by Chad Cameron, Physiotherapist
Low back pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders worldwide with a prevalence of 60-80% in the adult population. Low back pathologies may be diagnosed as disc disorders and joint dysfunctions among others, although the most prevalent cause of low back pain is non-specific. Non-specific low back pain can be the result of a variety of physical impairments to be assessed and addressed by your health care provider.
Previous health care recommendations had suggested bed rest as treatment for acute low back pain, although research now supports an active approach to rehabilitation and recovery. Prolonged periods of bed rest have been shown to further delay recovery, whereas return to light activity and appropriate exercise results in early symptom relief and return to normal function. Considering this guidance, it is important to begin assessment and treatment of low back pain at the onset of symptoms.
The treatment approach for low back pain is individualized to the patient dependent on impairments / symptoms observed by the practitioner upon assessment. Though exercise is the primary form of treatment, a Physiotherapist may develop a treatment plan also including manual therapy, soft tissue mobilization, functional dry needling, traction and modalities as
When to see a Physiotherapist?
-You have back pain that lasts longer than 48 hours.
-You have severe and / or continuous back pain.
-You have back pain with accompanying pain, numbness or weakness in one or both legs or feet.
-Your leg symptoms are more disabling than your back symptoms.
-You have back pain and the onset of numbness in your private/genital region or changes in your ability to control your bladder and bowel function.