Nepean Physio Clinic

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Nepean Physio Clinic

844 Nepean Hwy. Hampton East, 3188.

Back Pain?

Those of us with back pain fit into one or more of five clearly definable stages in the process of spinal breakdown. Once we understand where we fit and what is happening to our spines, managing the condition it is made much easier. Here are the five stages. Where do you fit? Call us to start the recovery process.

Stage 1: A stiff spinal segment Healthy disc Stiff disc

Discs in a healthy spine are full of fluid. Long term disc compression leads to decreasing fluid content and causes the disc to stiffen. This stiffness results in a dryer, flatter disc (see illustration). If this is not addressed, adjacent segments can also begin to stiffen. A stiff spinal segment causes vague, non-specific lower back pain.
Stage 2: Facet joint arthropathy

As the disc dries, flattens and begins to lose height, the two facet joints sitting behind the disc begin to rub together. Initially, this causes inflammation and pain around the facet joint surface. Over time, arthritic change develops as the cartilage covering the facet joint surfaces grinds away. This results in a knife like pain localised at a particular point in the spine.

This illustration of a spinal segment shows the middle disc height narrowed and demonstrates how the facet joint surfaces grind against one another resulting in facet joint arthropathy (arthritis) and facet joint pain.

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