Lower Back Pain

Back pain is prevalent throughout the community with the majority of symptoms located in the lower back region.  Pain can be associated with either a numb, aching pain or a sharp, shooting pain.  Sometimes this sharp, shooting pain can travel down either leg.

 

♦ Causes:

-    The majority of causes are due to poor lifting techniques.

-    Other causes could be a congenital problem with the spine alignment and/or developmental problem, e.g. a structural leg length difference, scoliosis.

-    Another cause could be from excessive pronated feet (rolling inwards) causing instability of the pelvis and anterior (forward) rotation leading to an excessive arch in the lower back.

• The majority of the above problems can either cause stress to the sciatic nerve or excessive movement to the joints (Sacroiliac Joint) connecting the spine and pelvis which are designed for only small movements. A muscle imbalance can also be a contributing factor to abnormal function of the pelvis and/or spine. 

 

♦ Treatment:

- Strengthening stomach muscles and back muscles to help stabilize this region.

- Leg length measurement is carried out to ascertain the element of structural and/or functional leg length difference.

- A lift may be required and, in this case, is applied to the shorter limb.  In some cases a sole (shoe) lift may be required for the shoe of the shorter limb.

- Stretches may be given if tight muscles are detected.

- Orthotics may be prescribed to address abnormal lower limb function.

- Footwear is assessed.

- Referral to another health practitioner (i.e. physiotherapist) may be required.

- Education of proper posture techniques.