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Low Back Pain Diagnosis

Non-specific or mechanical low back pain is defined as low back pain that is not attributable to a recognizable, known specific pathology, such as infection, cancer, or more serious types of pathology. Non-specific low back pain then has 3 subtypes: acute, sub-acute and chronic low back pain. These subtypes are based on the duration of the pain. Acute low back pain is an episode for less than 6 weeks, sub-acute between 6 and 12 weeks and chronic low back pain for 12 weeks or more. 

These are the most common type of back pain and includes, sprains, strains, disc injuries, arthritis, spondylitis, and most common type of back problems. The key to this type of diagnosis is to understand that the back is complex and that the cause of pain can come from many different structures and for many different reasons. 

Treatment for these types of conditions is determined by undergoing a detailed and thorough assessment process, starting with a subjective assessment and then an objective assessment. The idea is to focus on how to reduce the pain through treatment rather than focussing on the problem or what your diagnosis might be.

Physiotherapy will teach you about your body, what it feels like to move, where your problem is and how to protect that area from further injury by stabilising it so that you don’t over-move it again. Once you have learnt where the injured or pain producing tissue is, we will then design a program to strengthen that area so that you can make it strong and prevent further injury.

While you are performing these exercises and undergoing this treatment you will give your physio feedback on the effectiveness of the exercise and treatment regime and the treatment will be adjusted accordingly depending on the results of your treatment. This process works well as you progress through your treatment plan.

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