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Lower Back Pain

Lower Back Pain
The Australian government estimates that 70-90% of people will suffer with back pain at some stage in their life (www.aihw.gov.au). Low back pain can often be debilitating, causing constant pain and discomfort and permanently altering your lifestyle. Exercise is a major part of prevention and treatment of lower back pain. It is well-established that a individualised and specific rehabilitation program can help reduce back pain.

When the back is injured, there are a number of mechanisms potentially at play.

  1. Disc bulge/protrusion – this can press on nerves, causing shooting pain down the limbs.
  2. Crushed discs – often as a result of a traumatic incident, such as a fall or accident. The vertebrae (spine bones) are damaged, causing pain.
  3. Nerve injury – the nerves coming from the spinal cord are injured, causing altered sensation or motor function in the limbs, as well as pain.
  4. Muscular injury – a strained muscle in the lower back may cause all muscles in the area to tighten and spasm, causing localised pain. This in turn may result in altered sensation to the nerves in the area.

If an injury has existed for a long time, the biomechanics of the body may be hindering recovery. For instance, muscles in the upper back, hips and legs may also tighten as compensatory mechanisms, causing further reductions to range of motion and increased stiffness.

How can NJF help?
Exercise rehabilitation therefore aims to reduce muscular tension in the area through stretching and range of motion exercises. Furthermore, many muscles may become weak. Core training is an important method in rehabilitating a back injury, as these supportive muscles are usually inactive. Correct training of how to brace your spine is important to prevent re-injury and reduce pain.

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