Lower Back Pain

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In 2017-18, 4 million Australian’s reported having back pain!

That means a massive 70-90% of us will have lower back pain it in our lifetime!

To help you understand Lower back pain better, we explain:


Treatment options


How Chiropractic care can help

Causes of lower back pain

The most common causes of lower back pain can be broken down into 2 categories: Mechanical & Non-mechanical.

Mechanical causes are the most common & make up 95-98% of lower back pain causes.

Mechanical causes can also consist of ‘Traumatic’ events.

These occur less commonly, and a caused by a specific event such as:

– Sports Injury

– Car Crash (Whiplash), 

– Falls or Other Accidents

It can damage any of the structures listed above: Muscles, joints, discs or nerves (Usually a combination), and Bones (E.g. Fractures).

Most of these causes are immediately identified due to the Emergency type situation.

Non-mechanical causes occur far less commonly than mechanical causes. Some can occur genetically & with unknown reasons.

They can be classified as skeletal irregularities: Scoliosis (curvature of the spine) and congenital (at birth) abnormalities of the spine.

Mechanical causes can start from 2 main things:

Doing too little (E.g. Sitting at the desk all day, or not enough exercise)

Doing too much (E.g. Lifted too much/too heavy or worked too long – exhausted their body)

As a result of these two mechanisms, certain structures can become inflamed and cause Lower back pain.

These can include:

– Muscles

– Joints

– Discs

– Nerves

Lower back pain


Muscles can be strained in 3 stages: Mild, Moderate and Severe.

It usually involves one of 3 muscles:

1. Lower Back muscles called the “QL’s” which are next to your spine, just above the base of your spine.

2. Gluteal or Buttock muscles

3. Abdominal (Ab) muscles – supporting the front and sides of your Lower Back.


The joints of your spine are called ‘FACET’ joints.

When you have Lower Back pain, this is the area that most commonly becomes inflamed.

They can “sprain” – the ligaments and other soft tissues that support the joint can get stretched, then inflamed (usually painful too)

That then stops the joints from moving & feeling their best. 

Think of a time you had Lower Back pain and found it hard to twist or roll out of bed  – this is because the joints don’t have their full range of movement.


Disc problems actually occur less commonly than muscle/joint sprains & strains!

Healthy discs act as ‘shock absorbers’ in between your spinal bones (vertebrae).

As a normal process of ageing, they can degenerate or wear. This can also occur with repetitive micro (small) traumas such as lifting & bending (inappropriately). Normal bending does not damage your spine.

They can “bulge” or push out and irritate other structures such as nerves.


Nerves can be irritated in a number of different ways.

Radiculopathy is the most common and affects the nerve root (base of the nerve) close to the spine.

This can result in:

1. Pain

2. Pins & needles

3. Numbness


The 2 main causes can be:

1.  A disc bulge, or 

2. Stenosis of the spine (the gap where the nerve comes out is reduced and puts extra pressure on the nerve)

 The most well known nerve compression is ‘Sciatica’. It is the large nerve that travels from the lower back, through the Gluteal muscles (buttocks) and travels down the back of the leg. 

It is described as a “lightning bolt” pain down the leg to the foot and can have pins & needles, numbness or weakness – or a combination. 

Should I see a Chiropractor, Physiotherapist or Osteopath?

treatment options

At the Fremantle Chiropractor, we use a range of different techniques to assist in Lower Back Pain symptoms. 

The aim of our treatment is to prevent the pain from coming back! This is why we give a combination of ‘hands on’ care & as well as things to prevent it returning like exercises.

Treatment techniques can include: 

Chiropractic “adjustments” (manipulation/mobilisations) – for the spinal joints & extremities (limbs)

Muscle release (Trigger point therapy, Vibration massage)

– Pelvic Bio-mechanical blocks/wedges

Exercises: rehabilitation/stretches/strengthening

Home advice: Sleeping, posture, habits, exercise

Work advice: Desk/workplace setup, habits, stretches

A combination of these treatments will give you the best chance in firstly getting relief of symptoms, but also preventing it from coming back.

Prvention of lower back pain

The best way to prevent Lower back pain is to add Strengthening exercises into your recovery.

This can start with gentle at home exercises and progress into adding weight or attending the gym/starting Pilates, etc.

What exercise you start depends on what you are already doing. Some people are already at the gym so just have to modify what they are doing and slowly return to their normal level.

Lower back pain
Lower back pain

How chiropractic care can help

Chiropractors are 5-year University trained professionals, dealing with Musculoskeletal (joints, muscles, bones) issues.

Lower Back Pain is the most common complaint that presents to Chiropractic clinics. 

They are trained in examining and diagnosing issues in the spine (neck/back) & extremities (limbs). 

They are also trained in referring to a different Health Practitioner if something more serious is suspected or a different Practitioner is better trained at that particular issue.

The Chiropractic examination involves:

  • Taking your full Health & Medical History.
  • Performing an examination of your joints, muscles & nerves.
  • Diagnosing your issue
  • Giving treatment
  • Giving exercises, recommendations & advice to prevent it returning

The type of treatment, how many visits you may need and the exercises you are given are specific to your particular issues and how you present to the clinic.

If you would like any more information on your specific case: Contact us below.

find an appointment

Location of Chiro & Co.

Our Community - Hilton & Fremantle

Our Chiropractic Clinic is based out of Hilton, (a suburb of Fremantle) Western Australia. Hilton is a vibrant town approximately 5 minutes from Fremantle City and the beautiful beaches of Fremantle & South Fremantle. 

It has a population of over 3000 and is bordered by the suburbs of O’Connor, White Gum Valley, Beaconsfield, Hamilton Hill, Coolbellup & Samson.

It prides its self on being a community based town with environmental & sustainable approaches, which is why it is a great suburb to be apart of!

It has a range of different facilities & businesses ranging from high quality gyms, exercises centres, eateries, cafes, community gardens, retail & health care business. 

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