The low back is designed to absorb compression, bending and rotation but these forces can contribute to injury of the disc, ligaments, facet joints, nerves, spinal muscles and fascia. Cindy looks at your entire Healthy Body movement habits to see how you have adapted to chronic low back pain. Your Healthy Body will try to allow you to move and do your activities but the movement capability of injured tissues is impaired.
How do you continue to move? You borrow flexibility from tissues adjacent to the injury. For example, if your initial injury was lifting something heavy a few years ago and you felt your back ”go”. You may have caused a small tear in one of the lower back discs and strained the local spinal muscles. These injuries can heal with scar tissue, if normal specific mobility is not restored and tissue healing does not progress fully. Your back pain will come and go with activities until you have used up the “adaptive potential” of the “helping” tissues. The pain becomes more constant and limits your activities, affects sleep and begins to require medicine to make the pain more manageable.
Symptoms that are associated with back pain:
- General across the back which may refer to your legs and is worse when standing
- One sided pain that refers to the buttock that is worse when sitting
- Leg pain and/or tingling from back nerve irritation
- Poor posture: bent over or shifted to one side
Previous Treatment Results
With a first time low back strain, the treatment goal is to promote healing of the injured tissues that are usually under the area of pain. Exercises are recommended by physiotherapists to restore movement and to improve the stability and the strength of these muscles. The result will be good. Back pain solved.
With recurrent back pain, which you experience every year, one or more times in the year, something has not been solved that influences your symptoms. It may be the way you use your back. The injured tissues have not healed optimally and structures with nerve supply are “complaining” and causing you to feel pain. If your treatment is only focusing on your back, you will probably not get the pain relief you are seeking.
How does Global Physiotherapy look at chronic low back pain?
Cindy Coneen uses a global physiotherapy evaluation to identify the sources of your low back pain. The Gunn Intramuscular Stimulation posture exam looks at tight muscle patterns from head to toe. Tests are included to evaluate nerve and muscle function. A comprehensive physiotherapy exam is very useful in looking at how your Healthy Body has adapted to chronic pain. The assessment will identify the multiple areas that might require treatment to achieve your goal of being “Active for Life”.
Cindy has over 30 years of orthopaedic and manual therapy experience. She has encountered many different combinations of anatomical adaptations to low back pain. After the assessment, various treatment options will be discussed for you to choose how you want to begin to improve your long term back pain. You are an active partner in healing your back. A treatment plan will be developed and initiated at your first visit.
Multiple Treatment Options to relieve Chronic Low Back Pain
Gunn Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS)
Intramuscular Stimulation with acupuncture needles is very effective in treating the tight muscles that have adapted to low back pain. It is often a good initial treatment approach to make changes in more than one area of the Healthy Body that are contributing to poor back function. Global Physiotherapy combines Regenerative Photon Therapy after IMS treatment to help with the Healthy Body’s healing response.
Manual Therapy and Spinal Manipulation
As a FCAMPT physiotherapist, Cindy uses specific and safe manipulation of the spine. Special tests are used to determine if spinal manipulation is the right treatment for you. The manipulation or adjustment is a quick, localized thrust on the joint to restore normal mobility. Depending on the direction of movement, you may or may not feel a “click” as pressure is released in the joint. However, with chronic low back pain, a quick manipulation may not work on a very stiff fibrotic joint. Specific repeated stretching with manual therapy and exercise can often be more effective when you have tried spinal manipulation in the past.
Laser and Regenerative Photon Therapy (RPTTM)
The unique Regenerative Photon Therapy system promotes tissue healing at the cellular level. Laser targets specific tender points of tissue injury. Red and infrared lights are applied in a specific sequence to improve cell energy and circulation for healing. RPT covers larger areas of the Healthy Body and can be used to treat multiple sites of pain. Regenerative Photon Therapy is healing technology that is effective at treating chronic pain.
Medical Acupuncture is another modality to reduce the multiple sites of pain related to your chronic low back pain. Cindy will explain the treatment goals that can be achieved with medical acupuncture. Medical acupuncture can be combined with manual therapy, and Regenerative Photon Therapy for significant healing effects.