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Back Pain

What is back pain?

Back pain usually occurs when the vertebra, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and shock absorbing discs in your spine have been exposed to excessive wear and tear, or have been damaged in an accident.

For some people, back pain will just cause slight discomfort and will go away by itself, but for others, back pain can be extremely painful and inhibiting. There are four main types of back pain, including lower back pain, herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, and lumbar osteoarthritis.

80% of people will experience some form of LBP in their lifetime. In most cases, the pain will go away by itself within 4-6 weeks, however, in severe cases surgery may be needed – this is considered a last result.

More than 90% of people who experience LBP suffer from ‘non specific lower back pain’, or ‘simple back pain’. Any form of testing won’t usually pick up this form of back pain, and the cause of the pain is often unknown.

LBP Symptoms

  • Difficulty moving
  • Pain that travels to the groin, buttock, or upper thigh, but rarely travels below the knee
  • Dull, achy pain
  • Sore to touch

If you injure or over extend yourself, the inner portion of the disc could protrude through the outer ring of the disc. This is known as a slipped, herniated, or prolapsed disc. If the slipped disc compresses one of your spinal nerves, you may also experience numbness and pain along the affected nerve into your buttock, leg and sometimes foot.

Herniated Disc Symptoms

  • Ongoing and constant pain
  • Pain can be worse in the leg and foot than in the lower back
  • Pain will often only be felt on one side of the buttock or leg
  • Long periods of sitting, standing still or bending can increase the pain
  • The pain is quite severe (burning/tingling)
  • Can be accompanied by numbness, weakness or difficulty moving your leg or foot

Disc degeneration is a natural part of aging, and over time all people will exhibit changes in their discs consistent with a degree of degeneration. However, not everyone will develop symptoms. In fact, degenerative disc disease is quite variable in its nature and severity and is usually a chronic condition, but can have acute flare-ups.

Degenerative Disc Disease Symptoms

  • Constant low-level pain, which can be punctuated by episodes of severe pain/muscle spasms that can last a few days through to a few months
  • Chronic pain that varies from mild to extreme
  • Pain that gets worse from sitting or prolonged bending
  • Walking and running can act as a form of pain relief, as well as changing positions regularly

Lumbar osteoarthritis is a natural part of ageing that can cause pain, stiffness, and inflammation in the facet joints between the vertebrae. The symptoms of this are similar to those for degenerative disc disease.

Lumbar Osteoarthritis Symptoms

  • Decreased motion and flexibility in your back
  • You may feel severe stiffness and pain in the morning and evening, which will get worse after prolonged periods of sitting
  • Spasms in your back muscles can cause pain
How can we help?

For further information or assistance in understanding or treating any forms of back pain, contact the professionals at On The Go Rehab today. We have a team of qualified and experienced physiotherapists who can provide professional assistance in both overcoming back pain, and rehabilitating from serious back injury or surgery.

We also understand that back pain generally affects your mobility, which is why our rehabilitation experts come to you – offering home visits to help you with professional recovery assistance and back pain relief exercises.