Back pain

BUTTOCK PAIN

This needs to be assessed properly to diagnose and the origin of the pain which can include the lumbar spine (lower back), sacroiliac joint, piriformis or sciatic nerve.

CHEST PAIN

Seek medical advice if you think the chest pain is related to your heart or lungs. Chest pain related to stiffness or muscle spasm around your thoracic spine, rib cage or chest bone responds well to physiotherapy treatment.

DISC PROBLEMS

The spine is made up of individual bones called vertebra, which have discs between them acting as shock absorbers. The disc can become acutely painful, or develop over time often when too much force is put through. The most commonly injured discs are those in the lower back, which can refer symptoms into the leg such as sciatica.

DISC PROLAPSE

See Slipped disc

LUMBAGO

This term refers to lower back pain in general and should be assessed to accurately diagnose the origin of the pain.

MUSCLE SPASM

This is a protective mechanism against further injury most commonly found in the back or neck, often a response to an underlying joint or disc problem. The muscle spasm can be treated, but the underlying cause also needs to be identified and treated to prevent future problems.

NERVE PAIN

Pain from nerves often present as weakness, numbness, pain or pins and needles, most commonly felt in your arms or legs.

OSTEOARTHRITIS (OA)

This occurs when the protective cartilage at the end of the bone starts to break down and causes pain, stiffness and swelling of the joint and leads to difficulty moving. It can effect most of your joints, most commonly being knees, hips, back, neck, shoulders and fingers. Physiotherapy can be very helpful with OA using treatments such as mobilisation, exercises, acupuncture etc.

PINCHED NERVE

See nerve pain.

PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME

Piriformis is a deep muscle in your buttock which runs very close to your sciatic nerve and has an important role in stabilising your lower back and pelvis. Due to this it can cause localised buttock pain or sciatic symptoms. Responds very well to massage, stretches and acupuncture.

REFERRED PAIN

The origin of the pain is in one are for example the lower back, but the pain is felt in another area for example the leg. This is usually due to nerve compression (sciatica) or trigger points in muscles.

SACROILIAC DYSFUNCTION

This is a very big joint that connects your spine to your pelvis. It is a very common cause of lower back pain and sciatic type symptoms. Must be treated well as they generally do not get better by themselves.

SCIATICA

Symptoms are often pain, numbness or pins and needles down the back of your leg due to the sciatic nerve being aggravated by such things as a disc bulge, a joint or muscle pinching the nerve. Physiotherapy treatment can be very beneficial in all cases.

SCOLIOSIS

The medical term for a curve in your spine. Can be helped by stretches, mobilisation and strengthening (Pilates).

SLIPPED DISC

The shock absorbing disc between the vertebra can bulge in varying degrees from a slight bulge with minimal pain to a large bulge that can give symptoms down the leg all the way to the toes. Symptoms including, pain, weakness, numbness and pins and needles. It is important to treat these quickly to stop the bulge getting stuck in that position.

THORACIC PAIN

This is the middle portion of your spine and due to our lifestyle and posture often becomes very stiff which can leads to pain, muscle spasm and sometimes referred pain to other parts of the body.

TRIGGER POINTS

These can be treated very successfully with massage, trigger point release, acupuncture and stretches. They are due to parts of muscles becoming very tight and that can refer pain to other body parts.

WEAR AND TEAR

See osteoarthritis.

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