Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for lost days at work globally, according to leading spinal consultant and surgeon Dr Charles Greenough. It costs the NHS a substantial amount of money due to its rank as a leading cause of disability in the UK.
There are several causes of back pain, and it is an area of continued research. Among many causes identified are: osteoarthritis, age-related changes, congenital abnormality, spinal/lower limb injuries, lifestyle including obesity, poor postural care/control, poor biomechanical loading, occupation (e.g manual handling and work ergonomics) and genetics.
If the source and cause of low back pain are identified and accurate diagnosis is made in the early stages, the debilitating consequences can be controlled. This can be achieved by following the appropriate care pathway with step-by-step clinicians’ guidance on management, which can ease patients’ symptoms and help them regain their full independence.
The reality is that NHS waiting periods can make the process slow and cumbersome. If left longer, the symptoms can become chronic (in other words, they last longer than three months) and can affect the individual in multiple dimensions – physically, mentally and socially – and this may impact their imminent recovery even further.
At David Physio & Sports Clinic, I perform a thorough initial examination and tests that pinpoint the root cause of your back pain. This way I can treat you or refer you to the appropriate service pathway without wasting precious time so you can return to work or your favourite sports/daily activity as soon as possible.
To facilitate proper examination of back pain patients, we recommend that patients bring or wear flexible clothing or loose trousers.
In severe cases of traumatic back pain, for example following a road traffic accident or a serious fall, and where there is a presence of neurological symptoms such as pins and needles radiating to both lower limbs, saddle area numbness, loss of control of bladder and bowel, inability to walk properly or gait disturbance, patients are advised to seek urgent medical attention at the nearest A&E unit.