Back pain is hugely common and a high degree of those who experience back pain will see it resolve. Back pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, and the most important aspect of the initial assessment with a physiotherapist will be to rule out any serious conditions or “red flags” that would require investigations or specialist referrals.

Mechanical back pain, either acute or recurrent, arises from the muscles, joints, discs and tendons of the lower back is extremely common and reportedly affects around 80% of us at some point in our lives. It commonly causes pain when moving in a certain way or when we adopt certain positions. Management will include hands-on therapy, exercises and advice, specifically focussing on preventing issues coming back.

Spondylosis affects the bones of the spine called the vertebrae that happen over time, similar to arthritis in the knees or hips. Over time, our joints can change and the discs, at each spinal joint, can dehydrate and therefore reduce in height. In the lower back, these changes can cause stiffness, pain and reduced movement. Individualised physiotherapy can assist in addressing these symptoms and advising on appropriate activity levels.

Scoliosis is when there is a curvature of the spine which results in a “C” shape single curve or a “S” shape double curve. There are many different types of scoliosis and the symptoms and impact can vary significantly in people. Physiotherapy can assist in managing scoliosis and improving the spinal changes, if appropriate, through exercises that strengthen and stretch your back and stomach muscles.