Back pain is the discomfort or sometimes even debilitating pain that causes suffering. It is often associated with injuries or other affliction towards the back or the posterior which is the rear portion of the body that extends from the shoulders to the hips. Lower back pain is usually categorised into three different sub-types which are : acute, sub-acute and chronic low back pain.


The severity of back pain can range from a muscle ache to a shooting, burning or in some severe cases, stabbing sensation. In addition, the pain may radiate down your leg or worsen whenever there’s bending, twisting, lifting to even simple movements like standing and walking.


  • Muscle or ligament strain Repeated heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement can strain back muscles and spinal ligaments
  • Bulging or ruptured discs The soft material inside a disc can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve
  • Arthritis Arthritis in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis
  • Osteoporosis Vertebrae can develop painful fractures if your bones become porous and brittle


Anyone can develop back pain, even children and teens. These factors might put you at greater risk of developing back pain.

  • Age. Back pain is more common as you get older, starting around age 30 or 40
  • Lack of exercise. Weak, unused muscles in your back and abdomen might lead to back pain
  • Excess weight. Excess body weight puts extra stress on your back
  • Improper lifting. Using your back instead of your legs can lead to back pain.

Have You Ever Experienced The Following Situations ?

  • Back pain?
  • Difficulty in performing daily activities due to back pain?
  • Pain that causes numbness in the back and legs?
  • Sleep is disrupted due to the back pain?

What Are The Factors That Cause You Pain

Back pain is risk factors that can increase a person’s chances of developing lower back pain. These factors include.

  • Age - Most patients experience lower back pain as they age. Osteoporosis can develop, leading to fractures. Additionally, spinal stenosis increases with age due to lost cushioning and reduced muscle elasticity in the vertebrae
  • Fitness - Out-of-shape people are more likely to develop back pain. Weak abdominal muscles create lack of support for the spine
  • Pregnancy - Pelvic changes caused by increased pregnancy weight gain can cause lower back injuries. This does not always resolve after childbirth
  • Obesity - Excess weight can cause back aches and pains
  • Genes - Inherited conditions can cause lower back pain. Ankylosing spondylitis, a genetic form of arthritis, can cause lower back pain as spinal joints fuse together

  • Job-related risks - Lifting and pushing heavy objects can cause injuries. Sedentary desk jobs can trigger back pain due to poor posture or back support
  • Mental illness - Anxiety and depression can alter how a person perceives pain. Chronic pain can also lead to the development of psychological issues that affect the body in several ways
  • Backpack overload - Heavy backpacks can strain younger children’s back muscles. Backpacks shouldn’t weigh more than 20 percent of the child’s body weight
  • Smoking - Smokers have increased rates of back pain. This may occur because smoking prompts more coughing, which can lead to herniated disks. Smoking can also decrease blood flow to the spine and increase the risk of osteoporosis


Back Pain Treatment

Back pain is a situation you cannot take lightly. Many factors contribute to the problem of back pain. Spinal conditions such as Scoliosis, Slipped disc, Spondylosis, Spondylolisthesis, Ankylosing Spondylitis and so on. An accurate diagnosis should be made to identify the cause of a patient’s back pain.

1. Pain management

  • TENS - TENS therapy has been used to relieve both chronic (long lasting) and acute (short-term) pain
  • Soft tissue manipulation (STM) -
    • Promote local and systemic relaxation and invigoration
    • Improvement the vascular and lymphatic circulation
    • Regulation of the nervous system
    • Reduction of muscular tension
  • Joint mobilization - A physical therapy technique designed to relieve pain and muscle spasms, release tension and improve flexibility in a joint. By increasing the client’s awareness of the correct position and movement of a joint and simulating smooth joint function, joint mobilization improves range of motion and mobility
  • Mulligan techniques - Designed to reduce pain and improve the patient’s range of motion the Mulligan technique involves Natural Apophyseal Glides (NAGS), Sustained Natural Apophyseal Glides (SNAGS) and Mobilization with Movement (MWM) for the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries

2. Stretching exercises

  • Used to reduce tension in muscles supporting the spine; tension in these muscles can worsen pain from any number of back pain conditions
  • Improving range of motion and overall mobility
  • Reducing risk of disability caused by back pain
  • Examples of stretching exercise for back pain :
    • Knee to Chest Stretch - Lie on the back with the knees bent and both heels on the floor, then place both hands behind one knee and pull it toward the chest, stretching the gluteus and piriformis muscles in the buttock
    • Piriformis Muscle Stretch - Lie on the back with knees bent and both heels on the floor. Cross one leg over the other, resting the ankle on the bent knee, then gently pull the bottom knee toward the chest until a stretch is felt in the buttock. Or, lying on the floor, cross one leg over the other and pull it forward over the body at the knee, keeping the other leg flat

3. Strengthening exercises

  • Strengthening the muscles that support the spine, removing pressure from the spinal discs and facet joints
  • Minimizing the frequency of back or neck pain episodes, and reducing the severity of pain when it does occur
  • Examples of strengthening exercise for back pain :
    • bridge -
      • Lie on the ground and bend the knees, placing the feet flat on the floor hip-width apart
      • Press the feet into the floor, keeping the arms by the sides
      • Raise the buttocks off the ground until the body forms a straight line from the shoulders to the knees
      • Squeeze the buttocks with the shoulders remaining on the floor
      • Lower the buttocks to the ground and rest for a few seconds
      • Repeat 15 times and then rest for 1 minute
      • Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions
    • draw-in maneuver - works the transversus abdominis. This muscle is on the front and side of the abdomen, stabilizing the spine and lower back region
    • To perform the draw-in maneuver -
      • Lie back on the floor with knees bent and feet flat, keeping the arms by the sides
      • Breathe in deeply
      • While breathing out, pull the bellybutton toward the spine, tightening the abdominal muscles and keeping the hips still
      • Hold the position for 5 seconds
      • Repeat 5 times


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  • PPEs change by therapists between appointments

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