Project Description

Back pain services at Complete Physio

Book Online
BOOK BY PHONE

Back pain services at Complete Physio

Book Online
BOOK BY PHONE

Back pain services at Complete Physio

Back pain is one of the most common causes of pain and disability and can range from short episodes of muscle spasm through to extremely debilitating levels of pain. When nerve impingement is involved, there may also be associated neurological deficits (numbness, pins and needles, and even muscle weakness). Rarely, back pain can be of serious origin and may require scans, investigations and even referral to a spinal surgeon.

At Complete Physio we have an excellent reputation for the treatment of a range of back problems. This may be resolving persistent niggles which are affecting people’s sporting performance or enjoyment of leisure time activities, or it can be the treatment and rehabilitation of severe and debilitating back pain where our therapists will be treating and supporting patients in their return to normal function and activities of daily living.

Back pain assessment

If you have pain in your neck or back which does not appear to be resolving by itself or is causing you significant levels of pain and impacting on your ability to function, you would be recommended to see a healthcare professional, such as a physiotherapist. They will carry out a full assessment, obtain a diagnosis and advise you on the best treatment and management strategies to resolve your pain and get you back to full function as soon as possible. At Complete Physio, our physiotherapists have vast experience in the assessment and treatment of a wide range of back pain presentations from elite sport, dance and performance through to the management and rehabilitation of complex and chronic spinal pain disorders.

Initial assessment

Your treatment and management will be based on the findings from your initial assessment, which will help to form the diagnosis for your condition. For successful management and treatment of back pain, as with all musculoskeletal conditions, a clear diagnosis and understanding of the mechanics affecting your back is key.

1. History taking

Your clinician will undertake a thorough history identifying potential causes and contributing factors, looking at movement patterns, assessing your function and understanding your movement and functional ability from before and after the onset of your back pain.

2. Clinical assessment

Your physiotherapist will undertake a detailed clinical assessment of the area, which will generally involve asking you to perform a number of movements and standardised activities. It may also include a detailed functional assessment, whereby they will help to break down and analyse the particular movements that are causing pain. This will involve your physiotherapist performing a detailed assessment and analysis of the painful movements. They will also take a detailed neurological assessment to assess for any evidence of neurological deficits. They will also perform specialised and specific tests, which help to form a diagnosis and assess the severity of back pain. This will also help determine the next steps, such as whether further scans or investigations are required, or indeed possible onward referral.

3. Functional assessment

A functional assessment will include assessment of a number of functional movements. This may be tasks or even sports specific activities, which consistently brings on a person’s symptoms or, in the case of someone with more severe symptoms and physical limitations, this may involve looking at basic functional activities of daily living, such as getting on and off a chair or the ability to go up and down stairs.

Referral for scans, further investigations, or specialist opinion

At the end of your assessment, your physiotherapist will discuss with you whether there is any indication that a scan may be necessary or indeed helpful in the overall treatment and management of your condition. They will also discuss other treatment and management options, such as the need for onward referral for surgical opinion, should this be relevant, based on the assessment findings.

Screening for red flag signs and symptoms, such as cauda equina syndrome

Whenever a patient presents with lower back pain the physiotherapist, or other healthcare professional, will ask a number of questions to help screen for possible underlying serious or sinister pathology, such as cauda equina syndrome (cauda equina syndrome relates to compression of the cauda equina in the spinal cord, which can result in bladder or bowel dysfunction or loss of sensation around the crotch area). This is classed as a medical emergency and if any such findings are detected on the day of your assessment your physiotherapist will discuss onward management.

If you would like to discuss your back pain before booking, or feel that you may need referral for a scan, please do not hesitate to contact us by email on info@complete-physio.co.uk and one of our senior clinicians will reply to your questions or arrange a call.

Types of back pain

There are different categories of back pain. Below we have summarised some of the main presentations. Sometimes more than one presentation may co-exist. It is useful to categorise the type of back pain that someone is suffering, as this can help to guide overall treatment.

Mechanical back pain.

Mechanical back pain refers to pain that is associated with movement. Many back problems will hurt when people move and there will be particular movements that will hurt more than others. Part of your assessment will be analysing which particular movements cause you pain and the relevance of these movements to your overall clinical presentation. Mechanical back pain can be a high level or complex movement associated with sport for example, which consistently brings on pain or discomfort when performing that specific movement, or repetitions of that movement. Equally, mechanical low back pain could relate to a particular direction of movement, such as bending down to touch toes or to put shoes and socks on, which can be extremely painful, whilst other movements, such as walking, might be far less painful. The analysis of what aggravates and eases your pain often forms a core part of your overall diagnosis and treatment plan.

Discogenic low back pain (a ‘slipped’ disc)

A common presentation with low back pain is a bulge or even sometimes a herniation of one of the intervertebral discs in the spine. Your intervertebral discs are relatively soft structures between the bones of your spine (bones = vertebrae). The discs can become damaged either as a result of age-related wear and tear or they can become damaged due to a one-off incident or trauma. If the disc bulges come into contact or compresses a nerve, this can cause severe pain which will often radiate into the buttock and down the leg, even as far as the foot. Discogenic low back pain is often associated with neurological disturbances. This can include pins and needles or numbness felt anywhere down the leg (including the foot), weakness in the muscles (again this can occur anywhere down the leg, as far as the foot), and absence of reflexes. Your physiotherapist will check for these neurological deficits as part of your standard assessment, particularly if disc involvement is suspected.

Postural back pain

A common cause of back pain can be related to posture. The most common scenario that we might see is someone who sits for prolonged periods of time at a desk. However, pain can also be related to other forms of sustained posture, often due to someone’s work tasks but can equally be related to someone’s sport or leisure activities, and even the result of prolonged relaxed sitting or sleeping positions. Part of the assessment will be to analyse and evaluate particular pressures and stresses that are being put on the back whilst the person is in their pain producing positions. The physiotherapist will also be able to advise you of pain-relieving activities, such as exercises, which can be used to alleviate pain and also prevent the pain coming on in the first instance when adopting certain postures.

Pregnancy related back pain

Pregnancy related Low Back Pain

Low back pain is common in pregnancy affecting around 50% of all pregnant women. It often occurs due to the anatomical and postural changes which affect the way you sit, stand, move and walk. As your tummy expands to make room for your growing bump, the muscles in your tummy and pelvic floor lengthen and become weaker which can put more strain on the joints in your back and pelvis.

The good news is, that back pain during pregnancy often responds very well to exercise. Simple movements to improve the mobility in your lower back can be helpful, as well as exercises to strengthen your postural muscles. A pelvic health physiotherapist will be able to assess and guide you through exercises that are safe for you to do. They may be able to provide hands-on treatment to help relieve your symptoms and will advise you on the best positions when sitting and sleeping, as well as tips for bending and lifting.

Postnatal Low Back Pain 

Low back pain can occur after pregnancy. It can occur as a result of injuries sustained during childbirth, weakness in the abdominals and pelvic floor, and postural changes. Tasks such as prolonged sitting, feeding in poor postures, repetitive lifting and bending can also contribute to the development of low back pain. In a small number of cases, pregnancy hormones that remain in the body whilst you are breastfeeding can contribute to these symptoms.

If you experience low back pain after having your baby you may find it helpful to visit a pelvic health physiotherapist. They will be able to ask you questions to help identify the cause of your pain. They will be able to check the quality and strength of your pelvic floor muscles and abdominals and provide you with advice around appropriate exercises, techniques for bending and lifting, and provide hands on treatment if required.

Pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain

Pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is pain that occurs in the region of the pubic bone, groin, hips, buttocks or tailbone. It occurs in about 20% of all pregnancies and can develop during any trimester.

Women suffering from PGP commonly report pain while walking, pain with movements that require standing on one leg, for example; walking up or down stairs or standing to put your trousers on. Movements that require parting your legs are also often painful, for example; getting out of a car, rolling over in bed or during sex.

PGP often occurs because there is a change in the way the muscles and joints around the pelvis are working. Factors including postural change, weakening of your core muscles including your abdominals, pelvic floor and glutes can contribute to these symptoms. In a small number of cases, pain is due to pregnancy related hormones which soften the connective tissues in the body to prepare for birth.

Research suggests that women are more likely to develop PGP if they have experienced it in previous pregnancies, have had injury to their back or pelvis in the past, have a physical job or have gained a lot of weight during pregnancy.

If you think you have PGP, it’s important to seek help. Early diagnosis and treatment can significantly reduce your symptoms and prevent them from persisting. A pelvic health physiotherapist will take a thorough history of your condition, examine your posture and perform simple tests to help confirm a diagnosis. They will be able to examine the muscles around your hips and pelvis including your pelvic floor muscles. Your physio will then be able to advise you on the best movement strategies, and guide you on appropriate strengthening exercises.

Based on 597 reviews.
Ben Reeves
Ben Reeves
2021-03-13
Cannot recommend Dan Boyd enough - I did the clinical bike fit with Dan having had problems knee pain whilst cycling. It's absolutely fantastic to have diagnostic testing from a qualified physio as well as someone to look over your riding position to know you've covered all bases. Dan is really knowledgeable, having worked with a series of competitive riders, and they have a great turbotrainer and camera setup at the practice. He also really goes the extra mile and has been following up with me ever since as part of the clinical bikefit package to ensure I continue my recovery. If you have any issues from riding I wouldn't hesitate to book yourself in with Dan
Virginia Lo
Virginia Lo
2021-03-11
Excellent physiotherapist Dan and Luke!!! I’d to recommend complete physio to everyone without any hesitation
Mrs P
Mrs P
2021-03-11
I suffer from chronic back pain and the physiotherapist knew exactly where to massage to relieve the pain. She also sent me a video afterwards to show how to do few exercises.
Customer
Customer
2021-03-11
I’ll leave full feedback when my therapy programme is completed.
Mr Andrew Allison
Mr Andrew Allison
2021-03-11
Quick simple and straight forward. Why would you pay more than you actually have to?
Giulio Bertocci
Giulio Bertocci
2021-03-06
Very good service, I would recommend it definitely
Mrs Roberta Claudia Saia
Mrs Roberta Claudia Saia
2021-03-04
Very happy with Complete Physio. Alastair is great, the exercises and program given to me are clear to follow. You can log your progress in the app which is a nice perk. I felt in good hands. Thank you
Marta
Marta
2021-03-04
I had an ultrasound guided cortisone injection by Dave Baker. I received extensive information about the procedure and felt in good hands at all times. The injection was surprisingly painless and it started to have effect after few days. Can recommend Complete Physio to anyone needing ultrasound diagnosis or guided injections. Thanks you Dave!
Vivien
Vivien"Knowland HMAR MIFA CHNC reg. reflexologist
2021-03-04
Making an appt a little muddled......l did not receive required Covid form & had to ask for it. However consultation with CM very thorough Fulham clinic well organised & friendly.
Mr R G Luxa
Mr R G Luxa
2021-03-04
Excellent service. I was seen on time and listen too. The procedure was professionally carried out by Chris Myers. Thank you. Robert Luxa

BOOK A CONSULTATION
Ultrasound guided injections are typically used for pain in the soft tissues. This can be arthritis of a joint or a bursitis or impingement problem. Complete Physio offers a one-stop shop for injections using corticosteroid, hyaluronic acid and PRP. Each of these can be used for a wide range of soft tissue disorders to help reduce pain and improve function.

Ultrasound guided injections are often used to help reduce pain so that a patient can engage with their physiotherapy treatment and rehabilitation. Many patients have difficulty performing the exercise program they have been asked to carry out due to high levels of pain and, therefore, an injection is very much part of a treatment package.

The ultrasound guided injection will be delivered by one of our highly trained clinicians, who will assess you, scan you and perform an ultrasound guided injection if agreed that this is the best and most appropriate treatment. Most injection procedures only require a single injection, however, there are situations where a patient may require more than one injection, e.g., a frozen shoulder may require two to three injections each around six to eight weeks apart. Another example is PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections, which are typically given as a program of three treatments, each treatment being one week apart.

We have created a patient information page and also an online medical screening and consent form, with associated patient information leaflets, which outline potential risks and side effects associated with the specific injection that you are booking in for.

Injections are generally regarded as very safe. However, please see the link to our page outlining potential risks and side effects associated with these procedures.

The clinician performing your injection will advise you of any specific advice and management of your condition following the injection. Typically, they may advise you of relative rest for a specific period after the injection, usually only a maximum of a couple of days. However, this will be discussed in more detail at your appointment.

Yes. Ultrasound guided injections are used to reduce pain. This is most often to allow patients to increase their ability to exercise and self manage their condition e.g. frozen shoulder or arthritic knee. Some injections are very effective as a stand-alone treatment e.g. trigger finger. Hyaluronic acid and PRP are typically used as adjuncts to an exercise and rehabilitation program.

Ultrasound guidance allows the injection to be targeted within the tissues therefore minimising any discomfort both during and after the procedure.

An ultrasound guided injection consultation and treatment typically lasts around 20-30mins. The amount of time spent assessing and scanning is dependent upon the condition.

Our clinicians do not perform ultrasound of any areas around the lumbar spine or neck.

BOOK A CONSULTATION

Meet our Clinicians