What is persistent non-specific low back pain?
Persistent low back pain is when the pain has lasted for longer than six weeks. Non-specific refers to the pain is not serious or trigged from arthritis, infection or sciatica. This usually indicates that it may not be possible to find a specific area of pain. Imaging is not required to identify what is causing the pain or managing your condition.
What causes persistent non-specific low back pain?
It is possible to experience lower back pain if you have the following factors:
- If you have high levels of pain or pain that extends into the leg
- If you feel down
- If you are depressed
- If you are worried about your recovery.
Although these factors only increase your risk slightly, a combination can double your risk.
How do I know if I have persistent non-specific low back pain?
You will need to see your physiotherapist so that they can diagnose if the pain is serious. You will be asked a range of questions and have an examination to successfully diagnose the issue. Imaging is not required. Treatments will be shown to you depending on the pain caused by the structures of your back including disc injury and facet joint problem, treatments will include medications.
How can physiotherapy help with persistent non-specific low back pain?
Physiotherapy can help with non-specific low back pain by distinguishing what type of low back pain you have and ensuring that it isn’t any other conditions that require further testing. Once you are diagnosed your physiotherapist can explain to you how you can manage your condition. This will most likely include a combination of physiotherapy treats including:
- Hands-on therapy
- A combination of the above
What can I do at home?
It is important that you ensure you keep to what your physiotherapist has instructed you to do. It is important that you stay active during your recovery, including gradually completing more activities each day. If your work aggravates your pain it is suggested that you see your physiotherapist to modify work tasks and build your physical capacity.
How long will my recovery be?
It is common that people can recover in 12 months (one in two people). People that experience on-going pain usually have relatively low pain or disability. People who suffer for longer than the approximate recovery time may see a pain clinic to help them further.
If you would like to find out more please call us or book an appointment here.
Reference: Australian Physiotherapy Association 2019, Your Body, viewed 19 November 2019, < https://australian.physio/>.