Back pain

Back and neck pain – what causes it?

Back and neck pain - Central City PhysiotherapyYour head is heavy and balanced on a narrow support made up of seven bones called vertebrae.  The vertebrae are separated from each other by discs stabilised by joints and ligaments and moved by muscles.  Because the neck is so mobile it is easily damaged.  Injury and postural problems are the most common causes of neck pain.  Diseases such as arthritis or degeneration of the discs can also cause pain. A disorder of the neck joints or muscles can cause referral pain to your head, shoulders, arms and upper back.

Preventing back pain

Here is some useful advice to help you prevent back pain.


With your feet shoulder-width apart, bend at the hips and knee.  Grip the load firmly and hold it close to your body, tighten your stomach muscles and use the strong muscles of your legs to lift.  Keep your back as straight as possible.  Avoid twisting – turn by using your feet, not your back.


Don’t stay seated for too long – stand up, stretch and walk around.  The right back support will also help.


Good support from your car seat will prevent back pain.  If you need more lower back support, use a lumbar roll or a rolled-up towel.

How physiotherapists can help

    • Mobilisation/manipulative physiotherapy
    • McKenzie therapy
    • Specific stabilisation exercises
    • General exercises
    • Traction
    • Ergonomic advice   

Ongoing ‘maintenance treatments’ should not be required once your back has been successfully treated by a physiotherapist.  If severe pain persists. other causes will need to be investigated.  Your physiotherapist can order x-rays or refer you to see a doctor or specialist.

Specialist training

Becoming a manipulative physiotherapist involves specialist postgraduate study in the treatment of back and join pain. This is in addition to the four years of university training completed by all physiotherapists.

Being a manipulative physiotherapist means keeping up-to-date with the latest research and maintaining high-level clinical expertise through a compulsory continuing education scheme. This ensures that you get the best possible quality of care

If you have back pain, we can help

If your back hurts, don’t ignore the pain and push on regardless. Taking painkillers will dull the ‘pain messages’ and you may cause more damage without realising it. Bed rest is not the answer, either. Research shows that bed rest only helps during the first 24 hours after injury. Early treatment from a manipulative physiotherapist is the best way to quickly reduce your pain

Why it hurts

Back pain - Central City PhysiotherapyBack pain has many causes—accidents and injuries, arthritis, spinal problems, poor posture and so on. Pain is usually caused by more than one factor and may build up over time, until a minor incident triggers a major problem.

How we can help

Manipulative physiotherapy is a proven method of treating and curing back pain. Your present pain levels will be reduced and we’ll show you how to prevent the problem returning. Ongoing ‘maintenance treatments’ shouldn’t be required once your back has been successfully treated.

There is no standard solution to back pain, because the problem is as individual as you are. For example, spinal manipulation will be the best treatment for some problems. In other circumstances, manipulation could do more harm than good.

We have the training to correctly assess your problem and implement the safest, most effective treatment from a wide range of proven therapies.

    • spinal manipulation and mobilisation
    • laser, ultrasound, electrotherapy and heat treatment
    • traction
    • muscle therapy
    • therapeutic exercise
    • injury prevention strategies

Proven benefits

Numerous research studies clearly demonstrate the benefits of manipulative physiotherapy. Independent research shows that most Australians consider that physiotherapists are more effective in curing back pain than acupuncturists, chiropractors or general practitioners.

Almost all Australian doctors refer patients with back pain to physiotherapists in preference to other health practitioners. In our public and private hospitals, physiotherapists are employed as the treatment experts for back pain.