In Part 2 of PerformancePro’s latest Physio and Rehab series, we focus on lower back pain and how to fix it properly.
Alex first visited our partners at Oxford Circus Physiotherapy (OCP) after a recommendation from another patient. He had been suffering with low level pack pain for years, but it had progressively worsened over a period of six months.
Alex reached a point where he couldn’t even tie his shoe laces, exercise or stand for any length of time. He was experiencing pain down the back of his left glutes and the back of his left leg. This was sometimes very acute. His only relief was to lie down so his day to day, work and family life were all starting to prove a real challenge.
The initial assessment from the clinical team at OCP indicated degenerative discs (possibly at L4 and L5), with the high likelihood of a posterior disc bulge. This initial assessment was subsequently confirmed through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
From there, the OCP team were able to bring Alex’s acute lower back pain symptoms under control relatively quickly through the correct exercise prescription, massage and manipulation. At this stage, Alex also used some painkillers to help control the pain. This enabled him to complete the necessary initial rehab and get things under control.
After several weeks, Alex was ready to take his recovery to the next stage. It was at this point he started with the team at PerformancePro.
Alex was paired with Dan, one of our Strength and Conditioning Coaches, who explained how it would all work. Understandably, Alex was quite nervous,
“Initially I was very nervous about starting in the gym, it just didn’t seem possible knowing the lower back pain I had felt. Lifting weights just seem counter intuitive given the pain I had been in. But, Dan explained we would be starting with some very low level exercise aimed at building endurance within my trunk and core. It was reassuring that he also highlighted that we would build slowly.”
When suffering with the lower back pain and issues Alex was encountering, the primary aim is to get stronger, helping to improve spinal posture, thus unload the affected disc and therefore reduce pain. Years of sitting at a desk often plays a large role in poor and weak posture.
“Dan taught me to follow a particular protocol. It was quite simple but very focused on perfect postural form and a build of volume and intensity. From the very first session, things felt different, it felt as though I was gaining control of my core and trunk.”
Following this initial phase of lower level floor work, Alex started to learn how to pick up weights using good form. This allowed him to load the structures of his back more and subsequently improve his strength.
“Once I started to pick up weights correctly and without pain, my confidence came back. I haven’t really looked back since!”
Through carefully structured training and consistent progression, we’re delighted to confirm that Alex is now generally pain free,
“The teams at OCP and PerformancePro have been fantastic. They’ve helped me deliver a result I didn’t think was possible! They have explained that the degeneration is there to stay BUT by exercising correctly and staying strong in my trunk and core, I have learnt to manage the issues to a point that I don’t notice any lower back pain day to day.”
Alex now trains with the team at PerformancePro regularly and has also taken up swimming.
PerformancePro’s approach to physio and rehab is informed by science, the breadth and depth of the team’s personal experience and the trusted working relationship forged with Oxford Circus Physiotherapy.
‘It’s very simple!’ says PerformancePro director, Dan Boulle. ‘We literally work side by side with the OCP clinical physio team. We share the same gym space, we educate together. If a problem arises we can literally walk the client off the gym floor into a physio’s room. This all helps to create a symbiotic relationship whilst providing a seamless service to our clients.’
If you’re recovering from surgery, an injury or simply dealing with everyday aches affecting your quality of life, we can help.