How to Treat Lower Back Pain


Well over half the adult population will suffer from back pain at some time during their lives. The single greatest reason for all workplace absenteeism from ill health is due to back pain

The spine is made up of three main curves formed by the vertebrae. The spine is most stable when in this position placing minimal stress on the ligaments and discs and providing maximal ability for the muscles to maintain stability.

What causes Back Pain?

Although back pain is sometimes experienced as a sudden onset, it usually occurs as a result of cumulative trauma from common factors such as:

  • Poor posture
  • Repetitive movements and strains, such as lifting
  • Maintaining static postures for long periods

What Causes the Pain?

Any of the structures in and surrounding the spine can cause back and refer pain down the buttocks and legs.

  • The spinal column joint soft tissue
  • The discs
  • The ligaments
  • The small muscles which help to stabilise the spine
  • The spinal cord and the nerves


The Assessment

Back and sometimes pelvic, hip and lower limb movements are checked. Specific movement of the appropriate joints are felt. The soft tissue surrounding these joints is also felt for tenderness. The nerves and muscles are checked.

X-rays and MRI scans may be required to aid a precise diagnosis

How can Physiotherapy Help?

Physiotherapy can help acute (new onset) and chronic (longstanding) back pain. The tissues causing your pain are thoroughly assessed. Also postural and daily habits which may be contributing to your pain will be identified.

Treatment can range from local gentle massage to the muscles or nerves, mobilisations and manipulations of the joints, to electrotherapy and acupuncture for pain relief.

Posture is assessed and ergonomic (e.g. position of computer and desk use) and lifestyle advice given if appropriate.

A personalised exercise plan of muscle strengthening or stretching or joint stretching will be given as appropriate to your condition.

What You Can Do to Prevent Getting Back Pain?

Eliminating the causes of back pain is essential to preventing back problems. Being aware of posture is one of the most important factors.

Pay attention to static sitting postures at work and at home. Make sure that your seat provides you with the correct amount of support to allow you easily to maintain good posture.

Keep physically fit by regularly exercising. Make sure that the exercise that you choose provides you with a good balance of aerobic fitness, flexibility and muscle strengthening.

Don’t take unnecessary risks when lifting or handling. Always bend at the knees and hold the load close to your body. If the load is too big or awkward, use an aid or ask for assistance.

Do not work in awkward postures for prolonged periods of time. If unavoidable, take frequent breaks or change the task regularly.

Try to prepare yourself for a task or exercise to which you are unaccustomed. This may involve some training or a gradual introduction.


If you are not sure whether your problem can be helped by physiotherapy, please give us a call and I will be more than happy to give you advice over the phone.

For more information or advice please get in touch with us.

For physiotherapy appointments and home visits and to book pilates please call Kate on 07956 372891 or email:


“…I find Kate compassionate, understanding and reassuring. She has helped me many times, from neck pain, aching knees and back, down to a broken toe! Kate is a treasure. I cannot praise her highly enough…” Mrs Oliver, Herts