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How to Treat Back Pain?


That’s a tough question!

There are so many structures that influence the back; muscles, bones, discs, nerves and ligaments.

So stop listening to the old man across the road who tells you, ‘you’re stuffed, I hurt my back 50 years ago and it’s never been the same.’ Every back is different, No injury is the same.


Therefore before treatment a thorough assessment is performed to determine what the most likely reason for pain is. Most assessments will involve; observation of posture and walking, joint range of movement tests, muscle strength tests, palpation, joint mobilization tests and a number of special tests. Research suggests that Xrays, CT’s and MRI’s are not required with acute or non-specific back pain, only if there are “Red Flag” signs which may indicate more serious issues.


Now we have the cause, what are your treatment options?


The Australian Acute Musculoskeletal Guideline Group’s recommendations for acute lower back pain are:


  • A management plan established between therapist and individual

  • Provide information, assurance and advice to resume normal activity

  • Paracetamol and Anti-inflammatories can be used along with the above treatments.

  • Other interventions such as: spinal manipulation, dry needling, specific back exercises and massage have either conflicting or insufficient evidence to prove their effectiveness.


At Callahan Physiotherapy we value education above all other treatments. ‘The more you know and understand. The more likely you’ll be to get better.’


  • Every session will involve education on the possible reasons for your pain and advice on what we can do together to treat your pain and improve your function.


As the guidelines suggest getting back to normal activity is one of the most important treatment modalities. So at Callahan Physiotherapy this is a must.


  • Every session will involve advice on exercises that you can perform to assist your recovery.

  • Together we will formulate an exercise plan that suits your lifestyle and advise you on the correct postures and the best ways to move, because ‘it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it’


And finally if time permits some of the other treatment modality may be used;


  • Specific back exercises, spinal manipulation, massage or dry needling.


Check out the services tab above for further details on some of these treatment modalities.  Or if you want further reading go to the below link to find the Australian Governments ‘Evidence based Management of Acute Musculoskeletal Pain’ 

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