Professional Development

Posted on August 30th, 2012

Emma recently attended a two-day APA Sports Level 1 course in Brisbane. Speakers at the course included well-renowned Sports Physician Dr Roy Saunders along with specialist APA Sports Physiotherapists Britt Caling, Nicky Rolls, Laura Schwab, Lindsay Trigar and Anthony Thomas. Between them, the presenters have several years experience working with elite athletes and teams including the Australian Olympic Swimming Team, NRL teams, QLD State of Origin Team, Australian Tennis Team and Australian Women’s Rugby Team, just to name a few.

The speakers covered topics including on field assessment and emergency care, ankle and knee injuries in sport, and shoulder and spinal injuries in sport. There was also a practical component of the course, which included new assessment and treatment techniques, as well as sport specific taping of joints commonly injured on the sports field. Emma found the course to be very enjoyable and is looking forward to building on her knowledge by completing further sports courses in the future.

Low Back Pain

Posted on August 14th, 2012

Low back pain is a condition that affects around 4 in 5 Australians at some point in their life. The back is made up of a series of bones, called vertebrae, which are situated on top of each other to form the spinal column. Spaces between the vertebrae are maintained by intervertebral discs that allow for flexibility in the lower back as well as acting as shock absorbers to cushion the bones as the body moves. Bands of ligaments and tendons hold the bones and discs in place and allow for muscles to attach to the spinal column, helping the body to move in many different ways.

Low back pain can be caused by any one of these components or, as is often the case, a combination of several components. Most low back pain follows a notable injury or trauma, but pain may also be caused by degenerative conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis or disc disease.  Obesity, smoking, weight gain during pregnancy, stress, poor physical condition, inappropriate posture, and poor sleeping position also may contribute to low back pain.

A thorough examination from one of our physiotherapists is usually sufficient to diagnose the cause of low back pain and symptoms often respond well with appropriate physiotherapy. Treatment of acute and sub-acute pain typically involves reducing pain and inflammation, restoring proper function and strength to the back, and preventing recurrence of the injury through exercises to improve core strength and flexibility. Treatment of chronic low back pain is aimed at identifying factors that may be contributing to constant overload of low back structures and in turn implementing strategies to reduce the impact of these factors.  Once strain is reduced and dysfunction resolved, normal movement patterns can be retrained.