Injury of the month: lower back pain


Lower Back Pain

Research studies show that over 80% of our population experiences lower back pain in their lifetime. In some people this can also be persistent or recurrent lower back pain.


What is lower back pain?

Lower back pain is pain is pain anywhere from the bottom of the rib cage to the buttock creases. Sometimes people with lower back pain may also feel pain in their legs and feet.


What causes the pain?

There can several structures contributing to lower back pain and these include the spinal joints, discs, nerves and the connective tissue such as the tendons/muscles and ligaments.


Why does it occur?

This depends on whether the lower back pain is a new episode, exacerbation, acute pain or persistent pain.

A diagnosis should always be established by your health professional, as causes can sometimes include infection, fracture, inflammatory conditions, malignancy or other systemic illnesses of the body.

However most commonly the cause will be related to sedentary lifestyles or incorrect training technique and posture.


How can physiotherapy help?

Your physiotherapist is specially trained to help diagnose your lower back and work with you to formulate the best treatment management plan for your recovery. Often this include hands on treatments such as mobilisations, massage, postural assessment, education on prevention and self-management at home and at work as well as prescribed exercises to assist you with pain reduction, increased mobility and strength.

If you'd like an appointment with either of our Spinal Specialists, Kara Mulvein and Shari Randall, please call us on 02030 12 12 22.


Words by Shari Randall.



Helpful Hints for the Holidays

Back and neck pain are common problems experienced when travelling or staying away from home - so here are some ideas to help you enjoy a more comfortable summer break.

In the car:

  • Make sure you sit with good posture - if your car doesn’t have enough low back support use a rolled up towel (pick the right size!) or buy a purpose-designed lumbar roll.
  • Don’t allow your chin to poke forwards as you peer out the windscreen - especially at night! This is a very common habit and can result in a stiff and sore neck. The back of your head should be just touching the headrest support and your chin should be tucked towards your Adam’s apple.
  • Take breaks – get out and walk about every hour or so even if just for a few minutes.

On the plane:

  • Don’t fall asleep in an awkward position - try and keep your back in its normal alignment (again a small lumbar roll can help with this) and use a horse shoe shaped neck support to help stop your neck kinking into the wrong position.
  • Remember sustained positioning when your joints are not in neutral alignment can cause damage and pain – so avoid it.
  • If you're on a long flight, get up and walk every two hours. This will also help your circulation.

In bed:

  • Lots of people suffer as a result of sleeping in a strange bed. Whilst there’s not a lot you can do about the bed itself you can alter the pillows (or take your own).
  • The pillow’s purpose is to fill the space between the head and neck and the mattress.  If you sleep on your back your pillow should be fairly flat.  If you’re on your side that pillow should fill the space between your shoulder and head to ensure your neck is held straight and doesn’t drop down toward the mattress (too flat pillows)  or is pushed away (too many pillows) - it should be ‘just right’.

And remember we are open throughout the summer holidays to help ease any aches and pains. Just call us on 02030 12 12 22 or send an email to to make an appointment.

Words by Kara Mulvein.