Nedlands Physio Corner: Managing lower back pain

Thursday Pilates Mat classes resume 4 June 2020
May 6, 2020

13 April 2020 

Lower back pain is the most common condition clients present with to Nedlands Physiotherapy.  Whether it is an ongoing issue that has never resolved,  a recurring problem which you have had over the years or a sudden onset of pain, the effects can be debilitation and the pain and stiffness associated with lower back pain (LBP) can restrict your day to day activities and lifestyle.  In our current circumstances managing lower back pain is even more challenging as we are asked to work from home where possible and limit our time out in public.

Although there are many manual therapy techniques which a physiotherapist can use to help relieve the pain and stiffness felt in our lower back, more importantly there are also various self management techniques we can use at home in between visits to our physiotherapist, to keep us mobile and reduce our pain and stiffness.  One very simple way to help with lower back pain is to ensure we are including regular movement and gentle exercise into our daily routine.  Specific gentle pain relieving exercises shoulder be encouraged first when pain is the limiting factor, then from here mobility exercises and strengthening exercises can follow which will allow for greater benefits as pain is not limiting correct movement and muscle recruitment patterns.

Research has shown that too much rest and inactivity can worsen and prolonged lower back pain.  Our spines are designed to move and move often.  We enjoy a variety of spinal movements  and when these movements are not performed regularly and fully we feel stiffness set in and gradual spinal breakdown occurs.  Stretching the muscles, fascia and joints around our spine is important to maintain our mobility but equally as important is strengthening the muscles which support our spine and pelvis and help us to move efficiently so that certain tissues and structure are not being repeatedly overloaded.   Ongoing micro traumas over an extended period of time is the basis of spinal breakdown which thereby increases the risk of lower back injuries and persistent lower back pain.  Maintaining fluid, full movement within our spinal segments as well as through our hip joints is crucial to maintaining a health spine.

Sarah Key, who is an Australian physiotherapist and has a special interest in LBP.  She has written a number of books to help people self manage their back pain and her website is full of wonderful resources.  She divides appropriate exercises for LBP into three areas;

  1. Pain relieving exercises
  2. Movement exercises for the lower back.
  3. Strengthening exercises for the lower back.

For more information on these specific exercises please visit;

For more information or to book an appointment please contact us on 08 6389 0990 or visit us at