How Physiotherapy Can Help With Your Back Pain

Back pain affects 85% of the population at some point throughout their lives. It is the most common musculoskeletal issue experienced by those under the age of 45, and the most expensive health care problem for those aged between 20 and 50 years.

But, did you know that only 1-2% of back pain has an identifiable cause that is shown on X-Ray or MRI findings – these include fractures, tumours and nerve root compressions. There is nothing ‘out of place’, or ‘out of alignment’. Discs don’t slip. Your back is not a fragile thing that needs to be wrapped it cotton wool.

So, what causes back pain?

Most commonly, a series of muscle imbalances – tight muscles and weak muscles – that occurs through a lack of movement variety.

Addressing these factors is how your physiotherapist can identify the cause of your back pain and prescribe you a series of exercises aimed to address this pain and stop it from recurring.

The physiotherapists at Move Physiotherapy have years of experience in treating back pain. We offer longer initial assessments in order to provide a comprehensive assessment, clear diagnosis and detailed treatment plan to get you out of your pain and back to the activities you love the most in the quickest timeframe.

To book your appointment, follow the link here or at the top of the page to our Book Online page. Alternatively, you can call the clinic of 08 6113 8062.


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The above flowchart is a basic guide for self-diagnosing your lower back pain. Please click on the picture to expand the image.

Based on the mechanism and history behind your lower back pain it aims to provide you with an insight into your potential diagnosis. However, please note that this is by no means an exhaustive list of pathologies that can result in low back pain. This flowchart is simply a guide on the most common causes of short term lower back pain, such as discogenic pain, facet joint sprains and muscle strains. It also outlines common causes of sciatica including nerve root irritations and piriformis syndrome.

It is important that if you are experiencing neurological symptoms that are extending into both legs (e.g. pins and needles, numbness, weakness) that you consult a physiotherapist or medical practitioner immediately as this may be a sign of a more sinister pathology.

If you are experiencing recurrent pain it is important to get this assessed by your physiotherapist. Minor incidents of pain should be treated as a warning sign of a potentially more significant event.

Also bear in mind, that if you are dealing with chronic/long term lower back pain, we need to shift our focus towards ‘why’ structures in your back are becoming overloaded/tight/painful. With more chronic conditions, our treatment will be aimed towards appropriate exercise rehabilitation to strengthen muscles (e.g. core or glutes) which will reduce the strain being placed onto your lower back.

Move Physiotherapy Fremantle are your experts in back pain physiotherapy. Click the link at the top of the page or follow the link here to book your appointment online.

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Your physiotherapist will combine techniques such as joint mobilisation and manipulation, in conjunction with soft tissue therapies such as massage and dry needling. You will also be given a series of stretches and exercises to be completed at home in order to get you pain free as quickly as possible. Click the image above to read more about our physiotherapy service. 

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Massage is highly effective in eliminating muscular trigger points and relieving lower back pain. Click on the image and follow the link for more information about our massage service. 

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Move Physiotherapy are your experts in Dry Needling treatment, and commonly include this method of treatment in their physiotherapy sessions. Click on the image above, or follow the link for more information about our dry needling treatments. 


Do I Need a Referral From My GP?


Your physiotherapist is a first contact practitioner. Furthermore, in many instances your GP will simply recommend that you receive physiotherapy treatment for your back pain. However, your GP can assist treatment if you require additional pain relief for your back pain.

Your physiotherapist can advise you whether attending your GP is appropriate, especially in instances where imaging studies (e.g. MRIs or CT scans) need to be taken.

Especially in instances where your pain is simply experienced in just the lower back with no referral of pain, pins and needles, numbness or weakness, we recommend that you simply book in for a physiotherapy assessment of your back pain.

Are There Instances Where I Should Go To a Doctor/Hospital?


In instances where you are experiencing pins and needles into both legs at the same time, weakness affecting both legs at the same time and constant pain with no changes in pain intensity regardless of your activity, we recommend that you consult with your GP.

In these instances, imaging studies such as X-Rays, MRIs or CT Scans are generally taken prior to commencing treatment.

I Have a Disc Bulge. Should I Be Worried?

Disc bulges are common!

Infact, a lot of the findings which are shown on imaging studies are not necessarily correlated with pain whatsoever. Take for example the following degenerative changes that are seen on completely asymptomatic subjects:

Back Pain Physiotherapy | Move Physiotherapy FremantleThis study shows that 50% of the population above the age of 40 have a disc bulge, yet experience no pain whatsoever!

Imaging studies can actually demonstrate a number of red herrings. For this reason, we can not simply look at a scan and know exactly the source of your pain. Your physiotherapist will always perform a comprehensive assessment in conjunction with looking at your scans to determine whether your disc bulge is the source of your pain.

Why Should I Get My Back Pain Treated at Move Physiotherapy?

At Move Physiotherapy Fremantle, we consider ourselves to be experts in Back Pain Physiotherapy.

We spend longer with you during your first appointment in order to comprehensively assess not only the source of your back pain but also the contributing factors underlying your injury.

We also take the time to understand how your injury is impacting you, and work with you to formulate a plan to get you from pain and injury back to performing at your peak.

Our first appointment always includes treatment, whether this be joint mobilisation, massage, dry needling or simply advice.


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General Physiotherapy

General physiotherapy for chronic and acute conditions.


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Dry Needling

Acupuncture needles applied directly to muscular trigger points to reduce muscle tone and improve blood flow.


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Exercise Rehabilitation

Individually tailored and supervised exercises utilising our fully equipped gym, to help you get moving again after injury or surgery.


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Sports Physiotherapy

Our physiotherapists have experience in a range of sports including Australian Rules Football, Gridiron, Netball and Basketball.


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Massage Therapy

Utilising a range of techniques to improve circulation, blood flow, reduce muscle tension and improve joint mobility.


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Physiotherapy After A Car Accident

Read our guide to making a claim and commencing treatment as quickly as possible.