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Is Physiotherapy Good for Lower Back Pain?

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A close-up of a man lying on a physiotherapy bed sideways is getting treatment for his back pain.

A paramedical service that can help to treat both injuries and chronic pain, physiotherapy is often associated with treatment of sports injuries, work-related injuries, overuse injuries, and injuries from car accidents. One of the main recommendations and first lines of treatment for relief from lower back pain is physiotherapy.

Getting treatment from a physiotherapist might be easier than you think! There are options for both private and public clinics, and you do not always need a referral from a doctor. 

Being injured, or living with pain, is not the only reason to see a physiotherapist. Physiotherapy can be preventative as well, and can be used to prevent injury or correct postural malalignments that could cause lower back pain down the road . 

What Are Some of the Causes of Lower Back Pain? 

Many of us at some point during our lives will suffer from some form of back pain. There can be a number of reasons that you suffer from back pain, including:

  • Overuse or strain
  • Aging
  • Compression fractures
  • Arthritis 
  • Herniated disk

Lower back pain can affect everyone in different ways.  The pain could be sharp or dull, could cause you to have muscle spasms, decrease your mobility, and impact your upright posture. 

In some cases, low back pain can include a pain that starts in your lower back, which can then radiate to other parts of your body, such as  your legs. This pain can often be described as a stinging, numbness or tingling. 

Lower back pain can be brought on by many things. There are often times when your back pain can lessen or go away, if you are taking measures to care for it on your own, but it’s important to monitor your pain for any changes, and you should seek out medical help from a doctor or physiotherapist when:

  • Your pain lasts longer than a few weeks
  • Pain becomes more severe even with rest 
  • Pain spreads down into your legs and goes past your knees 
  • You feel numbness, tingling, and weakness 
  • Your back pain is paired with unexpected and unexplained weight loss

Sometimes back pain can come on suddenly without warning. It is important to know what some of the causes are and keep track of the changes. This can help you and your physiotherapist to find the best form of treatment for you so that you do not further injure yourself or let the pain go for too long.

A female physiotherapist at the clinic with a muscle gun oh her hand.

How Often do I Need to Have Physio?

As with many other forms of treatments and preventative measures, physiotherapy is not something that you do once and never return to. In many cases, it will take at least several weeks for your treatment. Every plan is customized to you personally and it will depend on what issues you may be working through. 

Your physiotherapist will go through a detailed assessment upon your first visit. They will go through your medical history, past injuries and talk about any medications that you may be taking as it could have side effects that could change your treatment.

Once you have been assessed, your physiotherapist will go through with you what the cause of your pain is and help to empower you through educating you on the anatomy and structures causing your pain. From there, you will have a customized plan to treat your injury and help you to prevent further injury. This could include exercises, manual techniques, and tools called modalities. 

What Should I Do if My Pain Returns?

Should you need to return due to a different injury or if you re-injure yourself, the physiotherapists at Running Shoe Restorative Health are always here to help you, with any questions that you might have. Book an appointment today to speak to one of our professionals. We look forward to helping you on your road to recovery.

Written by Shaheeza Haji

Shaheeza Haji graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta in 2009, followed by a Master of Physiotherapy from the University of Western Ontario in 2011. Being a staunch believer in “exercise is medicine” she attained her Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist status though the National Strength and Conditioning Association in 2013. At the end of that same year, Shaheeza was involved in a major life-altering electrocution incident whereby she sustained a number of injuries which required surgery and years of rehabilitation. One of these injuries was a traumatic brain injury; it is thought that the electrical current exploded within the confined space of her skull, which for lack of better terminology was coined by her medical team as an “electrical concussion.” This lead to her becoming certified in the treatment and management of Concussions in 2018. Also in 2018, Shaheeza began instructing at CDI college, heading up the Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant Diploma Program. Today, Shaheeza combines her love of teaching, her passion of concussion research, and the empathy & experience from her own injury to help those with acute and chronic concussions. Shaheeza also has a drive for entrepreneurship, being the CEO of Running Shoe Inc., directing both Running Shoe Restorative Healthcare and the Calgary Concussion Centre.
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