Physiotherapy for spinal conditions

Physiotherapy for spinal conditions

Physiotherapy forms the principle treatment for most spinal conditions. In simple degenerative problems (arthritic joints, slipped discs, muscle sprains/ strains, back spasms) the initial treatment involves resting for no more than 48 hours with adequate pain relief. This is followed by gentle mobilisation. If this fails to settle then self-referral to a community MSK physiotherapy team is indicated.

After surgery general physiotherapy advice can be divided into 2 phases.

Early rehab:

  • gentle mobilisation – lots of walking
  • home exercise programme (‘nerve flossing’)
  • postural techniques
  • self-managed phased return to work, driving, day to day household activity
  • avoid prolonged sitting/standing
  • avoid heavy lifting
  • avoid long car/train journeys
  • avoid flights for the first 1 month

Long term spinal care:

  • core stability exercise (yoga, pilates)
  • weight management
  • mixed impact exercise regime (more low – swimming, cycling; less high – running, crossfit)
  • avoid heavy lifting
  • avoid prolonged sitting
  • frequent break on long journeys
  • maintain postural techniques (including at work – lumbar support chairs, standing desk)