Everything you need to know about chronic low back pain

Chronic low back pain or CLBP is associated with neurochemical, structural, and functional cortical changes of several brain regions including the somatosensory cortex. Complex processes of peripheral and central sensitisation may have an impact on the development of acute to chronic pain. To put it simply, CLBP is an unexplained pain in the lower back that persists for more than 12 weeks.

Who is at a higher risk of developing CLBP?

This condition is found more in women (70.3 per 1000 population) than men (57.4 per 1000 population) and elderly who are at a higher risk of experiencing chronic back pain. Factors like old age, previous back pain problems, accidents that have caused the condition to occur and psychosocial disorders were factors that affect the recovery.

What are the symptoms?

  • Pain and discomfort in the gluteal (buttock) region. One can experience pain in the centre, on either of the sides or both sides of the lower back which may or may not cause pain in the buttocks, hamstrings, or calf.
  • A sharp radicular pain travelling down the leg due to nerve root irritation).
  • Palpation of the lumbar spine may result in tenderness with frequent muscle spasms.
  • Pain may be aggravated by bending, arching back, rotating or combined lower back movements.

How can physiotherapy help?

Physiotherapy assesses the severity of the problem and designs a personalised treatment plan that includes a specific exercise regime that will aid in reducing the pain and improve motor function.

PhysioExperts designs an Individual exercise program, after a careful physical examination and understanding the patient’s clinical history. We deliver a customised exercise program specifically designed to cure the patient’s chronic lower back pain. We only provide supervised exercise programs that include home exercises, supervised training with regular therapist follow-ups.

We encourage the patient to increase the intensity of the exercise based on the severity of the patient’s condition. Stretching and muscle-strengthening exercises were the best types of exercises for improving pain and function.

How long does it take to recover?

In normal cases, patients with back pain recover in 6 weeks and worst cases, it may go up to 12 weeks. It is very important to understand that the recovery phase after the 12th week is slow and uncertain.

In conclusion, chronic low back pain is a slower recovery process. However, with the proper care and following the exercise program diligently can help you to get back to an active life faster. PhysioExperts always strives to move you to better health.

5 common reasons why your muscles are sore?

Muscle soreness can occur after overexertion or injury during physical activities. When muscles are overworked than their original capacity it causes the microscopic damage to the muscles fibres which results in muscle soreness or stiffness.

There can be several why you are experiencing muscle pains and aches; even for those who live a sedentary lifestyle.

As the top physiotherapy clinic in Ottawa we are listing down the possible reasons why people feel muscle soreness. Let’s have a look.

Strenuous exercise

Starting afresh or coming back to your workout routine can be difficult as your muscles are not yet adapted to the increased demands that such activities require. As your body is trying to adapt to your fitness regiment, you may experience minor muscle pains or stiffness for the first few days of your workout, and that’s common. This condition is often referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS. A muscle pain that begins within 8 hours post exercise and prolongs for 48 hours post exercise. A mild muscle soreness is a natural outcome of almost any kind of physical activity.

Too much soreness post exercise can hamper your movement and can be counterproductive to the goal of improving your core strength and fitness.

Injury

Muscle soreness can also be due to sports injuries and accidents that can cause bruising, and strain. Physiotherapy is an effective way to help heal muscle strain and reduce pain.

The treatment for these injuries are classified based on the severity of the injury.

In case of a first degree muscle strain, the patient may suffer mild injury and we advise rest and no activities in such cases. While in the second degree strain the patient may feel some bruising, muscle stiffness and weakness. In such a scenario, we assess the severity of the condition and devise a treatment plan for faster recovery. Lastly, the third degree muscle strain is a complete tear which can be painful and significant bruising is visible. The patient may feel loss of strength and mobility in the affected limb. Medical assessment is a must to determine if surgery or immobilization is required during the initial healing phase and when ready, our  physiotherapy will be introduced to guide faster recovery.

Stress

In stressful situations, your body produces stress hormones that may increase muscle tension and pain sensitivity. Due to which you may experience random migration of pain in various muscles groups throughout your body. It can be difficult to identify how it all started. But lack of sleep or excessive emotions and poor breathing functions can contribute to muscle stiffness.

We’re here to help you identify the cause of stress, create a positive change to help you feel better.

Medical conditions

Many medical conditions and syndromes can also contribute to muscle pain. Common painful conditions can include: arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, fibromyalgia, disorders of the endocrine system and diabetes also present with muscular pain.

Proper diagnosis is very important to implementing a successful treatment program.

Woman muscle pain during running training

Vitamin & mineral deficiencies

Studies have also shown that muscle soreness is often a symptom of vitamin deficiencies in our body. Vitamin D is the most common deficiency that is causing muscle soreness. Vitamin D is important for good bone health. Insufficient vitamin D can affect your body’s capacity to absorb calcium from our diet. 

In such a case, the body draws the calcium from your bones, which eventually leads to osteopenia or weaker bones. If not treated on time, this condition progresses to osteoporosis.  Although osteoporosis is caused only in the presence of a fracture but in case of poor bone health, muscles tend to become weak and sore.

If you too are experiencing muscle soreness due to the above mentioned reasons, visit us or book a free consultation call with our registered PTs today. ‍