Treating back pain with Mark Fotheringham
We understand that trusting your practitioner is crucial when it comes to successful treatment of your condition, and so we're committed to making sure you feel comfortable and confident with our therapists. Read our Success Stories to understand how we approach some of the common conditions we treat at Malvern Physiotherapy Clinic.
Treating back pain with principal physiotherapist Mark Fotheringham
My lower back continues to cause me issues – I don’t think I’ve been pain-free for a few years. I’ve tried all types of treatment, but nothing gives me relief for more than a few days. How can you help?
You’re not alone in experiencing lower back pain – some of the latest figures suggest that up to 70% of people will seek treatment for low back pain in their lifetime (not to mention all the people who struggle with this pain, but never seek treatment for it).
There are lots of different disciplines that can treat you for this kind of condition. Where our treatment at Malvern Physio differs is our focus on evidence-based pathways, and our commitment to helping you to find a long term solution (as well as providing you with some much-needed short term relief!).
How is your evidence-based treatment different to the other therapists? At this point, I feel that my only option is come back for treatment multiple times each week.
Regular hands-on therapy can be great for short-time pain relief, but we begin by thoroughly examining all the possible reasons for your pain and testing each of these to see how your body responds. A big part of this assessment involves looking at how your muscles support your back and the movement patterns you use. Altering any faulty movement patterns or habits you’ve developed, and improving both the strength and efficiency of the supporting muscles of your back is likely going to be the best way to actually change this pain pattern for you and provide you with long-term relief.
Through your assessment, our physios will delve into any other factors that may be contributing to your pain, and educate you as they guide you through a tailored treatment plan to address it.
It’s this thorough process that will identify any underlying issues that other therapists may have missed and deliver the long-term relief that you’ve been seeking.
As someone in my 40s, I was told that X-Rays suggested my back was as bad as most 90 year olds and I might end up in a wheelchair one day. Could this really be true?
Unfortunately, we occasionally hear these stories from clients who have been told something really scary like this. This kind of comment is never helpful and likely untrue!
While radiological scans like x-rays give us an indication of where your pain or symptoms may be originating, they should never be used for diagnosis in isolation. This is because we know that the state of how a scan looks has poor correlation with symptoms like pain and function. We’re constantly amazed by how well some people are functioning despite their scans displaying identifiable issues, and in contrast other clients who have very minor issues identified on a scan but struggle with substantial pain.
In order to develop a treatment plan for you, radiological scans (if you have had them) will form a part of the discovery process, along with a detailed assessment of your body. Throughout this process, we’ll give you clear and accurate expectations of what your treatment will involve, and how long the process will likely take. We’ll also discuss your different treatment options and benefits of each pathway so you can make an informed decision.
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