Back Pain and Injury Treatment

Back pain or back injury is a very common condition that we treat on a daily basis. City Physio has a particular interest in treating you by providing quality, effective hands-on physio and exercise solutions for your pain. Once we have your acute pain under control with hands-on treatments, we work with you to rehabilitate and restore the function of your back muscles and spine.

All our physiotherapists will work with you on pain management exercises as we believe self-management strategies are key to the prevention of recurrent episodes. At City Physio our approach to your back pain is holistic and your physiotherapist will work with you on improving areas such as:

  • Posture
  • Sleep
  • Lifestyle
  • Work ergonomics
  • Stress reduction
  • Hobbies or your current sports or exercise regimes 

Strengthening exercises help the hip flexor muscles.

What causes back pain?

Up to 80% of the Australian population will suffer from back pain at some point during their lives. It is the third most common reason people take time off work after colds and flu. Lower back pain can originate from many causes. Your pain can originate from your: 

  • Lumbar spine discs
  • Spinal facet joints
  • Arthritis
  • Back muscle strain
  • Back ligament strain
  • Muscle spasm
  • Bony spurs or growths
  • Pinched nerves
  • Irritated nerves
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sciatica

Are there any environmental causes?

Some of the most common reasons for back pain are incorrect lifting techniques, repetitive bending, poor posture, prolonged sitting as well as weakness in your core stabilising muscles.

Signs and Symptoms of Back Pain

Back pain can affect any part of the spine and back musculature including the lumbar (low-back), thoracic (mid-back), or cervical (upper-back/neck). It is often described as one or more of the following:

  • Local sharp pain, a dull ache or burning pain
  • Pain that radiates into your hip, groin or buttocks
  • Lower back pain that is aggravated by sitting, standing, bending forward or backward, twisting or walking
  • Pain that travels down your leg to your thigh, calf, ankle or foot
  • Pins and needles or numbness travelling into your legs and /or feet
  • A weakness of your leg muscles
  • Pain associated with loss of bladder or bowel control

Mid-Back Pain

The middle back in medical terms is known as the Thoracic spine. , this region is unique in its function because it connects with the ribs and allows for movement when breathing. This section of the spine is most often involved in pain related to posture and usually responds well to being mobilised by a physiotherapist. Pain in the thoracic region can be can occur in the shoulder blades instead which can be confusing when trying to figure out where your pain is coming from.

Our therapists are experienced and confident in mobilising and manipulating your stiff and painful thoracic spine to help you to regain full pain-free movement.

Back Pain Adelaide

Low-Back Pain

Low back pain (or acute low back pain) is the most common type of pain experienced by our population.

 lower back problems can usually be separated into three different groups, however, people often present a combination of each type.

Accordingly, disc injuries are the first type of lower back pain. Disc injuries occur regularly and can be quite a stressful and painful ordeal. Disc injuries will usually only become painful one or two days after the original aggravation and will give off sharp pains which cause extensive tightness in the lower back. 

To illustrate, not only does the spine comprise the large joints between neighbouring vertebrae, but it also has two smaller joints on either side commonly called facet joints or posterior intervertebral joints. These small vertebral joints are just like any others in the body and can elicit pain if they are not functioning correctly. 

Furthermore, the facet joints or posterior intervertebral joints cause pain commonly during twisting, bending backward, and bending sideways. Treatment of these joints usually requires your physiotherapist to use specialised techniques to help the joint regain movement while releasing tight soft tissue structures around the sore joint.

Nerve pain is the third type of lower back pain and is usually the result of one or both of the other sources of pain. Nerves can be irritated by discs if they press on the nerve while exiting the spinal column, while posterior intervertebral joints usually affect nerves indirectly through tight attached muscles. 

Pain caused by the nerves being pressed will usually feel like sharp burning pain and can travel in a certain direction along the line of a nerve. Nerve pain can be distressing however we urge you to seek help from your trained physiotherapist at City Physiotherapy who can help relieve your pain through a variety of techniques.


Sciatica is pain caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. The nerve runs from the lower back, through the buttock, down the back of the leg and into the side of the foot. 

Irritation occurs most commonly in one of two places; at the exit of the nerve from the spinal cord or in the buttock by a muscle called the piriformis. If this is your pain, it will feel like a sharp or burning pain that can shoot down the leg. This kind of pain is commonly aggravated by sitting, bending over or crossing your legs over each other.

Your physiotherapist at City Physiotherapy will help to determine the source of irritation of the nerve and help to relieve your pain. Dry needling and/or trigger point release are especially effective in giving immediate results from piriformis-triggered sciatic pain. Sciatic pain caused by spinal irritation can take longer to dissipate however our therapists are very experienced in retraining lower backs to restore movement which allows for happier non-irritated nerves!

If you have tight and tender glutes or a sore lower back, you are at risk of this pain. Why not help yourself prevent pain and disability by booking in for a session with us BEFORE the pain starts?

Will physiotherapy help my back pain?

Hands-on physio treatment for back pain will vary according to the level of discomfort you are experiencing. In addition to soft tissue techniques and joint mobilisations, we may use dry needling, taping or bracing to support your spinal muscles. We also apply heat or ice therapy in some cases and can make medication suggestions to reduce your pain and inflammation. 

Your physio will give you exercises to assist in the management of your back pain. Your back pain physiotherapist may refer you for appointments for x-ray, CT scans or MRI to assist in diagnosing your condition if required. We can liaise directly with the radiologist for scans and or steroid injections.


back pain adelaide

Types of back pain we treat 

  • Sciatica
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Stiff lumbar joints
  • Inflammatory pain
  • Discogenic back pain
  • Bulging disc, prolapsed disc and herniated disc
  • Spinal canal stenosis
  • Thoracic-upper back pain
  • Scoliosis

  • Coccyx pain
  • Sacroiliac joint pain
  • Back sprains and strains
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Back spasms
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pregnancy-related back pain
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Enthesitis
  • Idiopathic arthritis
  • Spondyloarthropathies
  • Osteoporosis
  • Flat feet
  • Physiotherapy to prevent relapses and worsening of symptoms

Make a booking today to get your back pain under control with City Physiotherapy’s excellent team of back pain professionals.  Click our Book Now Button for an appointment today. For more information and regular updates about City Physio, visit our Facebook page.



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