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Low Back Pain – A Common Problem

Low back pain is one of the most common problems seen by physiotherapists. It accounts for over 9% of adult GP visits and is one of the leading causes of disability in the UK.

According to research, 4 in 5 people will experience back pain at some point in their life. That sounds like a lot of people but it won’t affect everyone in the same way. For some people, back pain will be a simple ache that corrects itself over time but for others it can cause long-standing pain and disability.

Seeking professional advice and getting the right treatment quickly is essential. It reduces the risk of low back pain lingering, speeds up recovery and reduces its impact on everyday life.

Physiotherapist, Osteopaths and Chiropractors have long been the go-to people for low back pain. Each profession has a slightly different approach to treatment but successful outcomes  often come down to the skill, knowledge and experience of the individual practitioner.

Types of Back Pain

There are a number of reasons why low back pain occurs. A number of body structures can be responsible but it is often more than one factor contributing to low back pain. These can include lifestyle factors such as smoking and lack of exercise, which are considered big risk factors.

Some of the well-known types of low back pain include nerve root irritation (e.g sciatica), muscles spasm, bone deformity, ligament or muscle strain, or intervertebral disc prolapse or degeneration. Each of these problems can affect individuals differently – in some cases causing severe pain and disability and in others producing no symptoms at all.

Physiotherapy and Lower Back Pain

Physiotherapists are considered to be the experts on lower back pain. By completing a robust assessment, they can often pinpoint what is contributing to the condition and start treatment immediately. Physiotherapists are also trained to spot more serious conditions that may present as low back pain and then refer on to the GP or specialist making them an ideal first point of contact.

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