Greater Manchester


Physio for Lower Back Pain (Lumbar Spine)

We provide physiotherapy for lower back pain, stiffness and loss of mobility.  So, if you are suffering with any of these symptoms early diagnosis and physiotherapy treatment will help you achieve optimal recovery. 

We will identify during your initial appointment whether the cause of your lower back pain is musculoskeletal in nature and advise the most appropriate course of action.

What are the most common causes of lower back pain?

Most lower back pain is referred to as ‘mechanical’ which means the source of the pain is a problem with the joints, bones or soft tissues (muscles, fascia ligaments and tendons etc.) 

By far the most common causes of back pain are related to either the lumbar discs or the lumbar facet joints.  Less common conditions are Lumbar Spondylosis and problems with the Sacroiliac joint. So, for more details about specific lower back conditions please click on the name of the condition below which will provide an explanation of the condition, causes of the condition, list of possible symptoms, how physiotherapy is used to treat these conditions and some self-help advice.

How do I know if my lower back pain is serious?

There are a number of factors that can identify this of course, very severe pain is an indicator.    Pain that refers significantly into your leg is a stronger indicator particularly if you start to notice any weakness.  The most important indicators are below and if you have these you should seek immediate medical attention: –

  • Significant unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of feeling between your inner thighs or genitals.
  • Numbness in or around your back passage or buttocks.
  • Altered feeling when using toilet paper to wipe yourself.
  • Increasing difficulty when you try to urinate.
  • Difficulty when you try to stop or control the flow of urine.
  • Loss of sensation when you pass urine.
  • Leaking urine or recent need to use pads.
  • Not knowing when your bladder is either full or empty.
  • Inability to stop a bowel movement or leaking.
  • Loss of sensation when you pass a bowel motion
  • Change in ability to achieve an erection or ejaculate.
  • Loss of sensation in genitals during sexual intercourse
  • Symptoms that radiate into both legs at the same time.

How is lower back pain diagnosed?

Lower back pain is diagnosed by a combination of a physical examination and the history i.e. how it came on, how it progressed, what aggravates it, what eases it and a number of other questions.

Lower back pain when sitting

The cause of this can either be increasing pressure from a disc that is bulging or an ache that develops due to age related degenerative changes in the spinal structures. 

How is lower back pain treated by a physiotherapist?

A number of modalities are used to treat lower back pain.  The most important modality is an exercise programme specific to your presentation.  Other modalities include; – mobilisations, manipulation, massage techniques, electrotherapy, postural correction and lifestyle advice.

What are the risk factors for developing lower back pain?

There are numerous factors such as; – age related degenerative changes, genetics, poor posture, being overweight, occupational hazards and pregnancy but the biggest risk factor is inactivity / sedentary lifestyles. 

Is surgery needed to relieve lower back pain?

Surgery is rarely indicated for lower back pain and is becoming less as the research shows physical therapy is a better long term option for most. It may be required for some of the factors we have mentioned above as symptoms that may mean you have a serious condition.

What exercises are good for lower back pain?

The research shows that exercise is by far the most important treatment option for low back pain. So it is good for you to find an activity you enjoy and will stick to so you remain active.  It is a good idea to see a therapist who can advise you on exercises that are specific to your presentation.

Back pain – myths and advice

Myth 1moving will make my back pain worse

Although some movements can be uncomfortable when you have back pain, it is well established that returning to movement and work as soon as you are able, is better for recovery and preventing recurrence than bed rest.  This is not a new concept but it is an unfortunate common misconception.

Myth 2I should avoid exercise, especially weight training 

Exercise is accepted as the best treatment for all types of back pain including high load resistance training. No specific type of exercise proves to be better or worse, so simply do what you enjoy and can tolerate! Gradually build up as your confidence and ability improves.

Myth 3 a scan will tell me exactly what’s wrong 

The latest research shows that results of scans correlate poorly with symptoms and interestingly that people without pain have changes on scans and x-rays. This does not mean that scans are irrelevant but it does mean they are not always helpful and in some cases, having a scan can make situations worse.

Myth 4pain equals damage 

The level of pain experienced is rarely proportional to the injury sustained as pain is a complex experience.  It is now understood that pain reflects how threatened a person perceives themselves to be. Past experiences, general health factors, beliefs, sleep, exercise levels and psychological well being, all play important parts in how much pain we experience.

We hope this dispels any poor advice you may have been given and we would love the opportunity to show you our expertise on the treatment and management of lower back pain so feel free to contact us to book an assessment.

If you are unsure whether physiotherapy is the right option, or you would just like to speak to somebody before you consider booking an appointment please contact a clinic near you:

The earlier you seek physiotherapy for lower back pain the better the results will be and you will also achieve them more quickly. 

Get Treatment for Lower Back Pain

If you need physiotherapy for lower back pain, please get in touch. We can arrange an assessment to determine the cause of your pain and decide the best course of action.

To find out more about physiotherapy for lumbar spine pain, to diagnose your pain, or just to speak to a member of our team for more information contact us online today or call 0161 745 7551.