Back Pain is the most common injury our physiotherapists see in our clinic. It is completely normal to experience, with 80% of people having back pain at some point in their life. Lower back pain can come on suddenly, or it can build up gradually over a period of time. It can come with or without sciatica (irritation of the sciatic nerve, causing pain to run down the back of your leg).
The most common sources of lower back pain are the facet joints of the spine, a bulging disc, stenosis (a narrowing around a nerve or nerves in the spine), a pinched nerve, and muscle pain or spasm. While they can be incredibly painful, the vast majority of these injuries make a full recovery with the right management.
Sometimes the names of your injury can be quite frightening! Take the terms "slipped disc" or "herniated disc" - they sound very dramatic and alarming! But as the disc is made up mostly of a gelatinous like substance, its more like toothpaste oozing from a tube, and the vast majority of these fully recover, once you know what to do and what not to do.
People often think they need to see a chiropractor if they need their back manipulated, but this is not the case. The physiotherapists at our clinic are qualified in manipulating the spine, as well as treating your lower back pain in other ways, depending on the problem.
Neck pain is something that two thirds of the population will experience at some point in their lives, either as a stiff neck, headaches, a "crick" in the neck, or neck and shoulder tension. The most common sources of neck pain are from the facet joints of the spine, and pain from the soft-tissues in the neck.
Postural neck pain is something that our physiotherapists treat every day, especially in office workers. This is because of the strain on the neck of holding the weight of the head in bad positions for a long time. This can happen if you sit in a bad position without moving, or your work-station set-up is poor. Another common culprit is sitting reading your smartphone or tablet for hours. Tension builds up in the muscles and joints of the neck and eventually causes pain.
Acute neck pain can occur as simply as throwing your head back while washing your hair, or from trauma, for example in a whiplash injury.
Treatment will depend on what issue your physiotherapist finds when they assess you. Some injuries are helped with hands-on treatment to give pain relief, whilst others will be purely exercise or rehabilitation based, or require a bit of both.
Either way you should leave feeling better and feeling like you have a clear plan on how to get better and stay better.