With a noticeable amount of the population suffering from lower back problems, it's clear back pain is a common issue across Australia. If your back pain continues for more than four weeks or if it's particularly severe from the onset, your doctor may recommend physiotherapy. Understanding more about physiotherapy and how it works will make starting your treatment journey easier.
Passive movements can help reduce your pain to a manageable level
Physiotherapy isn't just about making movements yourself. In some cases, your team may use passive movements to treat your pain naturally. These movements are passive as a person, machine, or treatment makes them for you, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of pain relief. For example, TENS machines use a mild electrical current to stimulate sensory nerves in the region where there's pain. By sending alternative sensations to your brain, TENS machines reduce the number of painful sensations your brain receives, making life more comfortable.
Strengthening other muscle groups supports your lower back
Sometimes the muscles in your back experience problems through supporting nearby muscles. For example, if your hamstrings or the four muscles supporting your pelvic floor don't provide enough strength, the muscles in your back may begin to compensate. When they start to overwork, they let the brain know they're tired or injured through sending out pain signals. Your physiotherapist will use your medical history and perform a full assessment to determine whether any of these muscles need strengthening in order to support your back. If they find this is the case, they'll provide you with exercises you can do at home.
Regular maintenance can prevent the problem from reoccurring
The maintenance your physiotherapist will recommend doesn't just involve repeating the exercises they prescribe. They'll also recommend day-to-day maintenance, such as aerobics classes or regular walking. This maintenance may also include advice on managing occupational hazards in work, maintaining a good posture throughout the day, finding the right mattress, and lifestyle factors such as weight management and smoking. When you follow your physiotherapist's plan, you'll give yourself the best chance of reducing back pain.
No two physiotherapy plans are the same, which means your treatment programme will start with your team assessing what they can do to help. To get the most from your therapy, make sure you attend each session and follow the instructions as closely as you can. With a consistent approach, you can eliminate lower back pain and look forward to a healthier life.