Spine & Back Problems

Spine & Back Problems

Inc Lower Back, Sciatica, Middle Spine, Ribs, Neck and Whiplash Pain

Lower back pain inc sciatica:


The lumbar spine or lower back as more commonly known is a very strong structure. It is load bearing and more particularly where it meets the pelvis. It is made up of bones known as vertebrae, ligaments which help hold the vertebrae together, discs which provide cushioning between the vertebrae, muscles which help support and move the spine and lastly it houses the central nervous system of the body. Pain in the lower back can often be by way of irritation of any or multiple of these structures.

Often, pain can be radiating (or referred) down the leg either side or both.
Terms such as lower back pain, arthritis, sciatica, lumbago, slipped disc, prolapsed disc or muscle strain are often used for diagnostic purposes. It can be trauma related or be of sudden or slow onset.

Treatment principles are the same in most cases. Establish the source(s) of pain and treat these as appropriate with manual and exercise therapy. Establish any habits that may be contributing to dysfunction of the spine and simultaneously any muscle imbalance issues that need to be corrected. Encourage long term self-care.


Middle spine inc rib pain:

Quite a poorly understood and managed area of pain is the thorax (the ribs and middle spine). Poor alignment of the spine as a whole will cause pain in this area often by way of compressive forces and therefore inflammation in either the rib joints where the ribs meet the spine, front or back or through tight muscle/ligament tissue between the ribs. Pain can be experienced by movement, deep breathing, coughing etc. 

Diagnostic terms such as Costrochondritis or Tietze’s syndrome are often given to pain localised at the front. When looked at closely often the symptoms and movement restrictions are more prevalent on one side and this is due to muscle imbalance from right to left side of the body or vice versa and usually habit driven. Often, where people may have symptoms on the left hand side of the body that also include pins and needles down the left arm, they are mistaken for heart related issues. Whilst more series matters such as these have to be investigated/ruled out, usually the presence of pain on movement, feel, coughing and deep breathing usually prove otherwise.

Treatment is relatively simple in establishing and correcting the muscle imbalance and the habits and encouraging movement return by way of exercise and manual therapy. Often where pain is acute and localised, taping techniques can really help calm things down during rehabilitation.

Neck pain inc whiplash:

A common area of dysfunction/pain that people approach therapists for.

Neck pain can for example be trauma related ie whiplash from road traffic accidents or falls, can be postural habit related muscular tightness, joint stiffness ie Osteo-arthritis (or wear and tear) or neural (nerve root) irritation. Appropriate assessment and treatment of local restrictions in neck joints, muscular imbalances and postural (day, working and night) habits will often produce excellent results.