Clarifying Your Low Back Pain

Low Back Pain (LBP) is the most common complaint of all musculoskeletal problems, affecting up to approximately 80% of people throughout their lifetime. Low back pain plagues its victim by causing pain that can be quite varied in nature.


Low back pain can lead to symptoms or complaints that:

  • radiate down the leg, which is often referred to as sciatica
  • be local and sharp in the back, and may prevent you from completely standing straight
  • be a general constant ache in the lower back or buttocks which results in an inability to work, resulting in a loss of income

Low Back Pain is a complaint that changes people’s lives, leaving them wondering if their life will ever return to normal.


Common Causes of Low Back Pain:

Many clients report that their LBP comes on gradually; however, it can also come on suddenly, triggered by a specific movement that would otherwise be pain-free, like carrying the laundry, leaning over to brush your teeth, vacuuming etc.


Low back pain can be a result of:

  • Poor lifting techniques or prolonged positions that over-stress structures like the disc ligaments, muscles or nerves
  • Compression on a nerve causing shooting pain, numbness or tingling
  • Gradual stress on the tissues from prolonged postures like sitting or bending
  • Advanced arthritic changes to the joints which may be related to a history of repetitive use
  • Poor core muscle or abdominal muscle control and strength
  • sedentary lifestyle
  • a slipped disk
  • pinched nerve in back
  • a car accident


Treatment for Your Health:

Through our Path To Improved Health physiotherapy treatment, we address the causes of low back pain using treatments such as:

  • Hands-on therapy, such as mobilization, traction, soft tissue techniques, or, when appropriate, manipulation
  • Rehabilitative and preventative core strengthening exercises
  • Rehabilitative and preventative core strengthening exercises.

 At GWHA we offer Physio Pilates  that can help clients progress their low back strengthening exercises

  • Education regarding sitting postures and lifting mechanics
  • Ergonomic education and employer recommendations
  • Modalities for pain control like electrotherapies, heat/ice or acupuncture

Most LBP can be resolved in 6-8 weeks. Your commitment is typically 2-3 weeks for 20-30 minutes. In order to minimize the alarmingly high re-occurrence rate, quoted as high as 80%, you will be instructed and encouraged to continue on your LBP home strengthening program. In the unlikely event that your LBP does not improve, we will work with you and your family doctor to explore other diagnostic imaging or tests. The majority of low back pain is treated conservatively, or without surgical intervention, but there have been cases where LBP clients went on to surgery consult. While this is by far the exception, our Path To Improved Health process will recognize these symptoms, communicate with your family doctor and be ready to assist you with post-surgery recommendations.


Occupational Therapy for Low Back Pain

OT may be a fantastic addition to your treatment team. Your OT will help you to develop individualized strategies for

  • Managing your symptoms
  • Managing the emotions intertwined with them
  • Navigating your relationship with your symptoms, your body, and with movement
  • Re-engaging in the life activities, roles, and relationships that are important to you.

Individualized care plans may include nervous system regulation, somatic & sensory tools, Cognitive Behavioural Therapies, Graded Exposure, mindfulness techniques, and exploring day-to-day functioning, day-to-day demands, and life balance.

Our goal is to return you to your pre-LBP level of function and to assist in preventing recurrence. Whether that means getting back to work, sport or simply enabling you to sit comfortably.