Back pain can be due to both an acute injury or longstanding overuse of the back, often due to poor posture. Below are a couple of examples of cases with lower back pain. Please do only take these as a source of Information. Any case of back pain should be seen by a specialist, such as a physiotherapist. Please Contact your physiotherapist on: 020 7584 9054 for further details.
A couple of my patients did get a little carried away in some rather large gardening projects. Both were in the fifties and fit and did not complain of previous back pain. The increase in activity caused an onset of lower back pain, which was severe, had lasted About 10 days and was not helped by pain killers or anti-inflammatory tablets. The first patient not only complained of back pain, but also an electric pain in his right hamstring area. The amount of activity was extensive, but hardly enough to explain the severity of pain.
It is common to feel muscle ache following hard work. This often starts the day following the day of activity and is well known for most sports performers. As it starts the day following the activity it is described as delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS). This pain does however normally disappear within a few days following the activity.
The physiotherapist performs a number of accurate manual tests, which gives a good indication of which structure has caused the pain. I found that the causes for the patient's pain were over loading of some more sensitive structures in the lower back. The first of the patients it was evident that the pain was due to a damaged disc in the lower back whereas the other had damaged one of the small joints in the lower back - a facet joint. The treatment of both patients consisted of gentle mobilisations of the painful area, which helped the pain. The patient with damage to the disc had difficulties straightening up the spine and was therefore walking in a slightly stooped manner. Already after the first treatment did he feel an improvement and could leave the clinic in an upright manner.
These patients will receive exercises to build up their muscles so that they can withstand the impact of gardening - both have assured me that the garden is in even more need of a caring hand, as it had been left unattended the last couple of weeks because of the lower back pain!