Causes of sacroiliac joint pain
Compression and twisting of the spine. E.g. lifting a heavy object
Differences in leg length
Muscle imbalances between hip flexors and extensors
Pregnancy and child birth
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction responds well to manual hands-on therapy including mobilisation and manipulation. Stretching of over-active hip flexors and surrounding soft tissues can also be beneficial.
Exercises will also be prescribed to improve muscular control in the lumbar spine (low back) and pelvis.
Causes of lumbar strains & sprains
Overexertion at work or sport
Aggressive stretching of the low back
Whiplash or motor vehicle accidents
Heavy lifting with poor lifting technique
Poor posture and muscle imbalances
Soft tissue therapy including massage, taping and stretching can be used to control the inflammation and swelling. Dry needling can help decrease muscle spasms and pain.
Rehabilitation exercises focus on retraining muscular control in the hips and low back, which helps prevent these kinds of injuries from reoccurring. Postural muscle imbalances will also need to be corrected with stretching and exercises.
Causes of Facet Joint Dysfunction
Overexertion & fatigue when performing physical tasks
Sports that require hyperextension and rotation of the spine
Poor posture, muscle imbalances & compensation
Lumbar spine instability
Pain relief is the primary goal. Hands-on treatment of the joints in the spine can help promote normal movement and decrease pain and muscle spasm.
Stretching and exercise rehabilitation will focus on improving any muscular imbalances.
Sport specific biomechanics need to be considered if you have sport related low back pain. Incorrect technique or equipment could be aggravating your condition.
Risk factors for Intervertebral Disk Disease
Age & gender. Men between 30 – 50 years old are at the highest risk.
Smoking decreases oxygen supply to the disks, increasing the rate of degeneration.
Sedentary lifestyle. Intervertebral disks require movement to stay healthy.
Incorrect lifting technique. Lifting with your back in a rounded posture puts far more pressure on the disks.
Poor posture. A flat low back means there is increased pressure on the disks.
Repetitive manual tasks. Bending, twisting and heavy lifting can cause micro-trauma to the disks.
Being overweight puts increased strain on the disks.
The onset of pain from a damaged or herniated disk may be sudden or gradual after an injury.
Sometimes patients may not recall a previous injury or exactly when the injury may have occurred. They might have experienced less severe or intermittent low back pain that resolved on its own.
A single incident of heavy lifting and twisting may be enough to herniate a disk.
The pain usually feels sharp or like an electric shock that is worse when coughing, sneezing or prolonged sitting or standing. Lying down may provide temporary relief for patients with a herniated disk.
Recovery time for a herniated disk can take anywhere from 6 weeks up to 6 months.
Conservative treatment should always be attempted before considering surgery.
Sometimes surgery may be necessary if you fail to respond to conservative care or if you experience severe neurological loss. Factors such as your age, clinical presentation and overall health needs to be considered. But it’s usually advisable to attempt conservative treatment first.
The first few days of treatment focus on reducing (centralising) leg pain, decreasing inflammation and the compression on the nerves. Joint mobilisation is used to promote normal movement in the spine which helps reduce muscle spasm and pain.
Exercises used for treating or preventing low back pain
The exercises shown below can be used as part of a low back pain rehabilitation program.