How is Lower Back Pain Diagnosed? | Nose Creek Physiotherapy
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How is Lower Back Pain Diagnosed?

It is a physician’s initial role to diagnose and classify back pain as acute (not caused by a serious medical condition and lasts shorter than one month) or chronic (persistent back pain). Generally, there are four types of back pain: sinister, inflammatory, neurogenic and mechanical. Most cases of chronic back pain are mechanical – pain that is experienced due to movement of the spine. After a full physical examination including a discussion regarding medical history, the proper back pain classification is identified. Nose Creek Therapy uses this information to customize an appropriate rehabilitation program.

What are the most common Chronic Lower Back Pain (CLBP) conditions?

The most common types of CLBP conditions treated at Nose Creek Physiotherapy come from:

  • Chronic or recurrent mechanical lower back pain lasting longer than 3 to 6 months.
  • Sciatica symptoms with no neurological signs lasting longer than 6 months.
  • Postpartum lower back pain lasting longer than 3 to 6 months.
  • Chronic back pain that has shown to be resistant to previous treatments.
  • Postoperative spinal patients.

How does your chronic lower back pain program operate?

The goal of this Physiotherapy program is to provide a comprehensive rehabilitation structure to the patient. A Nose Creek Manipulative Physiotherapist will also create a program for the patient to work independently on specific modifiable risk factors, such as weak core strength or low hip flexibility.
The Physiotherapist will work with a patient over a 12 to 24 week period. In a “team approach” to care, the Physiotherapist and patient will work together on resolving physical deficiencies. This includes gaining patient buy-in backed by a series of defined goals, making appropriate lifestyle changes and committing to a home exercise program, combined with manual therapy. At the end of the work period, a significant change in pain should be experienced.

Why is the Nose Creek Chronic Lower Back Pain program unique?

Research shows that a combination of manual therapy and pathology specific exercises is the most effective approach to address CLBP. Nose Creek Physiotherapy agrees with this research and therefore offers more durable changes in people who suffer from chronic lower back pain.

Pathology specific exercises work to correct and improve the following modifiable risk factors:

  • Mechanical Lower Back Pain
  • Weak Core or Trunk Strength
  • Reduced Hip Flexibility
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

This Physiotherapy program at Nose Creek Physiotherapy objectively measures modifiable risk factors and empowers patients to correct deficiencies that are often not addressed in most other treatment centres.

What happens if my symptoms are not resolved?

An assessment and discharge form will be faxed to the family physician to keep them informed of the status of the patient’s CLBP condition. For those patients who do not receive a full resolution of symptoms or full function, Nose Creek Sport Physiotherapists will assist the family physician in further medical management as necessary. It should be noted that back function often returns before pain fully resolves.

What post-treatment therapy can I expect to be responsible for to maintain back function?

Nose Creek Sport Physiotherapy can provide a series of recommendations for further physical movement and strengthening exercises after formal treatment is completed. Clients should expect to continue to follow these health and mobility recommendations, including recommendations that pertain to modifiable risk factors listed above.

Exercises for Chronic Lower Back Pain


Front Plank

Lie on your stomach, then prop up on your forearms, and toes, tuck your chin.
Lift up your pelvis creating a straight line with your body without arching your back
Hold for 60 seconds repeat 2 times.

Side Plank

Lie on your side, prop up on your forearm and the side of your bent knees.
Lift your hips off the floor until you form a straight line in your trunk and legs.
Hold for up to 60 seconds repeat 2 times.

Back Plank or Bridge

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.
Lift up your hips until your trunk and thighs form a straight line.
Lift your arm up off the floor and point them to the ceiling.

Oblique Reach

Lie on your back with your one foot on the floor and the other leg straight.
Reach up with your opposite hand to the bent knee, then hold this position for 10 seconds.
Slowly lower your trunk to the start position.
Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions, alternating 10 times on each side.
If you have any more questions, our physiotherapy team would be happy to help you on your road to recovery. 


Also read:

Low Back Pain With Sciatica -The New ‘S” Word
Crossfiber Corrective Muscular Therapy: What You Should Know

Blair Schachterle
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