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Physio Penrith Low Back Pain Treatments

Low Back Pain Conditions Treated at Sydney Muscle & Joint Physio Penrith

Low back pain

At Sydney Muscle & Joint Physio Penrith common presentations of low back pain include back pain, back stiffness and sciatica symptoms and these are the predominant symptoms treated by physiotherapists and chiropractors. Most cases of low back pain are not caused by something life threatening or by a serious pathology, however low back pain can become a constant and persistent source of pain, discomfort, movement restriction and nerve related symptoms.


Mechanical low back pain is the primary diagnosis and will result from aggravated joints, intervertebral discs, muscles, ligaments and nerves. All these tissue sources of real or perceived damage can be managed with specific techniques that have been proven to work for low back pain presentations. At Sydney Muscle & Joint Physio Penrith our practitioners utilise physiotherapy and exercise physiology as primary interventions in the management of low back pain. Physiotherapists uses techniques proven to work for low back pain regardless of whether the pain is coming from the joints, disc, muscles or nerves.


Learn more about some low back pain truths with "11 reasons why your back pain isn't getting better".

Low back pain with stiffness

At Sydney Muscle & Joint Physio Penrith low back pain most often presents with movement restriction, often reported as stiffness or tightness and clinical this can be referred to as low back pain with mobility deficits. Common symptoms are low back pain as a central band across the back with stiffness, often worse in the morning. On physical examination the patient demonstrates restricted spinal range of motion and segmental mobility, and low back and low back–related lower extremity symptoms can be reproduced with provocation of the involved segments. Read more

Low back pain with referred pain

Low back pain, commonly associated with referred buttock, thigh, or leg pain, that worsens with flexion activities and sitting. Low back and lower extremity pain that can be centralised and diminished with positioning, manual procedures, and/or repeated movements. Read more

Low back pain with sciatica

The physiotherapists at Sydney Muscle & Joint Physio Penrith attend to many patients with low back pain with associated radiating pain in the involved lower extremity, otherwise known as sciatica. Sciatica refers to a set of symptoms that include lower extremity paresthesias, burning or sharp shooting pain, numbness, and weakness may be reported and must go beyond the knee to be true radicular pain or sciatica. Symptoms are reproduced or aggravated with initial to mid-range spinal mobility, lower-limb tension/straight leg raising, and/or slump tests and further evidence of signs of nerve root involvement (sensory, strength, or reflex deficits) may be present in a radiculopathy. Read more

Disc related low back pain

Disc degeneration (DD) has been estimated as the source of CLBP in 39% of cases and one that often presents to us at Sydney Muscle & Joint Physio Penrith. Disc related back pain can also be referred to as spinal internal disc disruption and implies that the structure and integrity of the intervertebral disc has been compromised (disrupted). This is a normal process as we age and load our spines, but occasionally we overload the spine with repeated heavy lifting or prolonged sitting. Often the intervertebral disc dehydrates and develops tears within it, whilst these are not recognisable on low back standard MRI scans, it is possible to be in pain with no obvious low back issues on a scan. This is also why you should try some conservative treatment prior to getting a low back scan.

Common symptoms of disc related back pain or spinal internal disc disruption will often be non-specific pain across both sides of the low back and often you may have a directional preference of lumbar extension, whilst lumbar flexion (forward bending) can be aggravating. Often pain can project down the leg from an irritated disc, but unlike sciatica, it will often be above the knee. Read more

Acute low back pain

Acute low back pain is any bout of low back pain has been present for less than 3 months. Symptoms of acute low back pain can include localised pain on one side or pain that radiates out to the flanks and into the buttock areas, there will also be restriction of movement, usually due to pain. Often if the nerve is irritated you can get pain and altered sensation down the leg beyond the knee. Acute back pain can be the result of irritation of the joints, intervertebral discs, ligaments or nerves, with some associated muscular tension.

Generally, treatments of acute low back pain involve specific movements, analgesic medication and good amounts of sleep. Further application of techniques that have been proven to work will help reduce pain and encourage pain free movement. These include joint mobilisations, McKenzie Method, nerve stretches, muscle release techniques and exercise and movement prescription. Read more

Chronic low back pain

Chronic low back pain is described as low back pain that has persisted for more than 3 months and can often have symptoms that are wide spread on both sides of the back, down into the buttocks and upper thigh. Nerve irritation, often described as sciatica, can also present down one leg below the knee. The causes of chronic low back pain are similar to acute low back pain and can result from irritation to the joints, intervertebral discs, muscles, ligaments and nerves.


Treatment of chronic cases of low back pain can include more aggressive active overpressure treatments including grade IV joint mobilisations, joint manipulations and McKenzie Method techniques. Toby is a physiotherapist, exercise physiologist and chiropractor in Penrith who uses multiple techniques to reduce pain, improve restricted movement, settle down muscle tension and promotes a return to pain free movement. Read more

Degenerative spondylolithesis back pain

Degenerative spondylolisthesis is an acquired spinal condition in which there is anterior vertebral displacement without a disruption of the pars interarticularis. Degenerative spondylolisthesis usually occurs in the lumbar (low back) spine, more commonly at L4-L5 (4th and 5th lumbar vertebral levels) and presents with central back pain, pain into the buttocks and legs and often with neurological signs. Treatment options are both surgical and non-surgical (physiotherapy led interventions). Read more

Back pain related to spinal stenosis

Lumbar spinal stenosis describes a congenital or acquired condition, where the degenerative acquired form is by far the most common. Stenosis means narrowing and these in turn leads to compression and irritation of neural structures including the thecal sac, traversing and exiting nerve root. Acquired degenerative stenosis is thought to result from a cascade of changes initiated by the degeneration of the intervertebral disc as a person age. Degeneration and atrophy of trunk muscles, repeated trauma to the spine from daily wear and tear, and potential occupational hazards lead to the desiccation of parts of the disc and collapse of the disc space. This process may be exacerbated by weak or degenerating spinal muscles, especially if coupled with fatty infiltration of the paraspinal girdle, and excessive body weight. Read more

Facet arthropathy back pain

Facet arthropathy is caused by facet joints becoming arthritic and painful and happens when the cartilage between the facet joints breaks down or gets damaged. This may be caused by arthritic changes and/or degenerative disc changes. The back pain is often a diffuse, dull ache in the low back directly over the spine that can spread to the buttocks. Movements such as bending backwards or twisting sideways towards the affected joint will cause pain. Standing or periods of inactivity may worsen the pain. Read more.

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