How To Fix Your Back From A Physio

Hands up who gets back pain from time to time?

Yep, my hands are up. As a Physio I’m not immune either in fact, stats show 70-90% of us will have some back pain in our lifetime (2014-15 ABS).

As a teenager, I developed a painful condition called Sheurrmans Disease, which caused a few structural changes and other early degenerative changes to discs and joints in my spine.

If anyone looked at my spinal x-rays or MRI scans they would be horrified but none of that actually matters when it comes to me living an adventurous life. I spent 5 full days skiing last week and I learnt to wake board earlier this year.

It can be easy to get bogged down in scan and test results but it’s not the full picture. More research is showing that scan results don’t correlate to pain or function. Many scan reports represent changes which are a normal part of ageing and are found in both individuals with pain and without pain. (Brinjikji 2014)

At High Line Active we don’t routinely refer to scans for prognosis. Sometimes that information can be useful but what’s more important is a clinical movement assessment and discussion about your life, behaviors and what causes you pain. There’s a small percentage of people that do need scans or a surgical referral but it’s very rare.

From your initial assessment we can work out what your back likes and doesn’t like and how irritable it is. We then complete manual therapy treatments to settle the acute symptoms and come up with a plan – the most important part of fixing your back.

We’ll map out what to avoid, exercises that will help, assess sleeping positions and work-place ergonomics. Exercise is crucial for your spine and health but it needs to be the RIGHT exercise. The more you can learn about your back and how to care for it, the faster symptoms will stop when you have a flare up and the less it will impact on your life.

High Line Active will guide you through the entire rehab process to ensure your back gets the mobility, strengthening or stability it needs to beat your pain.

High Line Active is situated inside the Wellness Clinic at Studio PP, which allows us to integrate movement into your recovery plan. We advise your superstar PP instructors what you need more or less of in classes so that we are all helping you rehab YOUR specific problem.

It is important that you keep up exercise during recovery. If you stop, you lose the fitness you’ve worked so hard on and the rest of your body suffers (including your mental wellbeing). We may suggest an extra yoga class and to stop spin for a couple of weeks. Then before you know it you’ll be back to your normal routine stronger than ever. Life’s too short to let back pain linger.


Take home messages:

  1. Get an assessment
  2. Understand your back
  3. Have an action plan
  4. Do the rehab
  5. Don’t stop exercising

Nicole Bryant

Nicole is a highly experienced Physiotherapist based in South Yarra inside Studio PP. Nicole has extensive knowledge and expertise in Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapy, Clinical Pilates and Rehabilitation. Special Interests in Motorsports and Ergonomics.

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