Back muscle damage can be caused by a number of different injuries including lifting movements, or trauma including road traffic accidents. It can be very painful and can lead to significant functional problems with normal daily activities and reduced range of motion. The longissimus and quadratus lumborum muscles are most commonly injured and early physiotherapy intervention can diagnose the problem, and manage the muscle damage to minimise your recovery time. Early on treatment options to minimise acute pain will involve ice/ cold treatments, mobility exercises and massage. Late stage rehabilitation involves restoring full movement and strength with isometric/ isotonic exercises.
Facet joint syndrome in the lumbar spine ‘lower back’ is the irritation of the facet joints which can lead to back and leg pain. It is common that pain can refer down and favour one side to the other. It is likely that the natural degeneration and thinning of the intervertebral discs play a role in the facet joint syndrome. Facet joints can be found on all sections of the spine on the posterior side. Symptoms can include tenderness to touch, limitations with movement due to pain and stiffness, pain at end of range and pain referring down into the hip and lower limb. Physiotherapy can provide a diagnosis, treatment, management plan and progressive rehabilitation program to help reduce pain and improve function.
Piriformis syndrome is when the piriformis muscle which is part of your gluteal muscles causes irritation to the sciatic nerve. This can occur for a number of reasons however is commonly caused by trauma or tightness in the gluteal muscles which in turn produces muscle spasms resulting with nerve compression. Abnormalities in the usage of the piriformis muscle through biomechanics and muscle ‘shortening’ may also play role in producing symptoms. Patients with piriformis syndrome have many symptoms that typically consist of persistent and radiating low back pain, buttock pain, numbness, pins and needles, difficulty with walking and other functional activities such as pain with sitting, squatting and standing. Physiotherapy can provide a diagnosis, treatment, management plan and progressive rehabilitation program to help reduce pain and improve function.
Discs do not slip! A herniated disc is a displacement of the disc substance which is situated between the vertebral bones of your spine. The discs are designed to allow movement of the spine and also absorb compression forces. The discs are made up of two main parts the centre is a gel like substance and the rest of the outer disc is a fibrous substance. This herniation process begins from failure in the innermost gel substance which and then progresses outward and pushing the disc outside of the disc. The damage to the outer fibrous substance of the disc appears to be associated with fully flexing the spine for a repeated or prolonged period of time. This herniation process can cause irritation to the structures in the spine such as nerves. Not everyone with a disc herniation will for certain have inflammatory or neurological symptoms and pain. However those that do, the pain can be severe and disabling to everyday life. The prevalence of symptomatic prolapsed lumbar discs is rare, 1-3% in Europe, depending on age and gender. The highest prevalence is among people aged 30-50 years, with a male to female ratio of 2:1. In people aged 25-55 years, about 95% of herniated discs occur at the lower lumbar spine (L4/5 and L5/S1 level); disc herniation above this level is more common in people aged over 55 years. Physiotherapy can help with the diagnosis, treatment, provide a management plan and a progressive exercise program to help reduce pain and improve movement. Allowing you to return to everyday life activities without pain.
Sacroiliac joint syndrome is a significant source of pain in 15% to 30% of low back pain sufferers. Mechanical dysfunction of the sacroiliac joint results in more pain and decreased mobility. The symptoms are often described as pain over the posterior aspect of the joint. The pain varies in its degree of severity; it can be referred to the groin, over the greater trochanter, down the back of the thigh to the knee, and sometimes down the lateral or posterior calf to the ankle, foot and toes. Sacroiliac joint syndrome occurs when the sacroiliac ligaments are damaged or torn by age causing too much play in the joints. This causes an inflammation of the joint making it possible to disrupt. Degenerative changes need to be considered as well. Traumatic incidents such as motor vehicle accidents, falls landing on the buttocks, and cumulative injuries, such as lifting and running, are the most common causes.