Back Pain Case Studies

Acute low back pain

Jo, a keen horse rider presented with low back pain following a lifting injury seven days previously. She had been to A & E and given a muscle relaxant and painkillers. It had improved but she still could not bend and was going on holiday the next day.

When she came to see me, she could only bend forwards as far as her knees due to the pain.  She had a spasm in one of her muscles which flexes her spine. As part of my treatment this spasm was released with soft tissue therapy and she was thereafter able to bend fully. She was given advice on lifting and exercises to maintain her progress. On return from holiday Jo thankfully reported she had been pain free.

Recurring back pain

Mike had a 5 year history of recurring low back pain which eventually stopped him playing golf. It was at this point he came for treatment. As is often the case, repeated episodes of low back pain become worse over time and in the end Mike also had nerve pain in his left leg.

When he came to see us, he had a significant limitation of trunk rotation which is an essential movement for the golf swing. Each episode of back pain caused him to get stiffer and stiffer and eventually led to quite severe leg pain after 9 holes so he had to stop playing. The sciatic nerve was painful because the low back was getting overstrained due to the trunk restriction. Once Mike’s trunk rotation was restored with joint and soft tissue mobilization, his nerve pain settled and he was able to return to golf. He was given ongoing core stability exercises relevant to his sport and advised to see his golf pro to check that poor technique wasn’t contributing to his problem.

Postural Back pain

Louise had a 2 year history of low back pain as well as upper back pain which became worse throughout her work day. When we saw her she reported that she is stiff and painful for the first few steps after sitting and driving.  Activity and exercise relieved her pain but as soon as she sat for more than 30 minutes the pain returned. Louise’s work involved sitting at a computer all day.

Our examination showed Louise‘s pain could be reproduced when she was sitting in the slumped position but relieved when she was sitting with her back in a ‘neutral’ position.  Changes to her work place set up and advice on sitting posture plus 3 or 4 sessions of physiotherapy to relieve tightness in her back muscles resulted in 100% relief.