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Lower Back Pain - What to expect with treatment & rehabilitation?

What to expect following a Lower Back Pain episode at Infinite Health Physiotherapy Chatswood.

PHASE I - Back Pain Relief & Protection

The primary aim initially is to provide as much pain relief as possible! During this period, we also want to protect the injury and to allow the injury to heal without complication. This means avoiding anything that causes it pain in the initial phase!

Your physiotherapist will use an array of treatment tools to reduce your pain and inflammation. These include: heat/cold therapy, de-loading taping techniques, soft tissue massage or mobilisation. A course of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen may also help in this phase.

PHASE II - Restoring Normal ranges of motion, relearning ideal posture, reactivating your trunk stabilisers

After the initial acute phase, your lower back pain may feel better as you have no pain. However, you are actually more vulnerable to re-injury as your muscles and ligaments supporting your spine are still weak.

During this phase your physiotherapist will combine hands on treatment with basic exercises to regain your ranges of motion, relearn ideal posture, and reactivate your trunk muscles. The tendency is for most people to underestimate the value of this phase as the exercises may seem too simple. Skipping this rehabilitation foundation step and returning to the gym or sporting activities too early will actually cause issues in the next 2 phases.

PHASE III - Restoring Full Function

Your physiotherapist will aim to restore your back’s function to the level of your chosen work, sport, gym activities or activities of daily living. We understand that everyone has different demands for their lower back and this will determine how detailed or complex your rehabilitation program will be.

Some people may want to return to running marathons or participating in high level sports, while some are simply happy to return to walking around the block or leisure cycling. Whatever it may be, we will incrementally progress your exercises for you.

PHASE IV – Ongoing back management - Preventing a Recurrence

The long term goal of treatment is to prevent a recurrence of lower back pain. The main reason lower back pain recurs is due to insufficient rehabilitation i.e. missing phase II or III. Additionally, some people tend to get complacent once their back “feels better” and stop complying with the exercises. You should continue these prescribed exercises routinely a few times a week.

Here at Infinite Health Physiotherapy Chatswood, your physiotherapist will identify the most effective and efficient exercise program for you to continue independently at home in order to reduce your risk of a recurrence.

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