Your Local Physio in Parramatta
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12 Ada St, Harris Park 2150
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0479 080 800
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Do I need a scan for my lower back?

If you have ever experienced back pain in the past, either an acute episode or a long term issue, the question, ‘do I need a scan?‘ has probably crossed your mind.

The answer: PROBABLY NOT.

Contrary to popular belief, scans of the lower back, such as X-ray, CT or MRI, have been shown to have little to no correlation to an acute lower back pain.

A study by Matsumoto (1) in 2013 found 78% of asymptomatic volunteers with an average age of 48 had some sort of disc derangement on imaging. This study suggests that disc bulges, protrusions and narrowing of the disc space can be a normal, age-related finding.

The current recommendations from CHOOSING WISELY (2) for scans of the lower back are to trial a period of treatment, combining hands on therapy and exercise over the course of a month or so to assess the progress of your back pain.

If you are experiencing no change, progressive neurological change or a worsening of your symptoms, then your medical professional can guide you to what scan is most appropriate.

The majority of people who get a scan don’t need one in the acute setting and of those people, a large number of them will have a finding that is NOT relevant to their pain.

When should you wait to get a scan?

If you have woken up with a sore back
If you have developed a pain that comes on with movement and eases with rest
If you have no history of trauma
If you have mild numbness or tingles down the leg (with no other neurological sign)
When do you ACTUALLY need a scan? (2)
In an acute setting:

If you are experiencing signs of spinal cord compression
If you have numbness and issues related to toileting
Progressive neurological deficit at multiple levels of the body
Weakness and unco-ordination of the arms and legs
A history of cancer and an acute onset of back pain (especially if it is not related to movement)
A history of significant trauma to the back, especially after a course of corticosteroids

If you are having back pain, contact Physiotherapy Professionals Parramatta today on 02 8006 9111 or via email on [email protected].

Increase Your Bone Strength

Increase Your Bone Strength – Physiotherapy Parramatta

In order to learn how to increase bone strength, we must first understand what our bones are. Bones are living tissues, and the body is constantly replacing old bone with new bone. As we get older, our bodies don’t replace new bone quick enough, which makes our bones weaker.

There are two important things that we should remember when it comes to increasing our bone strength.

1. Weight-bearing exercise

Weight-bearing exercise simply means any kind of exercise that requires us to be on our feet. This means that sitting or lying down for long periods of time is not good for our bones.

The less weight bearing exercise we do, the weaker our bones get.

This is similar to what happens to astronauts when they come back from space. The strength of their bones is significantly lower and they can end up with osteoporosis, which basically means brittle bones.

2. Good nutrition

When it comes to good nutrition there are two vital minerals we need to help build strong bones. They are Calcium and Vitamin D. One cannot go without the other.

Basically without Vitamin D, our body will not absorb calcium well. And we need calcium to build strong bones.

As a simple starting point, you can get calcium from milk and vitamin D from the sun, but it is always good to get your calcium and vitamin D levels checked by your local doctor.