The human spine is exposed to many variable forces. These include compression, rotation, sheering and tension; consequently the spine is susceptible to tissue irritation and damage. For most the terms Sciatica, slipped disc and trapped nerve are common, but conditions such as facet joint irritation are seldom mentioned. Yet the facet joints in the spine and their surrounding ligaments and joint capsules are a common source of pain. Pain that will also radiate down the individuals leg and pain that often disturbs sleep. Direct irritation to nerves is still a large problem, but ‘real’ nerve root compression is not as common as facet joint irritation.
As long as the person does not have a loss of function, for example all muscles in the legs can be tensed and the person has bladder and bowel control, then it is unlikely that any escalation of care is needed. The need for spinal surgery remains low amongst the general population.
However back pain is very common, affecting nearly 80% of the UK population. Consequently, the most effective treatments focus around exercises to maintain muscle support, changes to posture and modification of activities. If an individual continues to lift with a flexed spine then the tissue will continue to be irritated. A change has to be made.
The exercises in this section are linked to different spinal pathology’s. Care needs to be taken at all times to ensure technique is maintained and that your compliance to exercises does not make matters worse. If there is any doubt about your problem please consultant your health care professional.