With some people sitting up to eight hours a day at their desk, it’s no surprise that lower back pain is one of the most common work-related injuries.

To help you understand what causes, and-in turn prevent lower back pain, we’ve asked our Physiotherapists to provide some information regarding this common workplace injury.

What Causes Lower Back Pain

Every month, 23% of the population experience some form of lower back pain. The upside of this alarming statistic is that 90% of these lower back complaints are what’s termed non-specific; a local segment in the back has suffered a minor strain or sprain. This essentially means that there is no significant structural cause for your pain.

In the early stages, your pain complaint is likely to be acute lower back pain. This is short-term pain and tends to be associated with some degree of damage to the body structures. The bodies’ amazing healing capacity means that management of keeping active, gentle stretches and the use of simple medications will usually see a steady reduction in pain and the full recovery of function.

However occasionally after an injury, the body may subconsciously adopt different movement strategies and hold itself differently. This can lead to mal-adaptive lower back pain. These faulty movement patterns can sensitise other structures and inhibit recovery of the injured tissue. Your Physiotherapist is highly skilled to identify and correct these faulty movement patterns and get you onto the road to recovery.

In rare cases of persistant lower back pain lasting months or even years, factors including poor general health, mental health complications, poor pain coping behaviours and nervous system changes may continue to drive ongoing lower back pain. This is a more complicated presentation which requires a different management strategy.

Early Physiotherapy review is therefore crucial to rule out any significant cause for your pain so that you can commence the appropriate management for your individual lower back complaint and get on the road to a speedy recovery.

To download the fact sheet, click the link at the bottom of this page.

Lower Back Pain Explained Fact Sheet

1. Hoy D, Bain C, Williams G, March L, Brooks P, Blyth F, et al. (2012).A systematic review of the global prevalence of low back pain. Arthritis and Rheumatism, 64(6), 2028–37.
2. Koes, B. W., Van Tulder, M. W., & Thomas, S. (2006). Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 332(7555), 1430.
3. O'Sullivan, P. (2005). “Diagnosis and classification of chronic low back pain disorders: Maladaptive movement and motor control impairments as underlying mechanism.” Manual Therapy 10: 242-255.
4. Chou, R., & Shekelle, P. (2010). Will this patient develop persistent disabling low back pain? Jama, 303(13), 1295-1302.

Richard Ingram

Richard is a Physiotherapist practicing out of the Sonic HealthPlus Osborne Park Medical Centre. Having practiced his whole career in the occupational physiotherapy field, Richard has developed an in-depth understanding of the unique physical demands a workforce is exposed to.

Read full bio
Mr Avinash Jeyabalan

Avi is a practicing Physiotherapist at the Sonic HealthPlus Osborne Park Medical Centre. Avi is passionate about all elements of his work, in particular the management of spinal pain and persistent pain conditions within the Worker’s Compensation System. Avi has worked with state football and soccer clubs, but has a strong interest across all sports and sport related injuries. Avi is currently completing a Masters Degree in Clinical Physiotherapy at Curtin University.

Read full bio
More from this category