Understanding Lower Back Pain and Finding the Best Treatment Options

Understanding Lower Back Pain and Finding the Best Treatment Options

Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints that people experience. It’s estimated that about 80% of adults will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. 

While some cases of lower back pain resolve on their own, others will require treatment. In this blog post, we’ll explore some ways to relieve and treat lower back pain.

1.) Exercise

Exercise is an excellent way to relieve lower back pain. When you exercise, you strengthen the muscles that support your spine. Strong muscles help to stabilize your spine, reducing the risk of injury and pain. Some of the best exercises for lower back pain include:

  • Yoga: Yoga is a low-impact exercise that helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your back. It can help to relieve tension and reduce pain.
  • Pilates: Pilates is another low-impact exercise that can help to strengthen your core muscles, including those in your back.
  • Walking: Walking is a low-impact exercise that can help to improve your overall fitness and reduce lower back pain.

Physiotherapists, chiropractors and pilates instructors are all skilled professionals at teaching you the best exercises for both short and long term back pain relief. 

Some pilates instructors have specialised training in rehab or physio-pilates. This advanced training gives them the knowledge and skills needed to work with patients will all types of injuries including lower back pain

2.) Heat and Ice Therapy

Heat and ice therapy are effective ways to reduce lower back pain. While it doesn’t solve the underlying root of your problem that’s causing your pain, it can often give you temporary pain relief when you have an acute injury or a flare up of a chronic injury or condition.

Applying heat can help to increase blood flow to the affected area to promote healing, reduce pain and stiffness. 

Ice therapy, on the other hand, can help to reduce inflammation and numb the area, thereby giving you some lower back pain relief. You can apply heat and ice using a hot or cold compress, a heating pad, or an ice pack.  

You can apply ice or heat 3-4 times a day, just make sure when applying ice that you allow the tissues to return to normal body temperature before re-applying.  

3.) Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is another non-invasive treatment that can help to relieve lower back pain. Physiotherapists are able to provide you  with relief from your back pain AND treat the underlying root of your problem so you can prevent the pain from coming back.

Some conditions that can cause lower back pain that physiotherapists are skilled to treat include back strains, degenerative disc disease or arthritis, bulging or herniated discs, postural back pain, and more.

Physiotherapists know that lower pain CAN be healed, and use exercise, stretching, and other techniques to improve flexibility, strength, and range of motion. Ultimately, physiotherapy can help to reduce lower back pain, improve function, and prevent future injuries. 

Physiotherapists use a variety of treatment techniques including hands-on therapy to release tight muscle and stiff joints, along with specific exercises to improve mobility and strength.  Physiotherapists will provide you with a lot of information about your injury so you understand how to control your pain and prevent it from coming back.

4.) Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is a non-invasive treatment that can help to relieve lower back pain. Chiropractors use spinal manipulation techniques to realign the vertebrae in the spine, reducing pressure on the nerves and improving mobility. Chiropractors often also use soft tissue release techniques to improve mobility, and will incorporate therapeutic exercises as well.

Chiropractic care can also help to improve posture and reduce muscle tension. Your chiropractic can also provide you with education about strategies on how to move in order to minimize any strain on your back. 

5.) Over-the-Counter Pain Medication

Over-the-counter pain medication can help to relieve lower back pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen can help to reduce pain and inflammation. Acetaminophen can also help to relieve pain, but it does not have anti-inflammatory properties.

Speak to your doctor before starting any medication to determine if it is appropriate for your needs. Pain medications shouldn’t be used as the sole or long term treatment option for your lower back pain because it doesn’t address the underlying problem.   

6.) Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can help to relieve lower back pain by increasing blood flow to the affected area and reducing tension in the muscles. Massage therapy can be performed by a registered massage therapist or by using an object like a massage chair or handheld massager.

Unlike a massage chair or handheld massager, a massage therapist can tailor their treatment to alleviate your muscle pain and tenderness, loosen up any stiffness, and promote healing in your lower back. 

7.) Ergonomic Changes

Making ergonomic changes to your workspace and daily activities can help to prevent and relieve lower back pain. For example, using a standing desk, using an ergonomic chair, and taking frequent breaks can help to reduce the strain on your back. 

A chiropractor or physiotherapist can make specific recommendations about lifestyle changes to fit your individual needs.

Pilats for low back pain courtesy of PhysioPlus Health Group (Read the caption)

Find relief for your lower back pain: The benefits of physiotherapy and chiropractic

Physiotherapists and chiropractors are both healthcare professionals that can help to alleviate lower back pain. They use different approaches to treat pain, but both have been proven to be effective.

Physiotherapy is a form of treatment that uses a combination of targeted exercises and stretches to help alleviate pain and improve function. A physiotherapist can work with you to develop an exercise program that targets the specific muscles that are causing your lower back pain. 

Physiotherapists also use other techniques such as manual therapy, soft tissue massage, and electrotherapy to help reduce pain and inflammation, and improve mobility.

One of the most common causes of lower back pain is poor posture. A physiotherapist can help you improve your posture by teaching you exercises that strengthen your core muscles. 

Strengthening your core can help to stabilize your spine and reduce the risk of injury. Physiotherapists can also teach you how to move correctly, which can help to reduce the strain on your lower back.

Another way that physiotherapy can help with lower back pain is by improving your flexibility. Tight muscles can cause pain and reduce mobility, but stretching exercises can help to increase flexibility and reduce pain. A physiotherapist can show you how to stretch properly and safely to get the most benefit from your exercises.

Chiropractors use manual techniques to realign the spine and reduce pressure on the nerves. Chiropractic treatment is based on the principle that the body can heal itself if the spine is in the correct alignment. By manually adjusting the spine, a chiropractor can help to relieve pain, improve function, and promote healing.

Chiropractic treatment is particularly effective for conditions such as herniated discs and sciatica, which can cause severe lower back pain. These conditions are often caused by pressure on the nerves in the lower back, which can be relieved by chiropractic adjustments.

Chiropractors can also help with joint pain and stiffness, which can be caused by arthritis or other conditions. By manipulating the joints, a chiropractor can help to increase mobility and reduce pain.

Both physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment can be used to treat lower back pain, and often a combination of the two can be most effective. A physiotherapist can help to improve your posture, flexibility, and strength, while a chiropractor can help to realign your spine and reduce pressure on the nerves.

If you’re experiencing lower back pain, it is important to seek treatment from a qualified healthcare professional. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating back pain. This is because each person is unique and has different reasons to explain why their back might hurt and the best solution for back pain varies from person to person.

A physiotherapist or chiropractor can help to identify the underlying cause of your pain and develop a personalized treatment plan that is tailored to your needs. They can also provide advice on exercises and stretches that you can do at home to help alleviate your pain.

In conclusion, lower back pain is a common problem that can be caused by a variety of factors. Physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment are both effective ways to treat lower back pain, and often a combination of the two can be most effective. 

By working with a qualified healthcare professional, you can develop a treatment plan that helps to alleviate your pain and improve your function, allowing you to get back to your normal activities.

Osteopathy can help you with your low back pain courtesy of PhysioPlus Health Group (Read the caption)


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

The duration of lower back pain can vary greatly depending on the cause and severity of the pain. In some cases, back pain may resolve on its own within a few days to a week. However, if the pain persists for more than a few weeks or is accompanied by other symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention.

The best position for lower back pain varies depending on the individual and the severity of the pain. Generally, lying on your back with a pillow under your knees can help relieve pressure on the lower back. Alternatively, lying on your side with a pillow between your legs can also provide some relief. However, it’s important to avoid sleeping on your stomach, as this can put additional strain on your back.

Back pain can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from minor muscle strains to serious medical conditions. If you experience any of the following symptoms in conjunction with your back pain, you should seek medical attention immediately:

  • Severe or persistent pain that doesn’t improve with rest or over-the-counter pain medications
  • Numbness or tingling in your arms or legs
  • Difficulty controlling your bladder or bowel movements
  • Fever, chills, or other signs of infection
  • Recent trauma or injury to the back.

About Michelle DeMarchi

Physioplus Health Group Toronto On Physiotherapy Michelle

Michelle has been dedicated to helping individuals improve their health and well being for over 20 years. As a physiotherapist and osteopathic manual practitioner she has successfully helped patients recover from a wide range of injuries including sports injuries, back and neck pain, muscle and ligament injuries, tendonitis, repetitive strain injuries and arthritis. She works with individuals of all ages and activity levels, ranging from competitive and recreational athletes, to those just wanting to become more active. She inspires her patients to take a more active role in their health by providing them with the knowledge, strategies and tools they need to achieve their goals and make positive lifestyle changes. She works closely with a multidisciplinary team of practitioners to provide integrated care that treats the root of the problem.

As founder and director of PhysioPlus Health Group, Michelle has been the driving force behind the development and delivery of innovative treatment programs for Nutrition & Weight Loss, Knee Arthritis, ACL Injury and Injured Runners, as well as an Urgent Sports Injury and Fracture Clinic, Pre/Post Natal Programs and a Therapeutic Pilates and Yoga Program.

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.

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