Patient seeking physiotherapy in Newmarket for lower back pain

What causes back pain?

This question is one that I am frequently asked. It’s a very important question but at the risk of sounding vague, not everyone can be given a definitive diagnosis.

Sustaining an injury to one or more of the structures which make up your spine (joints, bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments) may cause pain but there are also many people whose symptoms can’t be attributed to a specific structural injury. The medical term for this is ‘non-specific back pain’.

Although my patients with non-specific back pain are pleased to hear that there is nothing seriously wrong, it’s not uncommon for them to express confusion and anxiety about why they are in pain if there is no specific injury. This is especially true if their pain has persisted for a period of time.

Treating this condition successfully can be complex. There are a wide range of Physiotherapy treatments available, some of which might be more helpful than others for each patient we treat.

So an effective treatment plan can’t be a ‘one size fits all’ approach. The key is being able to work out which treatments help which individual and being able to combine them skilfully for each patient.

As part of your examination, our physiotherapists aim to identify factors which might have contributed to development of your pain like muscle strength and endurance, joint stiffness, tissue flexibility and postural and movement habits.

Physical treatments like acupuncture, massage or joint manipulation might be suggested to provide some pain relief, alongside a programme of corrective exercises to build strength and change the way you move.

However, helping you to understand why you are experiencing back pain, how your nervous system works, what it means to experience pain and how you can change this experience is an absolutely integral part of the treatment we provide too. This isn’t always the case with other clinicians and not receiving this kind of information means that you are potentially missing out on a treatment technique which could prove to be an important part of your individual recovery plan.

For more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The Physiofit Team.