Treatment for Lower Back Pain in Newcastle
The discs of the lumbar spine are often a source of lower back pain. Activities and jobs that involve forward bending (flexion) of the lumbar spine or prolonged sitting may increase the likelihood of a herniated disc, commonly known as a “disc bulge”. A disc bulge occurs when the gel-like material inside the disc protrudes through the harder outer layer. A bulging disc may impinge on surrounding nerve roots producing pain, weakness, reduced sensation and tingling down into the legs. In very severe cases, surgical intervention may be required to reduce symptoms however physiotherapy can play a significant role in reducing symptoms, improving function and minimise recurrence.
Facet Joint Dysfunction
Individuals with an increased lumbar lordosis (sway posture) place increased strain on the facet joints of the lumbar spine. The structures surrounding the joints can become irritated or more prone to strains and sprains.
Spondylolisthesis involves a forward slipping of one vertebra on another. This usually is associated with a defect at the pars interarticularis. A spondylolisthesis can be confirmed with an x-ray and will be graded and managed accordingly by your physiotherapist.
Stress fractures to the pars interarticularis can often occur as a result of repetitive hyperextension / rotation activities. Young athletes participating in sports such as tennis, cricket (fast bowling), and gymnastics are often at a higher risk of developing this injury.
Degenerative Joint disease
Prolonged poor posture or repetitive strain to the lumbar spine can lead to degenerative joint disease. Bony spurs may develop and restrict movement or irritate surrounding soft tissues causing pain. Bony spurs can also impinge nerve roots sending pain, numbness, weakness or tingling down the leg.
Physiotherapy can play a significant role in all of the conditions listed above. A thorough assessment is imperative and physiotherapists have an excellent, evidence-based knowledge of how to assess and treat lumbar spine problems from severe to mild cases. Depending on assessment, treatment may involve: soft tissue massage, joint mobilisations, dry needling, taping, postural/ manual handling education, technique correction, stretches and specific core and functional strengthening.
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