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The three usual reasons for developing a Low Back Pain, are ;

1. Disc bulge      2. Joint irritation      3.Poor Postural Habit (Dysfunction)

Your Physiotherapist is able to Assess and Diagnose, the likely source and cause of your back pain.
Further investigations, such as X- rays, C.T. and M.R.I. scanning can be done, if necessary, in association with your Doctor or Consultant.

low back painProblem 1 – Disc Bulge

As this is usually the result of being too long in a flexed position without a correspondingly similar time in an extended or upright position, the disc between the vertebrae is no longer a wedge shape ( thick at the front and thinner at the back ) This causes the soft inside of the disc to move backwards and pressure the rear disc wall. Eventually this buckles and bulges, putting pressure on the nerve sitting right behind the disc and giving either back pain or pain away from your back ( Buttock. Leg, Calf ). You need to try to reduce this bulging by using mechanical means. When this is being successful the symptoms should slowly reduce in the areas furthest from your back first. (BE AWARE THAT PERSISTING BEING IN A FLEXED POSITION FOR LONG SHALL REVERSE ANY PROGRESS YOU HAVE MADE ! )
Sitting for more than 10 minutes should also be avoided when symptoms are acute.

Problem 2 – Joint Irritation

The likely cause of this is narrowing of the disc, which allows the Facet joint surface (the joint linking the bones in your spine) to come into closer contact with its opposite. This can result in arthritic changes and cause the tissue surrounding the joint to inflame, then contract pulling the joint surfaces closer together. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to improve the mobility at these joints.



Problems 1 & 3

Lying on your front, support yourself on your elbows. Your elbows should be directly below your shoulders. You are aiming to keep the front of your pelvis down in contact with the surface you are lying on. At most you should feel a strain but NOT A PAIN in your low back.
Hold this position for about 10 seconds. Lower and repeat x 12.
If this position is comfortable, you can try bringing your hands now to be under the line of your shoulders ( Almost like a push up position ).
Try extending your elbows as far as is comfortable. Hold for 10 seconds.
Lower and repeat x 12

These routines should be done FREQUENTLY, ie more than 6 times/day.
A good way to help maintain the forward curve in your low back is to use a Lumbar Roll


  • Bending repeatedly without doing some extension in standing.
  • Bending with rotation (such as shovelling) to the SAME side all of the time.
  • You may need to wash in a kneeling position.

Every time you bend forwards, the disc fluid goes backwards – AND so do you !!

Problems 2 & 3

Lying on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor / bed. With your arms out to the sides at shoulder level, slowly lower both legs to one side, until you feel a Strain and NOT a Pain. Return to the starting position and repeat to the other side. Repeat x 10 to each side.

Problem 2

Lying on your back knees bent and together. Try to bring both knees up to your chest, pulling in with your hands. Once there, Rock your knees into your chest gently, about 5 times. Keep your hands around your knees as you lower them until your feet touch the bed / floor. Repeat the movement again x 12.
These should be repeated, 5 to 6 times each day