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What is lumbago?

Lumbago is a term describing general mid to lower back pain.

What causes lumbago?

The exact causes of lumbago are unknown or rather its cause could be put down to a variety of things such as lifting objects that are too heavy and not lifting them in a proper way, overuse of the back, or as a result of some other condition you may be suffering from.

A common cause of back ache is weak stomach muscles, which increases the stress on the back muscles.

Several factors can contribute to back pain, like a sprain or spasm in a muscle or ligament, compression of the spine, or bulging or ruptured discs, all of which can put pressure on the nerves in the area. Back pain can also result from more serious disorders ranging from a trapped nerve to diabetes and cancer, and although it is often very difficult to determine the exact cause of back pain, some people may develop it for no apparent reason.

Physiotherapy interventions can help with long term back painAbove: Physiotherapy interventions can help with long term back pain

What are the symptoms of Lumbago?

Symptoms of lumbago include:
  • Pain in the lower back that doesn't radiate down through the legs
  • Stiffness of the back especially in the morning
  • Poor posture or an "S" shape in the spine.
Lumbago may be accompanied by other symptoms such as:
  • Loss of sensation in the soles of the feet or in the calf region
  • Loss of plantar flexion (pointing) of the foot
  • Back stiffness in other areas of the spine.

Diagnosis of lumbago

If you are experiencing back pain you should consult a physiotherapist or doctor who will confirm a diagnosis of lumbago by conducting a thorough physical examination and subjective history.

Physiotherapy for lumbago

A person with lumbago will benefit from physiotherapy treatment.

Physiotherapy treatment will reduce your pain and stiffness, increase muscle strength to help support your back and improve your posture to help return you to return to everyday and sporting activities as quickly and safely as possible.

Physiotherapy treatment for lumbago may include:
  • Advice on your posture and exercises to improve it
  • Advice on what you should be avoiding
  • Heat therapy
  • Ultrasound
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Strengthening program, weak stomach muscles are often a cause. Regular gentle stomach muscle exercise in conjunction with back exercises may make a big difference
  • Stretching exercises to relieve stiffness and pain
  • Joint manipulation/mobilisation techniques
Your rehabilitation program will be tailored to you to ensure you get the most out of your treatment and continue to make improvements in the long term.

For more information about how physiotherapy can help your back, or to book an appointment please call 0161 883 0077.

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