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Low Back Pain: Important things to know

Low back pain (LBP) is thought to affect as much as 60-80% of the Western population throughout the course of their life. Many people don’t have any preceding events to cause this back pain, although specific injuries can also initiate their symptoms.

Lower back pain constitutes almost half of all chronic pain. This has a huge effect on quality of life and people with LBP tend to have more time off work and higher medical costs than those who do not have symptoms.

Sedentary lifestyles, increased body weight, reduced physical activity and poor postures are all contributing factors to LBP. Obesity rates in the western world have never been higher, and this is known to cause greater rates of musculoskeletal pain than ever before.

Back pain can strike suddenly or build up slowly over a period of time. Many people report sudden and severe onset of back pain from a seemingly innocent movement. Others find that their back aches towards the end of the workday and follows a regular pattern. Thankfully, more and more workplaces are advocating for better ergonomic set-ups in order to pre-emptively reduce the incidence of LBP amongst employees.

Dealing with back pain is complicated as there are many treatments to choose from. Unfortunately, there is rarely a miracle cure that works for everyone. What research tells us is that effective and timely advice, thorough professional assessment and a tailored exercise program shows the best outcomes in the long term.

There are some cases where your physiotherapist or doctor will suggest that you have imaging such as an x-ray or MRI. While imaging can be helpful in ruling out serious injuries it is important to realise that if everyone was to have an MRI of their spine, it is reasonable to expect that most people would have changes in the appearance of their spines, even if they don’t have any pain or other symptoms. The take-home message is that scans do not always paint an accurate picture of what is happening within a person’s back.

The back is made up of a number of different structures that work together to achieve the required movements needed to perform daily activities. With such a complex combination of tissues and joints, aches and pains can be caused by any number of structures. Keeping the muscles and joints of the spine strong and healthy can have a remarkable impact on pain levels regardless of the specific structure causing symptoms.

If you are suffering from back pain, speak to one of our physiotherapist for advice on how to best manage your symptoms.

While no one can prevent back pain with 100% certainty, keeping active, avoiding smoking and maintaining a healthy relationship with alcohol and heavy labour, can reduce your chances of having low back pain.

This information is not a replacement for proper medical advice. Make sure to speak with one of our physiotherapists for advice on your individual condition.

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre – serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.

The Surprising Truth About Osteoarthritis

Sufferers of knee pain know that nothing can kill your optimism for a recovery faster than a diagnosis of Osteoarthritis (OA).

Osteoarthritis is often seen as a kind of death sentence for joints. Many people believe that if you have OA your pain will never improve and will only get worse until a joint replacement can be performed. In fact, joint replacements for hip and knee OA are some of the most common and indeed successful operations performed by orthopedic surgeons.

At least this has been conventional wisdom for decades. Many of us see our bodies like cars – when a part ‘wears out’ it needs replacing with a new one. The truth is much more complicated, mainly due to our bodies’ incredible ability to adapt and change.

Physiotherapists have always known that the pain and disability that comes with arthritis can be improved with a closely targeted exercise program. In some cases, the pain that is attributed to OA is actually due to another, entirely treatable cause. In other cases, strengthening the musculature around the painful joint can have a significant effect by providing the joint with extra support.

The way we move is often affected negatively by pain and this in itself can create a downward spiral. This is not to say that in some cases, surgery is the best and most effective option to improve your quality of life. Rather that there is a strong case to see a physiotherapist to seek treatment for your knee pain first.

Physiotherapists are highly skilled at identifying exactly what is causing your pain and helping you reach the highest level of function. In fact, a recent study has shown that with targeted exercises, directed by physiotherapists – many patients who were scheduled to have surgery were able to improve their quality of life dramatically, avoiding surgery and getting back to their favourite activities.

While exercise is a very powerful treatment, it’s not that any exercise will take away any pain. To be effective, you will need to have a full assessment and have a personalized treatment program created by your physiotherapist. This can involve identifying weak muscles, limitations in flexibility, finding painful trigger points, restoring movement to stiff joints and providing a biomechanical assessment to make a combination of changes that can make a large difference to your pain and activity levels.

Your physiotherapist can also identify any external factors that may be contributing to your pain. Such as unsupportive footwear, workplace set up etc. Talk to us to see how we can help you manage your osteoarthritis.

This information is not a replacement for proper medical advice. For advice on your individual condition, please contact our practice.

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre – serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.

Our Exercise Physiologist Alex Magee speaks with 101.5FM: My Health for Life

Here’s our Exercise Physiologist, Alex Magee, speaking with 101.5FM this week about the My Health for Life program.

 

Alex is one of Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre’s two trained facilitators for the program.

My Health for Life is a free lifestyle program available to eligible participants who want to improve their health and reduce their risk of developing chronic disease. Such as type 2 diabetes,

Fast facts:

  • The program is government funded so it is completely free
  • Participants receive 6 group sessions over 6 months. (These are delivered face to face at Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre)
  • All participants receive a one-on-one assessment at the beginning of the program
  • 6 months of follow up support upon program completion and a wide range of resources (incl. online support)

More info at: www.myhealthforlife.com.au

 

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre – serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.

My Health for Life – for a happier, healthier you

Do you want to improve your health and reduce the risk of developing a chronic disease? Then My Health for Life could be for you. It’s a free lifestyle program available to eligible participants.

Tell me more

We’re all different and joining a gym or having a special “diet” doesn’t work for everyone. Having support is also a big factor when it comes to staying healthy. My Health for Life is a health program underpinned by this understanding.

Whether you want to lose weight, be more active or live a healthier life, the My Health for Life program can give you the skills and support to achieve your goals. It’s a positive way to help you get your health back on track!

There are no costs involved

My Health for Life is funded by the Queensland Government, so it’s provided at no cost to participants.

It gives you a starting point for a healthier life

There isn’t a more perfect time to start living a healthier life than now. All you need to do is begin! The My Health for Life program gives you a starting point, a plan and the motivation to make healthier choices and kick some goals.

You have choice

You’ll be able to choose the health goal that’s most important to you. Then, our team at Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre will help you break that goal into easy, manageable steps and support you on your journey to action them.

The program is tailored to suit your needs

Health goals are personal – My Health for Life is underpinned by the understanding that everyone’s goal is different and personal to them.

Support is important for success

My Health for Life is about supporting your success. Our team at Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre will be there to help to motivate you and work with you to develop strategies to live a healthier life. We’ll also provide you with useful resources, tips and online tools for added support.

There’s an online Risk Checker

You can use the online health check to determine your personal risk of developing type 2 diabetes. You may be eligible to access My Health for Life or a number of other Government-funded programs that can assist you to reduce your risk.

Check Your Risk

 

     

Sounds great! Who’s eligible?

  • Those aged 45 years and over (18+ for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people) who have been identified by a health professional as being at high risk of type 2 Diabetes, heart disease or stroke
  • Those who are 18+ with a pre-existing condition, including: pre-diabetes, high blood pressure high cholesterol, or a previous history of gestational diabetes

How do I sign up?

  • Drop into our reception, where we can help you through the online check and confirm that you’re eligible. Then we can direct you straight into the program!
  • Take the health check at home on the My Health for Life website to check your eligibility
  • No referral from your doctor needed

What are the benefits?

  • You will receive 6 group sessions over a 6-month period
  • A one-on-one assessment at the beginning of the program
  • Wide range of support resources (including online support)
  • 6 months of follow up support upon program completion

Want to know more?

For more information on the My Health For Life program, phone Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre to speak with one of our facilitators on 5495 3255.

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre – serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.

Where is your pain really coming from?

Have you ever been to see a physiotherapist for pain in one part of your body and, when they treated you, they focused on a completely different area?

While this can be a strange experience, it can be even more puzzling when the treatment actually works.

So what is going on? Shouldn’t pain be treated where it is being felt?

When pain is felt at a different location from where the pain is being caused, this is called ‘referred pain’ and is actually more common than you think. Exactly why this happens is a little complicated, and in fact, we don’t yet understand everything about the way that pain is processed.

Pain is usually felt when something causes damage to the body, sending an electrical impulse to the brain. The brain receives this information and process it to make sense of which part of the body the signal is coming from and what kind of pain it is.

When the brain thinks that the pain is coming from a different area than where the damage or signal is actually coming from, this creates the phenomenon of referred pain.

Referred Pain

Sometimes referred pain is easy to explain, such as when a nerve becomes injured or irritated, causing the pain to be felt along the length of the nerve. This often feels like a sharp, burning pain that runs in a strip, along the skin. Other examples of referred pain are more difficult to explain and in some cases seem to defy explanation. Perhaps you have heard about the strange phenomenon of phantom pain where amputees continue to feel pain as though it was in the place where their limbs used to be.

Muscular trigger points can also cause referred pain. The mechanism behind this is a bit trickier to understand, but is thought to be explained by tight bands of muscle tissues that cause pain to be felt in predictable patterns around the body.

Other tissues of the body can cause pain to be felt in a different location

This includes discs of the spine and internal organs. Many times the internal organs can refer pain in peculiar patterns and this can actually lead to serious illnesses being mistaken for muscular aches and pains.

Kidney pain can be felt in the lower back and tragically, some people fail to recognize that they are having a heart attack because they feel pain in their neck and arm, not in their chest.

We also know that not understanding or being afraid of pain can make pain feel stronger. In rare cases, people who have pain in one hand can feel pain just by seeing their other hand moving in a mirror.

There are many other fascinating aspects to pain, and understanding how it works is an important part of managing your symptoms.

To understand how referred pain may be affecting you, chat with one of our physiotherapists who can help answer your questions.

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre – serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.