St Agnes Physio
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Common Problems

Back Pain

The most common cause of back pain is an inflamed or sprained disc. We have all heard the term a 'slipped disc', this is actually a misnomer, as the disc does not move anywhere! It may bulge out and press on sensitive structures causing back and sometimes leg pain. As we get older the small joints of the spine tend to wear and this can be uncomfortable for some people. Occasionally the holes in the spine, for the nerves to pass through, become smaller and the nerves get pinched, this is called spinal stenosis.


The spine can cause a variety of symptoms ranging from a dull ache in the low back to numbness and weakness of the foot.
Most commonly, a pain is experienced in the low back with occasional aching into to buttocks. This is fairly typical low back pain or lumbago. If a nerve is irritated or trapped then pain can be felt down the leg, this is known as sciatica. A typical bout of back pain will last between 3 days and 3 weeks. If your back pain causes changes in your bladder function you must seek medical assistance immediately.


If you have acute back pain the latest advise is to rest for no longer than 2 days. After this you should try to get mobile – symptoms allowing. In the early stages, manipulation can be helpful. If your problem has troubles you for months or years manipulation is unlikely to help, special exercises are generally prescribed. To relieve muscle tension, use gentle heat. Sometimes more specific treatment is required – your Physiotherapist will be able to discuss this with you. 

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Common problems
Back pain
Elbow pain
Neck pain
Hand & wrist
Shoulder pain
Knee pain


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