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Lower Back Injury

Physio Report by Jane Hodgson

Cause of injury:

Ann is a fit and active lady in her late fifties. Whilst on a backpacking trip in May 2009, she started to suffer from severe back and sciatic pain.

The most likely trigger for her sudden onset of pain was due to a combination of sitting on a long haul flight from Britain and lifting a heavy rucksack.

After a number of days backpacking, she was unable to move or sit without severe pain.

Advice and treatment:

As she was on holiday in an unfamiliar place, the normal avenues of private or state physiotherapy were more difficult to access, but the place she was staying had internet access thus allowing her to contact Physiobench for advice.

A specific range of exercises were provided that could be done in the limited confines of a tent or hostel room. In addition, advice was added about measures that could be taken to ease the pain, still travel, but prevent any lasting damage.


Within a couple of days of starting the exercises, the pain had started to settle enough for Ann to be able to resume with her backpacking holiday.

Throughout the remainder of the trip, Ann continued to do her exercises as much as possible and on return from holiday, she activated a follow up assessment with Physiobench, in which she was given a programme of exercises to strengthen appropriate muscles to help prevent future recurrences.

Ann made a full recovery and has returned to work and all her normal sporting activities. She continues to do some core stability work from her follow up programme on an occasional basis to prevent a recurrence of the problem.

Client feedback:

"It was horrendous to suddenly be in a position where it looked like my long planned holiday was in ruins. The fact that this happened to me in a foreign country where I didn't know where to turn for help made matters even worse.

To get an immediate response from Physiobench which was full of reassurance and positive things that I could be doing was literally a lifeline - thanks again"

Patient confidentiality:

The patients name in the above case study has been changed to protect their identity and they have given permission for their story to be used to illustrate the work done by Physiobench.

We operate under the strict standards of confidentiality as laid out by the professional standards of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the Health Professions council.

As such, no personal details will ever be disclosed by Physiobench to any other party. For more information, please see our privacy policy »

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