Back Pain Adelaide

Back Pain is one of the primary reasons that people take time off work. Limitation of movement due to back pain and the resultant time off work cost businesses and our economy millions of dollars every year. So what do we do about back pain? The key to getting over this pain lies in prevention and in seeking treatment for back pain early.

Back Pain can come on slowly over time or it can be as sudden as not there and then there from one moment to the next. One of the major reasons that back pain is common is due to us being less active than previous generations.  Back pain in people younger than 30 is on the rise and back pain in the over 50’s age bracket is the most common.


What causes back pain?

Spinal Discs

A ruptured disc commonly referred to as a slipped disc or a bulging disc is one reason for acute low back pain. Spinal discs are found between each of the spinal vertebrae and function as a shock absorber.  As a normal part of the aging process your discs can develop cracks in their outer more fibrous layers.  These cracks can push out the softer gelatinous central part of the disc.  The disc can then bulge and push out and place pressure on the spinal nerves.  The ruptured disc material will cause irritation and an inflammatory response around the nerve, which can result in back pain and referred pain into your gluteal muscles or down your leg from your back.

Spinal Joints

Your spinal joints, the joints between each of your spinal vertebrae and the joints to the right and left of each spinal vertebra can become stiff and immobile.  You will notice that your back is not as mobile or as flexible as it used to be if this has happened. These joints can also suffer from spinal wear and tear or degenerative changes with age or previous injury. All spinal joints need to move through their full range of motion in order for the synovial fluid, which acts as nutrition for the joints, to be spread over the entire joints surface.  If your spinal joints are stiff, they are not receiving synovial fluid or joint nutrition and they will degenerate more rapidly.  Severe joint degeneration is called osteoarthritis.


The muscles in your back can become painful for a number of reasons.  Tight muscles, weak muscles or overactive muscles can all cause back pain.

Other causes of back pain

Obesity, dehydration, lifting heavy weight, sitting too long, long haul driving, age, sports injuries or impact injuries can all contribute or cause you to experience low back pain.

What are the symptoms ?

It is very common that pain in your back can cause you difficulty with sitting or moving from sitting to standing.  This pain can also interrupt your sleep.  The inflammatory response to some back pain can cause the pain in your back to become worse in the mornings. Difficulty getting out of bed or being unable to perform normal daily movement or work is very common.

Some back pain sufferers can also experience nerve pain or nerve impingement ( pinched nerves), pins and needles, numbness, tingling, spinal deviations or spinal listing to one side,  bladder and bowel dysfunction, weakness, loss of balance,  loss of function, loss of spinal range of movement or loss of spinal reflexes.

Physio Treatment 

If you are experiencing acute or chronic back pain do not despair. At City Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic Adelaide your physiotherapists are skilled and optimistic about assisting you in your recovery.

Just because you have been told you have degenerative spinal changes or have pain in your back for a long time, are older etc it does not mean that you cannot be helped with physiotherapy.

At City Physiotherapy your physiotherapist will assess you and treat your symptoms and primarily address any causative factors that we can that are contributing to your pain. This can involve, hands on physiotherapy, spinal joint mobilisations, soft tissue release, nerve mobilisations, prescriptive exercises, rehabilitation of weakened muscles, Pilates, core muscle activation, potential referral for radiological scans, dry needling and other therapeutic modalities.

What is most important is that we teach you how to regain safe movement and explain what you can do and shouldn’t do to keep your spinal pain away.  Being positive about what you can do and the progress you make on the road back from back pain is also a very important factor in your recovery from pain in your back.

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