Back Pain

Back Pain

Article by J.Miller, Z.Russell


Back Pain: Causes, Remedies, and Prevention

What is Back Pain?

Back pain, particularly in the lower lumbar region, affects many Australians throughout their lives. Typically, injuries or strains to the muscles, ligaments, or joints of the lower spine cause this pain. Such injuries might arise from sudden actions, like lifting heavy items, or from prolonged poor habits, such as slouching. Seeking early diagnosis and treatment from a physiotherapist can significantly reduce the symptoms and ward off future episodes. Moreover, adopting preventative steps, including maintaining good posture and doing specific exercises, can decrease the risk of experiencing back symptoms.

What Triggers Back Pain?

Musculoskeletal problems like muscle strains, ligament sprains, disc bulging and joint dysfunction frequently result in lumbar pain. Traumatic incidents, like hefting weighty loads, or prolonged stress injuries can also lead to pain. To prevent and recover from pain, seek early diagnosis and treatment from a physiotherapist. Additionally, adopt measures to fend off future episodes.

A mid-aged man, visibly in pain, is holding his lower back with both hands. His expression conveys discomfort and the need for relief from back pain.
Man In Discomfort From Back Pain

Frequent Causes

Muscle & Ligament Strains

Overworking or tiring the muscles in the lower back, especially from heavy lifting or bad postures, leads to back pain. Weak back muscles might also reduce joint stabilisation, causing further issues. Physiotherapists recommend proper posture and exercises to relieve pain and prevent future muscle-related back pain.

Ligaments, which connect bones and restrict movement, can tear if stretched excessively, causing pain and swelling. Common reasons for such injuries include awkward lifting, sporting mishaps, or car accidents. Physiotherapy effectively treats ligament injuries, speeding up healing and relieving painful symptoms.

Read more: Back Muscle Pain

Bulging Discs

Damage to the intervertebral discs in the spine can cause a bulging disc injury. When a disc bulges, it can press on spinal nerves, resulting in back pain, muscle spasms, or even numbness. Repetitive stress, poor posture, or trauma can cause a bulging disc. A physiotherapist can provide guidance on managing this condition.

Read more:

Bone Injuries:

High trauma or low bone density conditions like osteoporosis can lead to spine fractures.

Read more: Osteoporosis

Poor Posture:

Slouching or maintaining an improper posture can strain the spine, leading to back symptoms.

Read more: Back Posture Explained

How Can We Prevent Back Injury?

Engaging in regular exercise and keeping the spine and core muscles strong and flexible can lower the risk of injury. Adopting a proper posture and using safe lifting methods also prove beneficial. For tailored advice on posture and movement, consider consulting a physiotherapist.

Back Pain Treatment

When addressing lower spine injuries, the treatment goals set by a physiotherapist might vary based on the specific diagnosis. However, common objectives include reducing pain, enhancing mobility, strengthening spine-supporting muscles, educating on proper posture, and addressing root causes of the symptoms.

Treatment Phases:

  1. Pain Relief & Protection: The primary objective is managing acute symptoms. Physiotherapists often use tools like ice therapy, electrotherapy, acupuncture, supportive taping, and massage. Some people also find non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen helpful.
  2. Restoring Normal ROM & Strength: As pain subsides, physiotherapists work on restoring spine motion, muscle tension, strength, balance, and proper gait. They might also introduce core stability exercises to enhance control and stability of the lower spine and pelvis.
  3. Full Function Restoration: Depending on personal goals, whether it’s a casual walk or an intense sport, physiotherapists tailor the rehabilitation to ensure safe return to desired activities.
  4. Preventing a Recurrence: To avoid recurrent back episodes, it’s crucial to continue with a version of the exercises introduced during treatment.

Other Treatment Options:

Physiotherapists might suggest other treatments like manual therapy, exercises, ice, ultrasound, TENS, and posture education. Other options include back braces, dry needling, acupuncture, massage, TENS machines, posture supports, and even weight loss strategies for those who might benefit.

Expected Results from Back Pain Treatment:

Recovery from back injury generally spans 4 to 6 weeks. However, individual experiences may vary. Adhering to the treatment plan set by your physiotherapist remains crucial for a successful recovery.

Enjoying An Active Life Post Lower Back Pain Treatment.


Back pain, a common ailment experienced by many Australians, often stems from a variety of causes, from muscle strains to poor posture. While it can be debilitating, understanding its origins and seeking timely intervention from professionals, especially physiotherapists, can make a world of difference. Adopting preventive measures and maintaining an active lifestyle, coupled with good posture, can significantly reduce the risk of developing back symptoms. Remember, your back supports you in every endeavour; give it the care and attention it rightly deserves. If you ever experience persistent back issues, seeking professional advice early can set you on a path to a pain-free life.

Related Articles

What Causes Lower Back Pain?


Lower back pain is a widespread issue in Australia, stemming from diverse conditions. As physiotherapists, we often encounter various causes of this pain. This guide aims to shed light on these causes and provide valuable insights for effective management.

Lower Back Pain Causes
What's Causing Your Lower Back Pain?

Muscle-Related Injuries

Muscle injuries are a predominant cause of lower back pain, including:

Recent research underscores the importance of regular exercise and core strengthening in preventing these injuries.

Bone-Related Injuries

Bone health is crucial in lower back pain, encompassing conditions like:

Disc-Related Injuries

Spinal discs are vital for spinal health:

Minimally invasive surgical techniques have transformed the treatment of severe disc-related injuries where physiotherapy and other non-operative options fail to improve.

Back Joint Injuries

Nerve-Related Injuries

Nerve issues can lead to:

Physiotherapy and newer medications have been effective in managing these conditions. Some will require injection therapies or surgery.

Pelvis-Related Injuries

Pelvic issues also contribute to lower back pain:

Pregnancy-Related Pain

  • Pregnancy Back Pain: Often due to increased back strain during pregnancy. Prenatal physiotherapy programs are beneficial.

Systemic Diseases

Systemic diseases like Ankylosing Spondylitis, Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis can cause back pain.

Recent Research and Advancements

Current research emphasises a holistic approach to treating lower back pain. Techniques like yoga and Pilates, alongside traditional physiotherapy, and conservatively progressed gym programs show significant relief. The role of diet in managing weight and inflammation is increasingly recognised.

Best Treatments for Lower Back Pain

Treatment varies but often includes:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Pain management
  • Strength and flexibility exercise programs
  • Ergonomic adjustments
  • Surgical interventions for severe cases


Lower back pain is a significant health concern in Australia. Understanding its causes and seeking professional physiotherapy advice can greatly improve life quality. Remember, early intervention is key for an effective recovery.

What to Do?

If you're experiencing lower back pain, it's vital to consult a physiotherapist or doctor. They can provide an assessment and customised treatment plan based on your specific condition.

Back Pain FAQs & Products

Your Comprehensive Guide to FAQs, Causes, and Relief

Experiencing back pain and looking for answers? Our comprehensive FAQ section covers everything you need to know about back pain - from common causes and symptoms to effective treatments.

Click the links to our detailed articles to understand better and manage your back pain. Explore links to related topics like 'Severe Back Pain Management', 'Posture Improvement Techniques', and 'Physiotherapy for Chronic Back Issues' for a holistic approach to your spinal health."

back pain faqs
Back Pain Faqs

What Causes Back Pain?

Discover the various factors behind back pain, including muscle strains, herniated discs, and more.

How Can I Relieve Back Pain?

Explore treatments ranging from physiotherapy to exercises, tailored to alleviate back pain.

Can Back Pain Be Prevented?

Learn how to prevent back pain through healthy habits and proper body mechanics.

When Should You See a Physio or Doctor for Back Pain?

Understand when it's crucial to seek professional medical advice for back pain.

Repeated Bouts & Incidental Back Pain FAQs

Addressing frequently occurring and sudden back pain incidents.

Youth Back Pain FAQs

Focusing on the prevention and management of back pain in teenagers.

Back Pain Exercises FAQs

Discover effective exercises and tools for back pain relief.

Back Pain Prevention FAQs

Key insights into everyday activities and their impact on back health.

Posture FAQs

Learn about the importance of good posture and techniques to improve it.

Other Treatments For Back Pain?

Investigate a variety of treatments, from nerve blocks to spinal cord stimulation.


Empowering you with knowledge to understand, address, and prevent back pain effectively.

What to Do Next

Now that you've gained insight into the causes and remedies of back pain, it's time to take the next steps. Start by applying the prevention techniques and exercises detailed in this guide to your daily routine. If you're currently experiencing back pain, consider the treatment options discussed and consult a healthcare professional for personalised advice. Remember, every journey to back health is unique.

Stay informed, be proactive in your self-care, and don't hesitate to seek professional help when needed. For further reading, explore the hyperlinked articles to deepen your understanding and support your path to a pain-free life. Here’s to taking control of your back health and embracing a more comfortable, active lifestyle.

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