Back pain: All you need to know about back pain


What are the common causes of back pain

Common causes of back pain include pain from the disc, pain from the facet joint and pain from the sacroiliac joint. This can then manifest itself in either a general back pain  or back pain and leg pain, which is sciatica.

What are the symptoms of back pain?

Common symptoms of back pain include pain in the back as a result of muscular spasm or back pain with pain down the legs, which can cause things like numbness, pins and needles or weakness and is a symptom of sciatica.

What are the causes of back pain due to sciatica?

Sciatica is where the nerves in your spine – which goes down your legs are being pinched. Sciatic nerve compression is normally caused most of the time by a disc prolapse, although sometimes it can be caused by a small piece of bone and disc in combination, causing pressure on the nerve.

What are the causes of back pain due to lumbar spinal stenosis?

Sciatica itself causes numbness, pins and needles and sometimes weakness down the legs. Lumbar spinal stenosis is where the bunch of nerves which run down your legs are pinched, as a result of pressure from the facet, which are overgrowth as well as a disc prolapse. In sciatica, a single nerve is pinched, whereas in lumbar spinal stenosis, most of the nerves are pinched. Therefore, it gives rise to a lot more pain as compared to sciatica.

Arthritis and back pain

Arthritis and back pain can be broken down into two types of arthritis. One is osteoarthritis, which is commonly seen as we get older. This affects the facet joint, as well as the discs. The other type of arthritis is inflammatory arthritis, where there’s a lot of inflammation affecting the discs and the facets. This is commonly associated with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and other associated sort of diseases.

How does back pain appear? What are the factors that give you back pain?

One of the main reasons for that is because of multiple tears that people get in their discs. We know that all of us get little tears in our discs, which we get with any activity on a day to day living. Sometimes these tears get together and they form a larger disc tear that causes a lot of back spasm. Sometimes, these tears are large enough to cause a disc bulging or disc prolapse, and that’s when you get the leg pain of the sciatica associated with it. Posture itself is very important in ensuring that back pain doesn’t occur for the longer term. For example, sitting on a very deep sofa in a very slouched manner can cause back pain, especially if it’s repeated all the time. Quite similarly, sitting at work in a position where, you’re in a sort of seated position for more than 20 minutes/half an hour is again a cause of back pain. Therefore, these two things need to be looked at with regards to back pain and posture.

How to treat back pain efficiently?

Stretch your back to make it flexible

Lower back flexibility is extremely important. You should always balance strength and flexibility for a good back health. Your back and mainly lower back support the weight of all your upper body for hours along the day whether you are seated or standing, increasing compression of your spinal discs. Stretching your back regularly will allow to release this pressure and avoid future pain and disc tears

Strengthen your back and abdominal muscles with back exercises

To relieve back pain efficiently, movement is the key. You need to force yourself to exercise regularly, doing the right exercises for your specific back pain. We advise to start with low impact exercises to strengthen your back muscles slowly but efficiently. Once your back muscles start recovering their strength, you can start medium impact exercises and then harder back strengthening exercises.

Physiotherapy and back pain

For lower back pain, we advise to have a  back pain assessment with a physiotherapists in order to know exactly:

  • Where your back pain comes from?
  • Which muscles are stiff and restricted
  • Which part of the spine needs to be worked on
  • To determine an exercise regime

After the physiotherapy assessment, your back pain  physiotherapist will use numerous techniques to relieve your lower back pain. It is usually hands on treatment using manual therapy, manual tensions release, decompression and resistance exercises. The physio will then provide you with an exercise program to do regularly and tailored to your specific back pain.

Please call us now at George Morris physio if you are suffering with lower back problems 01942 722600