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Core Physiotherapy & Pilates Studio Adelaide

Low Back Pain


the history of low-back pain




The statistics show that

  • 80% of people will suffer an episode of low back pain at least once in their life
  • 60% of the normal population have experienced some degree of low back pain in the last year
  • 5% of the population will take time off work as a result of back pain.
  • Low back pain causes the greatest problem in the middle years of life with a peak age of about 40 years.

Low back pain is one of the most common complaints treated by physiotherapists. A systematic approach of assessment, diagnosis and management is necessary to provide the right treatment at the right time.


Management of low back pain must consider not only the acute episode but also address those factors that predisposed the person to having the injury.


the common sources of back pain are:

  • The intervertebral disc - a fibrous cushioning between each spinal segment
  • The facet joint - joints at the rear of each level that provide stability
  • Nerves - exit the spinal cord and run through a space called the intevertebral foramen
  • Soft tissues - extensive soft tissues lie around the spine and usually help to support the spine   
  • Muscles – rarely cause pain but often aren’t working to support the spine


common incidents that cause acute low back pain include:

  • Lifting
  • Repetitive bending
  • Poor posture and prolonged sitting
  • Weakness in core stabilising muscles


At Core Physiotherapy and Pilates studios we utilise the McKenzie method as a first line of assessment for low back pain. Unique to the McKenzie Method® is a comprehensive and logical step-by-step process to evaluate the patient's problem quickly.


Assessment includes a subjective and physical examination and may consider radiological investigations.




management of low-back pain

Once a diagnosis has been made that clearly defines the likely cause of Low back pain a clear treatment plan can be set out. This plan will involve a series of steps to get the patient from injury to full recovery and involve the client managing their own symptoms as much as possible.

step 1 – reduce the acute symptoms

  • Initial hands on treatment to settle symptoms and improve mobility (may include joint mobilisation, massage, dry needling, manipulation)
  • Home exercises to help maintain the improvement from treatment
  • Advice on posture and activity to help take the pressure off the injured tissue

step 2 – maintain improvement

  • Prescription of structured exercises to maintain improvement prevent continued aggravation
  • Strengthening exercises designed to improve core stability
  • Adjustment of posture, ergonomics and lifting technique

step 3 – return to function

  • Rehabilitation/strengthening via exercise designed to simulate normal day to day activities and movement patterns
  • Stretching of spine tissues in all directions to produce healthy normal tissue mobility


Waddell. G. 1987 A new clinical model for the treatment of Low-Back Pain Assessment

McKenzie.R. Treat your own back

McKenzie.R. Mechanical Diagnosis and therapy of the lumbar spine

More information downloads:

Healthy Habits for Healthy Backs
Sitting as an Exercise in Postural Awareness