Spinal Physiotherapy is quite a broad term. Physiotherapists are trained in many different aspects of the spine. From rehabilitating patients with spinal cord injuries or systemic spinal conditions (such as Ankylosing Spondylitis) to treating conditions such as lower back and neck pain.
Lamberti Physiotherapy Physios have a special interest in neuromusculoskeletal conditions. This means that we treat patients with nerve irritations referred from the spine, muscle injuries and pain, and pain in all joints including the spine.
Some of the most common pain treated by physios doing spinal physiotherapy relates to lower back pain and neck pain. Lower back pain is a major cause of functional impairments and activity limitations worldwide. It has also been shown to cause an increase in sick days taken off by employees around the world.
How does spinal physiotherapy relate to lower back and neck pain?
Physiotherapy aims at helping regain normal movement patterns of the spine to aid in, and prevent, pain. We do this through joint mobilisations, soft tissue techniques as well as teaching improved movement through mobility, flexibility and strengthening exercises. Posture education is vital for spine health, particularly if you sit at a desk all day. Physiotherapy will include correcting your ergonomics or desk/work posture.
Research has found that exercise is the best remedy for treating and improving lower back pain in particular. Any form of exercise is good, provided you don’t overdo it. A physiotherapist can advise you on the most suitable exercises for you as well as how to progress them. Exercises such as Pilates, Yoga or simply walking can aid in decreasing pain.
On occasion, surgical intervention is required for neck and back pain. This is mostly in severe cases, such as when the nerve is being compressed and there has been a loss of strength along the muscles which that nerve supplies. There are several surgical procedures, but these days the most conservative management is recommended before surgery. If surgery is the last option, then Physiotherapy is often recommended in the form of pre-surgery rehabilitation. This means that exercises to help strengthen the surrounding muscles before surgery is advised, which has been shown to result in a faster recovery post-surgery
Following surgery, physiotherapy may also be recommended for continued strengthening, posture correction, pain management and movement control rehabilitation.
This article was prepared and submitted by Natalie Ruivo-Almeida the Practice Manager at Lamberti Physiotherapy in Lonehill and Dainfern. Contact her to discuss spinal concerns you may have, or send a message via our appointment form.
Lindback Y et al; 2016, PREPARE: Pre-surgery physiotherapy for patients with degenerative lumbar spine disorder: a randomised controlled trial protocol. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 17: 270