Chronic low back pain is one of the main reasons, patients visit our practice. The term “chronic” means that the symptoms have lasted more than 12 weeks. Usually, the negative impact on daily activities and quality of life is significant.
It should be noted that when symptoms persist long enough, the body compensates in order to function effectively. For example, some muscles are shortened, others are inhibited, the trunk leans to one side in order to relieve the pain, and bending forwards becomes very stiff to protect the joints. The problem with these compensatory strategies is that while they offer a temporary pain relief, their long-term adoption contributes to the chronicity of symptoms.
Usually, patients with chronic back pain have visited many health care professionals and have not found a real solution to their problem. This creates a justifiable sense of despair and frustration, which in itself causes greater sensitivity to pain.
The aim of physiotherapy in chronic low back pain is to “unravel the puzzle” of incorrect postural and movement patterns. During the first visit, we will carefully investigate your history to discover the sequence of events that led to the current situation. Then we’ll identify all the wrong motor patterns related to your symptoms and will train you to recognize them yourself and make small adjustments gradually. These small adjustments will bring a great improvement in symptoms, because locomotion will become more “economical” and the Nervous System will receive a normalized signaling from the joints.
CONCLUSION: The long term use of non-optimal postural and movement strategies stresses the spinal joints and the surrounding soft tissues and is responsible for the chronic low back pain symptoms. The passive relief treatments, cannot give long lasting positive results, because they do not reverse the cause of the problem. The most important part of treatment is the retraining of motor control and conscious adoption of optimal movement behaviors.