Spinal Pain: ‘Oils ain’t oils.’

Pain arising anywhere in the spine- cervical, thoracic or lumbar requires a thorough assessment, beginning from ‘listening’ to ‘watching’ to ‘feeling.’ A skilled physio can gather a lot of information from just listening to the clients ‘story’ about how their pain started, acts, and responds. A skilled trained eye can pick up subtleties of how someone moves, looking at entire body movement, not joints in isolation. Where appropriate palpating how tight, stiff, or weakness may be contributing factors.   Each person and presenting condition is individual, and needs to be treated as such- no ‘one size fits all’ is appropriate in managing back pain.

‘Hands on’ manual therapy can be effective in improving mobility of stiff joints or releasing muscle spasm. It can help identify tight muscles, or poor joint stabilisation.

Appropriate exercises can be effective in resolving symptoms, but also beneficial for long term control and return to function. Real Time Ultrasound Imaging is invaluable here for identifying any dysfunction of the deep core muscles [transversus abdominus, multifidus, and pelvic floor] which become inhibited by low back pain, by allowing visualisation of the muscle in live time as it contracts/relaxes for retraining correct muscle pattern and strengthening.

Latest evidence in pain science research has shown that particularly in regard to chronic  pain (but also where there is neural sensitivity/irritability) it is oftentimes actually being driven by the brain (central sensitisation) rather than the peripheral tissues. Hence usual treatment interventions /strategies will often aggravate symptoms. Our Physios are trained and efficient in identifying this challenging condition, and applying appropriate and effective education and strategies to manage and regain control. 

And of course education on ergonomics, correct lifting techniques, etc…