How to Relieve Your Radiating Lower Back Pain in 5 Steps with Physiotherapy

How to Relieve Your Radiating Lower Back Pain in 5 Steps with Physiotherapy

Maybe you can relate…

Sarah, a 72-year-old mother could hardly get out of bed without a grimace.

She never liked to complain about her lower back pain, but her family could see the frustration. 

Standing for long periods left her achy, and excruciating lower back pain kept her up at night.

Sadly this is all too common.

Popular solutions to these problems like pain relievers only offer temporary relief and for many they eventually stop working. In fact, the longer you go without fixing the root cause of pain the worse it may get over time, as many back pain suffers will say.

In this blog you’ll learn how to nail down the pain in your lower back in 5 simples steps…

What is Radiating Lower Back Pain and Why Does it Matter?

Isn’t Back Pain, Back Pain? No! There are many types of back pain with differing characteristics. One of these characteristics includes radiating pain.

Radiating back pain is a type of pain that starts in one place and travels to a different part of your body. Typically, radiating back pain starts in the lower back but it doesn’t stop there. Radiating back pain can shoot into one or both of your legs and can even travel all the way to your toes.

But radiating pain is not the only type of pain to travel elsewhere in the body.

Radiating vs Referring vs Radicular Pain

Perhaps you’ve heard of these terms before. Or not. If so, what do they actually mean?

1. Radicular pain occurs when your spinal nerve gets irritated, pinched or inflamed. This causes pain to shoot down your back, into your hip, and sometimes all the way down your legs. You may also experience symptoms such as numbness and tingling. 

2. Referred pain is when the pain you feel in one area of the body is caused by an injury in a completely different area. For example, you might experience buttock pain that is actually being referred from your back.

3. Radiating pain is when pain spreads from one part of your body to a bigger area. For example, sciatica is shooting pain that runs down your lower back, through your hip, and all the way down your leg.

Why does this matter to me?

When you experience radiating, referred or radicular pain, this is not your typical back pain due to a tight and achy muscle. In terms of treatments, physiotherapists have to find all of the involved tissues and problem-solve to treat your radiating lower back pain.

How to relieve your radiating lower back pain in 5 steps with physiotherapy

Step 1: Write it down

If this is not your first time seeing a doctor or therapist, you will know that the first meeting typically involves answering some questions. These questions are important because they will help to guide your next steps. If you have these questions answered ahead of time, you don’t have to try and remember something that may have happened years ago. Your first visit will go faster and smoother. This will help guide your therapist towards showing you how to improve.

Here are some important questions that you need to be able to answer.

❏ When did your pain start? 

❏ How did it begin? (Was there an accident or incident, or did it come on gradually?)

❏ How often to do you experience pain throughout the day? How long will it last for? How intense is the pain?

❏ What makes your pain better? What makes your pain worse?

Step 2: Movement tests

Your answers to the above questions will help to determine which physical and movement tests should be performed. Each movement will cause one of three things to happen: Your pain will increase; Your pain will decrease; or, it will remain the same and have no effect.

From your responses to the tests, your therapist will be able to determine which specific nerves or muscles are involved with your injury. They then will create a personalized treatment plan to get you out of pain and back to doing what you love again. They will let you know how many treatments it will take. Also, they will give you exercises for lower back pain to do at home that complements each therapy session to accelerate improvement.

Step 3: Correct Sleep Position

When you have lower back pain, getting a good night’s sleep can be hard. Not getting enough sleep can actually worsen your pain, as sleep is important for healing. Adding a pillow between your legs can take the pressure off your lower back, reducing the pain. How it works is it puts your pelvis in a more neutral position and prevents your spine from rotating during the night. This can take the stress off irritated structures in your back. It is important to consult with a therapist to determine which is the best sleep position for your type of back pain.

Step 4: Hot and cold remedies

Alternating between hot and cold packs can significantly reduce back pain.

Hot compresses increase circulation which allows extra blood flow into the injured area.

Cold compresses can be applied when the pain is acute and to stop spasms.

Your Physiotherapist can recommend the best types of hot or cold remedies for your condition.

Step 5: Get Up!

Sitting for long periods of time is one of the worst things you can do when you have lower back pain. We weren’t designed to sit for prolonged times, so it’s important to get up every 30 minutes to stretch or walk around. This will help improve blood flow to your back. Plus it can even relieve pain.

Check out this swipe post to learn tips for managing lower back pain:

Ending your lower back pain for good

There you have it. 5 simple steps to help you get out of pain. Consult with a therapist and then give these a try today to help you get back to doing the things you love again without the nagging pain.

If you found this helpful then you might be interested in “The Ultimate Guide to Sex With Back Pain”

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to have sex without pain. To download the guide just scroll down.


Also take a look at the video below to see an example of an exercise that may help with your back pain. A Glute Bridge can help strengthen various supporting players for your back like the hamstrings, glutes and transverse abdominis (core muscle). It also works directly to strengthen the lower back.

Here are some great tips to reduce low back issues for pregnancy:


This appointment is your opportunity to tell us what hurts and discover whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care is a good fit for you! During this session, you will talk with a physiotherapist or chiropractor on a phone call (or online) and create the right care plan specifically for your pain. There is no obligation on this session is to find out whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care can help you getting back to doing the things you love in life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Physiotherapy is a type of treatment that helps to improve the movement and function of your joints and muscles. If you have lower back pain, physiotherapy can help to reduce it and get you back to normal mobility. It can also help you to make changes that reduce the chances of hurting your back again.

Yes. Getting enough water intake is great for overall health. When you optimize other aspects of your health, such as sleep, nutrition and stress, it can significantly help your back pain.

It’s important to try to limit sitting for no more than 30 minutes. When you sit you should sit up straight, shoulder back, and legs at 90 degrees. It is OK to stray from this posture, however. Changing postures while sitting can actually be helpful. Depending on your type of low back pain it may also be helpful to place a rolled up towel at the curve of your back.

Medical Disclaimer:

The information presented in this blog post is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, treatment or a diagnosis, consult with a medical professional such as one suggested on this website. The Clinic Accelerator Inc. and the author of this page are not liable for the associated risks of using or acting upon the information contained in this article.

Book Your Free Consult

Or Fill Out This Form & Get A Call Back

By submitting this form you are consenting to receiving appointment reminders, exercise plans, plans of care, and any relevant services from Integra Health Centre and Your email will never be sold and you can unsubscribe at any time.