How to Treat Lower Back Pain

Gregg Roberts
on
December 9, 2021

Introduction

Following on from our article about Lower Back Anatomy, Physiology and Treatment, we thought we would delve a little further into the actual types of treatment options for Lower Back pain.

Lower Back pain is extremely prevalent with 84% of the population suffering from it at some point in their lifetime. Sadly, 62% of people who suffer a Lower Back pain episode will still have symptoms up to 1 year on, and it is estimated that Lower Back pain costs the NHS £12.3 billion per year.

Statistics like this are worrying considering that there is a plentiful supply of evidence-based treatment options for Lower Back pain with Physiotherapy being at the forefront.

This article will outline the best ways to treat and manage Lower Back pain for Acute episodes to more long-term sufferer with Chronic Lower Back pain.

Acute Lower Back Pain

Acute Lower Back pain episodes are the most common types of Lower Back pain. We have covered the causes of these in more detail in our previous article. Acute Lower Back pain episodes typically last 2-6 weeks, but it is important to seek treatment for these as soon as possible to prevent them from lingering and becoming more chronic.

The best evidence-based means to treat Acute Lower Back pain is:

  1. Pain relief
  2. Physiotherapy

Pain Relief for Acute Lower Back Pain

Reducing your pain symptoms whilst suffering an Acute Lower Back pain episode can be an essential part of your healing process and is often the first step to help to get you moving. Movement is essential for your recovery.

There are several options for pain relief for Acute Lower Back pain. The most obvious is the use of pain-relieving medication. This can either be prescribed by your GP or Pharmacist. Paracetamol and Ibuprofen are the most common forms off-the-shelf pain relief. Always seek medical advice or read the box for prescription details.

Other forms of pain relief modalities for Acute Lower Back pain include:

These other pain-relieving modalities are often used as part of a Physiotherapist treatment approach to help settle Acute Lower Back pain episodes in the early stages. If you would like more information about any of these modalities, then please do give us a call.

Physiotherapy for Acute Lower Back Pain

There are multiple treatment options available from a Physiotherapist for an Acute Lower Back pain episode. These are all backed by evidence-based and have been proven to alleviate Acute Lower Back pain episodes.

At the White House Clinic, we have several clinicians with a specialist interest and vast experience in treating Lower Back pain (insert link to Team page). The Physiotherapy treatment options for Acute Lower Back pain include:

  • Manual therapy — Manual therapy, or manipulative therapy, is a physical treatment used by physiotherapists to treat Musculo-skeletal pain and disability; it includes kneading and manipulation of muscles, joint mobilisation and joint manipulation.
  • Shockwave Therapy
  • Kinesiology Tape (K-Tape) — The Physiotherapist can apply this type of elastic tape in a way to help support muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
  • Progressive Exercise Prescription — The Physiotherapist will provide you with an exercise programme to initially help to get you moving normally so that you can function again before progressing to a strengthening programme to reduce the risk of reoccurrence of your Acute Lower Back pain episode.

A Physiotherapist will often use a combination of these treatment options, but Progressive Exercise Prescription will always be the mainstay for treatment of Acute Lower Back pain as this has the best evidence-base for its use in Acute Lower Back pain treatment.

Seeking professional intervention at the earliest possible time is of the utmost importance in trying to treat Acute Lower Back pain. Without this, symptoms can persist and become chronic or recurrent, leading to having a much greater negative impact on the normal activities of daily living.

Chronic Lower Back Pain

Chronic Lower Back Pain is defined as pain in the Lower Back that has been persistent for more than 3 months. This can be significantly debilitating and life changing in that normal day-to-day function can become limited.

There are several means to treating Chronic Lower Back pain with the vast majority involving conservative treatment approaches (non-surgical in nature). Surgery can ultimately be viewed as the last resort for Chronic Lower Back pain sufferers, but it would always be suggested to exhaust all options before this.

Conservative evidence-based treatments for Chronic Lower Back pain include having/seeking to complete:

1. Physiotherapy

2. Sports Massage

3. Acupuncture

4. General Exercise

• Pilates/Yoga

• Strength Training

• Walking, cycling, swimming etc

5. Psychological Support

6. Regular Ergonomic Assessment

Physiotherapy for Chronic Lower Back Pain

Not dissimilar to the Physiotherapy treatment options for Acute Lower Back pain, a Physiotherapist will often use a combination of treatment techniques to help a patient suffering with Chronic Lower Back pain. These are all backed by evidence-based and have been proven to alleviate Chronic Lower Back pain episodes.

At the White House Clinic, we have several clinicians with a specialist interest in treating Lower Back pain. The Physiotherapy treatment options for Chronic Lower Back pain include:

  • Manual Therapy — Manual therapy, or manipulative therapy, is a physical treatment used by physiotherapists to treat Musculo-skeletal pain and disability; it includes kneading and manipulation of muscles, joint mobilisation and joint manipulation.
  • Shockwave Therapy
  • Progressive Exercise Prescription — The Physiotherapist will provide you with an exercise programme specifically to target recovery from Chronic Lower Back pain. This might include both strengthening and mobility/flexibility type exercises.
  • Acupuncture
  • Education — The Physiotherapist will educate a patient about ‘pain science’ to help them to understand why they might have chronic pain and its association with not just our physical health, but also our mental health and well-being.

It is never too late to attempt or try any of these Physiotherapy treatments to help to treat Chronic Lower Back pain. Seeking professional help could the first step to alleviating your Chronic Back pain if you are a sufferer so why not get in touch.

Summary

Acute and Chronic Lower Back pain is incredibly common and debilitating in our society. There is, however, a magnitude of evidence-based treatments available that can be used to treat these symptoms.

At the White House Clinic, we offer the full array of these treatment options and all our Physiotherapists are greatly experienced in the assessment and treatment of Lower Back pain. We can assess, diagnose, and formulate the best treatment plan for you to treat your symptoms, helping to ease your pain and improve your quality of life.

For more information about any of our treatment services or to talk to one of our clinicians about your problem, please call us or email us.

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