

The assistance of a sports medicine professional is important in the treatment of a spondylolisthesis. Initially, they can assist in diagnosing the problem and determining its severity. This may require the use of imaging techniques such as an X-ray, CT scan or MRI. From this information, the sports medicine professional will be able to determine an appropriate treatment plan. This may include activity modification, anti-inflammatory medications, electrotherapy treatment, taping of the back, and progression through a series of stretching and strengthening exercises to assist in stabilisation of the lower back.

Sacroiliac joint disorders

The sacroiliac joint is the joint that is found between the two pelvic bones (sacrum and ilium) at the back of the pelvis. The sacrum is a continuation of the vertebral column. Disorders of this joint refer to any condition affecting the function of the joint.

The exact cause of a sacroiliac joint disorder is not clear. However, it may result from excessive movement in the joint. This excessive movement stresses the ligaments and soft tissue structures that support the joint. If the ligaments and supporting structures are continually stressed and overstretched, pain and inflammation of the sacroiliac joint can result.

Sacroiliac joint disorders generally cause pain. This is frequently experienced very low in the back, around the top of the buttocks. It is often only felt in one buttock; however, in some instances it may be felt in both. The pain may also be referred to the groin or the front and outside of the thigh.

If you have or suspect you may have a sacroiliac joint disorder, you should consult your nearest sports medicine professional.

If you have or suspect you have a sacroiliac joint disorder, you shouldn’t ignore the problem and continue to participate in sport. This may lead to your problem deteriorating, resulting in a prolonged recovery. In addition, you should avoid activities that aggravate your pain.

Sacroiliac joint disorders usually do not produce any long-term effects, as long as they are properly diagnosed and appropriately treated. Recovery usually takes place in a number of weeks. Occasionally this recovery may be prolonged if the injury is severe.

The assistance of a sports medicine professional is important in the treatment of a sacroiliac joint disorder. Initially, they can assist in diagnosing the problem and determining its severity. From this information, the sports medicine professional will be able to determine an appropriate treatment plan. This may involve activity modification, the use of anti-inflammatory medications, soft tissue treatment such as massage and stretching, and the progression through a series of specific strengthening exercises. Occasionally an injection of an anti-inflammatory may be injected into the sacroiliac joint to stimulate healing.

Iliolumbar ligament sprain

The iliolumbar ligament is a ligament that runs from the pelvis bone (ilium) to the lowest lumbar vertebra in the back. A ligament sprain refers to a ligament that is overstretched and injured.

An iliolumbar ligament sprain occurs when the ligament is overstretched. This usually occurs when the lower back is forcefully bent, arched or twisted.

An iliolumbar ligament sprain results in lower back and upper buttock pain. This is usually felt deep in the back and to one side of the spine. It may be made worse through activities such as bending, arching or twisting the back.

If you have or suspect you have sprained your iliolumbar ligament, you should consult your nearest sports medicine professional.

If you have or suspect you have sprained your iliolumbar ligament, you shouldn’t ignore the problem and continue to participate in sport. This may lead to your injury deteriorating which may prolong your recovery. In addition, you should not perform any activities that aggravate your pain.

An iliolumbar ligament sprain does not produce any long-term effects, as long as it properly diagnosed and appropriately treated. Recovery usually takes place in a number of days to weeks.

The assistance of a sports medicine professional is important in the treatment of an iliolumbar ligament sprain. Initially, they can assist in diagnosing the problem and determining its severity. From this information, the sports medicine professional will be able to determine an appropriate treatment plan. This may involve activity modification, the use of anti-inflammatory medications, and soft tissue treatment such as massage and joint mobilisation. If recovery is prolonged, an injection of an anti-inflammatory directly into the iliolumbar ligament may be used to stimulate healing.