Back pain is a common condition that affects people of all ages and backgrounds. It can be caused by many different things, such as accidents or injuries, pregnancy, poor posture, and work-related stress.
Back pain can be treated with a number of different methods. The main ones would be physiotherapy, osteopathy, and clinical pilates.
Firstly, what is back pain and why is it so common?
Back pain is a general term used to describe any discomfort or soreness felt in the back. It can be caused by many different things, including injury, illness, poor posture, and work-related stress. There are a number of different structures in the back that can cause pain, such as the spine, discs, and muscles, so it is important to see an osteopath or physiotherapist for an accurate diagnosis. There will be different treatment recommendations depending on what is actually causing your back pain.
Back pain can affect everyone, from elite athletes to office workers. It affects people of all ages, but there are certain factors that make some more susceptible than others: age (older adults), smoking history, body type (those with excess weight in the abdomen area), diabetes medication use, previous injury, exercise levels, and work habits.
There are many different causes of back pain, such as chronic conditions like arthritis, fractures and sprains to ligaments and tendons due to injury; muscle spasms caused by stress at work or poor posture; nerve impingement, which may be caused by herniated discs during pregnancy, etc.; inflammation of facet joints—these occur where vertebral joints get irritated and cause pain.
The most important thing is that you see a back pain expert to be able to accurately diagnose your back pain and have a plan to relieve the symptoms and target the underlying cause of the back pain to ensure that it does not come back again in the future.
What are the symptoms associated with back pain?
- a dull ache in the upper quarter or lower quarter of the back
- The pain can be a dull ache ( muscles) or sharp (joint, disc or nerve)
- sharp pains can shoot down your leg (sciatica). ,
- Pain with some movements
- Generally, no pain when resting, although your sleep can be interrupted when you roll over in bed
- Pain when getting up from a chair
- Pain generally gets better with movement/exercise
It can vary from being a mild discomfort that doesn’t interfere with your activities or sleep, to being unable to move without excruciating pain. Back pain can be acute, lasting for a short period of time, or chronic-lastingchronic, lasting for more than three months. The treatment for acute back pain and chronic back pain is quite different.
When you have acute back pain (recent injury), physiotherapy and osteopathy have excellent research and evidence to validate their use to help you recover quickly and fully. Medications like NSAIDs (ibuprofen) and muscle relaxants may reduce the intensity of your symptoms, but they don’t address the underlying cause. They also increase the risk of ulcers in the stomach lining, so they should only be used for a few days.
For chronic back pain, clinical pilates performed by an osteopath or physiotherapist is your best bet. When you have pain that has been there for a few weeks to a few months, often the muscles that support the back become weakened from the pain and use them less often.
This can set up a cycle of pain, injury, and weakening that feeds on itself. If you have developed chronic pain, you should look at taking an active approach to your recovery with the help of a trained osteopath or physiotherapist with experience in clinical pilates. The longer it goes on, the harder it becomes to fix, and the more you will have to work on it to get back to being your best.
How to diagnose back pain?
To diagnose back pain, your osteo or physio will take a thorough history of the symptoms, perform a physical examination, and perhaps order an imaging exam if necessary. Back pain is something we see a lot of in the clinic. In fact, it accounts for around 50–70% of the patients that we see. Although your back pain may be quite concerning to you, especially if you have a lot of pain, our practitioners have vast experience in accurate assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning for the best results.
What are the different treatment options?
Physiotherapy, osteopathy, and clinical Pilates are three types of treatment that can be used to relieve back pain. In physiotherapy, the physical therapist will use hands-on exercises to help improve range of motion as well as treat muscular imbalances in the lower limbs. They might also provide some education about how posture affects your body, especially when it comes to sitting at a desk for long periods or travelling by car, etc. There is an emphasis on improving postural alignment with exercise routines that include stretching muscles and strengthening them simultaneously.
Osteopaths take into account all aspects surrounding one’s health, including mental wellbeing; they typically recommend spinal manipulation (manipulating joints) through gentle pressure applied using their fingers, thumbs, or forearms to restore normal alignment and movement. Osteopathy is a great choice to reduce pain and restore movement in the early stages of treatment. It is imperative that a course of rehab/strengthening exercises ( such as clinical Pilates) be performed to prevent a recurrence.
Clinical Pilates is a system of physical exercise that focuses on building core strength, body conditioning, and flexibility. Clinical Pilates also integrates breathing techniques and mental exercises to help focus the mind in order to achieve structural balance. Clinical Pilates can be used for rehabilitation after an injury or as preventative care for people with back pain.
The difference between clinical pilates and other exercises is that in clinical pilates we use our own body weight to provide resistance and create a stability challenge for the individual.
Clinical Pilates can be used by anyone, regardless of age or fitness level. With appropriate modifications, it is possible to achieve almost any goal using this focused form of exercise. “
The benefits of clinical Pilates for back pain are that it strengthens the core, improves posture and stability, and builds flexibility. These are all the things that your spine needs to be healthy.
What are the best ways to prevent back pain?
The best way to prevent back pain is by taking care of your spine. The following are some tips to help you achieve a healthy spine:
-Always use correct body mechanics. This includes lifting items correctly and using the appropriate tools for tasks;
-keep good posture; avoid slouching or leaning too far forwards or backwards as it can lead to poor muscle tone in the back which may result in increased pressure on joints, leading to injury;
– do not bend from the waist if possible when picking up heavy objects so that there will be less strain on the lower back muscles and joints;
– maintain an active lifestyle with physical exercise such as swimming, walking, playing sports, cycling, etc.; this helps strengthen core strength around one’s trunk area, and importantly, when your body is starting to give you some early signs that something is wrong, listen to it and take action.
Clinical pilates can help with various types of back pain.
- Low Back Pain
- Upper Back Pain
- Neck and Shoulder pain
- Neck Pain or Whiplash Injury
- Back pain in pregnancy
How to get started in clinical pilates when you have back pain.
If you have chronic or acute back pain, clinical pilates is a great option to get started with. You may find that it can help alleviate some of the pressure on your spine as well as other parts of your body and help increase strength in certain muscle groups, which will make everyday life easier for you.
Clinical Pilates is not the same as the large group pilates that you see at your local gym.
The reason that clinical Pilates works so well is that it is based on an individualised assessment by a trained physiotherapist or osteopath. They can identify exactly what is going on in your body that is causing your back pain and can tailor a specific Pilates exercise program for you to target your weak spots.
The reason that it works so well is that it is tailored towards your unique body. Often, people go to a Pilates class in a gym and perform general Pilates exercises that may or may not be right for them, and there is no emphasis on correct technique.
When you have an injury in your back that has been ongoing, some muscles become tight, some muscles become weak, and overall you end up with an imbalance around your spine. When you perform general exercises, you can actually exacerbate this existing imbalance that is in your spine and make things worse. A trained physiotherapist or osteopath will be able to identify these imbalances and give you the right exercises to get you back on track quickly. Once the asymmetries and imbalances have been ironed out, a more general program will work for you.
To get started, you can claim your half-price introductory package at Premier Sports Medicine. You can save over $200 with our clinical pilates intro pack here.