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Lower back pain is extremely common. It is estimated to affect more than half of the adult population annually with more than 10% experiencing frequent bouts of low back pain. Common sites of damage and mechanisms of injury to the low back include:
Muscle/ Joint Pain
If dysfunctional, the muscles and joints of the low back and hips are capable of causing both local lower back pain and referred pain (into the groin or legs). These problems can arise after lower back injury or as a result of faulty movement patterns, chronic poor posture and stress.
The sacroiliac joint (SIJ) is the joint that connects the pelvis to the spine. If irritated or injured this joint can cause severe lower back pain and also refer pain into the buttock(s), groin and down the leg(s). Pain commonly occurs after lower back injury such as a fall onto the buttocks or a blow to the hips. Spinal manipulation is very effective at treating sacroiliac complaints. In some cases rehabilitation or external supports (e.g. an SIJ belt) are also required.
“Slipped Disc” (Lumbar Disc Bulge / Herniation)
The discs of the spine sit between, and separate, each segment (or vertebra) of the spine. Although it is a commonly used expression, discs don’t actually ‘slip’ but if weakened through lower back injury, chronic poor posture or poor stabilisation they can begin to bulge or herniate. This bulging can cause intense lower back pain or, if more severe and pinching a nerve, can also cause numbness or pain into the buttock(s) or down the leg(s). Other symptoms include lower back stiffness and difficulty bending, especially in the mornings.
Pregnancy Related Pelvic and Lower Back Pain
Looking after your back is particularly important when you are pregnant. As your pregnancy progresses you carry more weight at the front which increases the curve in your lower back and changes your centre of gravity. In later stages of pregnancy the hormone ‘Relaxin’ causes your muscles and tendons to soften in preparation for the birth. This also increases movement of the pelvis which, for some women, can result in pain in the front of the pelvis, hips or lower back.
‘Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction’ (SPD) is a common pregnancy-related disorder which is thought to affect up to one in 4 women to varying degrees. SPD causes pain at the front of the pelvis as result of excessive movement of the pubic symphysis joint.
You may find your mid-back also feels tighter which can be due to your increase in weight and breast size causing a hunched posture.
Hands-on manual therapies combined with stabilisation exercise are very effective at improving back and pelvic pain related to pregnancy.
Coccydynia (‘Tailbone’ Pain)
Coccydynia simply means pain at the site of the coccyx (tailbone). Coccydynia often results from a fall onto the buttocks or from childbirth, although in a third of cases the cause is unknown. The tailbone is usually tender to the touch and painful when sitting but is relieved when standing or walking.
Dysfunction in the coccygeal joint, ligaments and surrounding muscles can all result in coccdynia. Addressing these structures through manipulation, mobilisation and soft tissue work can help to alleviate coccygeal pain.
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“I had suffered long standing back and neck pain. Now my back pain is almost gone and the neck has improved a lot. I particularly liked the friendly nature and hands on method. I would recommend treatment without a doubt to anyone in need as it has helped me a great deal. Do not wait seek assistance it’s worth it!
“I had pain following a difficult pregnancy and birth. After treatment I have regained the strength in my back and I am now able to function properly and still carry my children. My problem was articulated clearly and I was given advice on strengthening exercises to support treatment