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Back Pain


Back Pain

Back Pain is an extremely prevalent condition in the UK. Incidence statistics show that 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lifetime, with almost half the adult population experiencing some form of back pain every year.  Back Pain can be caused by any number of reasons and identifying where the pain is coming from is the first step in effectively managing and treating the pain. For this reason every new patient starts their treatment at ProBack with a full examination to determine whether anything is wrong with their spine and identify the source of pain. This is especially important in the early stages of pain, as the identification and subsequent actions can prevent a condition becoming more severe or chronic.

Lower Back Pain

There are a wide number of conditions that affect the lower back, also known as the lumbar region. Although you may experience any of the symptoms above, you may also experience radiating pain which affects anywhere from the lower back, to the buttocks, legs, calves or feet. Conditions that affect the lower back are:

o   Degenerative Disc Disease
o   Slipped Disc
o   Spinal Stenosis
o   Spondylosis – a descriptive term for degeneration in the discs
o   Spondylolisthesis – where a vertebra slips out of position (forwards or backwards)
o   Retrolisthesis – where a vertebra slips backwards, pressing directly on the vertebra below
o   Facet Joint Syndrome
o   Fracture
o   Muscle Strains
o   Sacro-Iliac Syndrome
o   Pathological problem (or more serious condition)
o   Myofacial syndrome


Middle Back Pain

Pain in the middle back, also known as the thoracic region, can be specific to areas in the middle back or may radiate out from the back to affect the arms and hands, This may lead to weakness or tingling sensations. Most conditions affecting the mid-back are usually related to a problem with the ribs, or with the cervical spine area. Other conditions that specifically affect the lower back are:

o   Degenerative Disc Disease
o   Slipped Disc (rare)
o   Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (a condition which causes pain in the neck, shoulders, or arms due to compressed nerves around the neck
o   Facet Joint Syndrome
o   Fracture
o   Muscle Strain
o   Myofacial syndrome


Upper Back or Neck Pain

The upper back and neck are also known as the cervical region. Problems in the cervical region can cause pain from the middle back upwards, including the arms, hands, neck or head. Symptoms can be the same as those listed above, however neck problems in particular can cause headaches and a lack of, or poor quality, sleep. Conditions that affect the cervical spine are:

o   Degenerative Disc Disease
o   Slipped Disc
o   Fracture
o   Muscle Strain
o   Facet Joint Syndrome
o   Cranial Nerve Compression (a condition which describes the compression of arteries or veins located around the brain stem, commonly causing symptoms of neuralgia)
o   Myofacial syndrome

Symptoms of a Back Injury

Back pain can affect people in different ways, and can vary from mild, infrequent or simply irritating pain, all the way to a chronic, disabling pain. If you have back pain you may experience just one, or many of the following symptoms:

  1. Dull pain or aching
  2. Sharp pain which can be a sudden, throbbing, burning or stabbing pain
  3. Stiffness or loss of flexibility
  4. Feeling compressed
  5. Numbness
  6. Pins and Needles' like pain
  7. Pain upon coughing or sneezing
  8. Radiating Pain in different areas of the body
  9. Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep

Treatments for Back Pain

Treatment plans for patients with upper, middle and lower back pain vary greatly depending on the condition and severity of the problem, and can be split into two phases in order to achieve the best results. Phase one consists of pain relieving care. Phase two focuses on rehabilitative and spinal correctional care in order to prevent relapsing of the condition as much as possible.

Most of the time, patients will also benefit from combining different therapies in order to correct the problem.

  1. For disc problems, spinal decompression therapy can be one of the best treatments to try. Using a gentle traction, spinal decompression uses a very small amount of your body weight to stretch the spine. The gentle stretch helps to pull the discs away from the nerves, easing the pressure and helping to relieve pain associated with compressed nerves. By creating disc space, this allows nutrients and increased blood flow to penetrate the area and create the right healing environment.
  2. Shockwave Therapy is often used in the treatment of back conditions either on its own or in combination with other forms of treatment. It can be particularly helpful in conditions relating to bad posture, spinal misalignment, muscle or joint strains and myofacial syndrome. As a gentle alternative to manual manipulation, this back pain treatment decreases muscle tension and helps break down scar tissue. This scar tissue causes the body to become stiff and sore, preventing oxygen and vital nutrients reaching damaged areas. Breaking down the scar tissue increases blood flow bringing the nutrients to the injured area, allowing the body’s healing process to work more effectively. The shockwave machine can also detect and correct misalignments in the spine, helping to correct posture.
  3. Laser therapy can reduce inflammation and relieve pain when conditions are chronic, severe or characterized by longer healing times. The therapy stimulates the tissues deeper down in the area being treated and when used in combination with other therapies can significantly accelerate healing and pain relief.
  4. Spinal re-modelling is used in the clinic to correct spinal alignment and improve the sustainability of back pain treatment results into the longer term, reducing the risk of relapse.
  5. When the spine is misaligned, there is more pressure on the delicate disc area, which can increase the risk of injury. By re-aligning the spine into a better position, less stress is put on the spine, reducing the risk of injury and helping to maintain the condition of the spine for as long as possible.
  6. By starting off your back pain treatment with us with a detailed examination, we'll be able to see exactly what kind of posture you have, where any misalignments are and what kind of conditions have prevented you from achieving results from past treatment. We'll then tailor a treatment plan to suit exactly your needs, featuring exercises, stretches and a recommendation of which spinal cushion may be appropriate to help you achieve the best results.

Frequent Questions

What are the most common causes of back pain?

What are the best exercises for back pain?

What are the most common lower back pain causes?

Can you help to relieve back pain long-term?

“I feel stronger and the pain is gone”

Georgina Atandare

16th March 2016

“My posture has changed for the better.”

Elena Cooper

14th April 2016

“I was shocked at the difference after my first session.”

Debbie Gore

16th June 2016


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