Low Back Pain: Management and Prevention

By Athlete's Care on October 25, 2016

Low back pain is one of the more common conditions treated by our Toronto physiotherapy professionals. The human spine is a marvel of engineering that combines strength and flexibility. The lower back in particular is a nexus of nerves, bone structures and connective tissue. That means an issue in your lower back can translate into problems with legs, the hip area and more.

The lower back is susceptible to injury because of the kinds of movements that we perform. Twisting and any sudden movements can cause that intricate web of muscles, ligaments and connective tissue to stretch or tear. Along with sudden injuries, poor posture over time and repetitive stress can also result in similar issues.

Low Back Pain Management & Prevention

What you can do

As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Here are some ways you can protect your lower back against all too common stress and strain injuries.

  • Improving core strength in concert with back musculature improves protection of the lower spine. It's important to balance the back and abdominal muscles to avoid actually creating additional strain.
  • Lifting heavy objects correctly means leveraging your strong leg muscles to take the strain off the back.
  • If you play sports, pay attention to proper technique and stance. Proper technique is designed to be both efficient and safe, and should protect the lower back as well as your body overall.
  • Stretch your hamstrings, especially if you are moving after sitting for a long time. The lower back can become compressed.

Managing low back pain

If you have suffered an injury or chronic condition that resulted in low back pain, it can be one of the more challenging ailments to manage. Moving in any direction can involve lower back muscles and hinder recovery as well as prolong the injury and pain. Naturally, each case is different, and your Toronto chiropractor or physiotherapist will create an individualized plan for you. These are some tips and treatment options you can expect.

  • Get treatment early. Everyone can experience lower back pain once in a while due to over exertion. If your symptoms persist for more than four weeks, then you need professional help.
  • In the case of sudden injury, use cold packs within 72 hours, and then alternate hot and cold packs. The packs can't touch your skin directly -- wrap them in a towel before applying.
  • Stay as active as you can. Your Toronto physiotherapist or chiropractor can advise you on any limitations that you may have to observe, but other than that, it will help you to keep moving rather than sitting or lying down for long periods of time.
  • Medications may be necessary and there are a wide variety of options available.
  • Massage therapy is useful in cases of chronic low back pain. Often, loosening the musculoskeletal structures alone can provide temporary relief of pain.
  • Spinal manipulation by your Toronto chiropractor can also help to ease chronic pain in many cases.
  • Depending on the underlying cause, Fascial Stretch Therapy or FST, which manipulates the connective tissue that runs throughout the body, can provide temporary or even permanent relief.
  • Medical Acupuncture can be useful in some cases.

Treating low back pain involves a complete evaluation of not only your condition but your lifestyle too. Let our Toronto physiotherapy and chiropractic professionals help you devise an individualized plan to treat and manage your low back pain or any other sport or movement related conditions. Call one of our many clinics throughout the GTA today.