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Back Pain

Low back pain is extremely common with 80% of people experiencing an episode in their lifetime. Thankfully it is rarely serious. Below we have answered some of the common questions we get asked about low back pain in the clinic.

What causes low back pain?

Sometimes low back pain can be the result of an injury after lifting something heavy or following direct trauma. Frequently however it can result without any obvious cause. Whilst this can be frightening, thankfully serious disease or injury to the lower back is very rare and can be excluded following a comprehensive clinical assessment such as that offered at Bodyphysio. Once this has been done, the good news is that if treated appropriately the vast majority of acute low back pain settles quickly.

What about sciatica?

‘Sciatica’ is a term used by many people to mean different things. It is not a diagnosis. Fundamentally it refers to irritation of the sciatica nerve, a large nerve that travels down the back of your leg to your foot. It is often associated with altered sensation or numbness at the back of the leg/ foot. In some cases it also causes weakness of the leg and foot muscles. Management of sciatica will depend on the individual presentation. It is therefore essential that a full assessment be completed to establish the underlying driver of a patients symptoms. At Bodyphysio we have extensive experience in assessing patients with low back pain and sciatica and implementing tailored management approaches. The good news is that the majority of patients with sciatica type pain improve with appropriate physiotherapy.

Should I have a MRI scan?

MRI scans can be useful in patients with sciatica type symptoms, especially if there is a loss of muscle strength in the leg/ foot and symptoms are not showing signs of improving. MRI scans are not normally recommended for low back pain without leg symptoms unless there is some specific indication following your assessment. Interesting new research has established that findings on MRI scans including ‘degeneration’, ‘disc bulges’ and ‘disc protrusions’ are also present in people without any pain or symptoms. Just because someone has these findings on a scan therefore does not mean they are the cause of their pain. At Bodyphysio we take the approach of ‘treating the person’ rather than ‘treating the scan’.

What about chronic low back pain?

Low back pain that has been present for longer than 3 months is often referred to as chronic or persistent pain. There may be a number of factors that are maintaining an individuals pain experience. The extensive postgraduate education undertaken by both George and Luke at Bodyphysio allows them to apply the very latest research into identifying and addressing these factors. This has frequently resulted in very positive outcomes where more traditional forms of treatment have failed.

If you would like to arrange a specialist assessment appointment regarding your low back pain please contact us via telephone: 07517 338 380 or email:

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