Lower back pain
Low back pain is one of the most common pain conditions. Often, pain comes on due to an event or injury, such as an awkward lift, twist or accident, but a lot of the time it can come on gradually and without a specific cause.
There are a lot of myths surrounding the lower back and what it is that you need to do to relieve low back pain long-term, but time and again often health professionals come up short, leaving you desperate, and confused as to where to head next.
With this in mind, here are the facts.
- Tissue damage and pain are not related.
What this means: You may have seen your scans which indicate things like disc bulges, degenerative changes or osteoarthritis. However, the pain that you are experiencing may not be caused by these findings. In fact – a famous study showed 37% of people without back pain have abnormalities on their MRI Scans, and this figure increases with age. Having these changes are usually more age-related (like wrinkles on your skin), rather than anything to be too concerned about long term.
- When you have lower back pain, your muscles around your lower back change in size and function.
What this means: If there is an onset of pain in your lower back, for whatever reason, your muscles change. When muscles change in size and make up they become weaker, which is why it may be difficult to perform simple tasks like getting up from a chair, bending over or lifting. You cannot perform surgery on muscles to make them perform better; you must move and strengthen them in the right way.
- The most important muscles to assess with lower back pain are two you have probably never heard of – the iliopsoas and the multifidus.
What this means: These are the two muscle groups that directly attach to the spinal column – the iliopsoas at the front, and the multifidus at the back. The research into lower back pain conclusively shows that the multifidus muscles become smaller and the muscle becomes infiltrated with fat, which means the muscles cannot protect the movement of the joints as effectively. This in turn does not allow the person to stand upright properly, and can end up being in a “slouched” posture. As a result, the muscle at the front, the iliopsoas, becomes shortened and tight in itself, causing pain and restriction of movement due to its wide ranging attachments.
- Surgery is rarely the answer: in fact it should be the absolute last thing to do in cases of chronic pain.
What this means: As explained in this article, pain itself is generated by the brain. It is our strong view at The Headache and Pain Management Centre that unless there is severe, unremitting pain of traumatic onset, or pins and needles, numbness or muscle weakness that hasn’t responded to conservative treatment, that surgery be even considered. The risks often outweigh the benefits. Before considering surgery it is best to seek a second opinion for a qualified health professional before going ahead.
Through our combined years of experience in treating lower back pain, our differing backgrounds and locations of study, and the use of our world-beating MedX Medical Lumbar Extension Machine, we have developed an exclusive assessment and treatment protocol that will get you results.
Our initial sessions are one hour long, which allows us to arrive at the most likely reasons for your low back pain in the first session. We will listen to your pain story, look closely at all of the relevant movements, and assess your psoas muscle tightness. You will also be tested on our exclusive MedX Medical Lumbar Extension Machine to assess your strength, and we will also test all relevant joints, muscles and nerves.
Treatment will begin on the first day and may include:
- Pain Education
- Muscle releases or joint mobilisation – targeted to your individual needs
- The beginning of strength training using the MedX Lumbar Extension Machine
- And we will outline what we believe will be your best course of treatment moving forward.
At The Headache and Pain Management Centre, we understand that your lower back pain symptoms and pain story can be complex.
Talk to us to find out how we can assess and treat your:
Our team will assess your low back pain using the world’s leading assessment protocols, help you understand why your low back pain is there, and show you what you can do to fix it. Contact us today using the contact form above or by calling our clinic directly on 1300 16 55 33.