Lower Back Pain & Sciatica

Lower Back Pain Treatment in Melbourne

Lower back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work and a leading cause of disability worldwide. Most people have back pain at least once. In many cases, lower back pain gradually improves with home treatment and self-care, usually within two weeks.

However, with significant injuries or poor initial care, a lot of lower back pain becomes chronic (lasting more than 6 weeks) and debilitating. LLLT or PBMT is very effective for resolving both acute and chronic back pain.

At Laser Pain Therapy in Melbourne, we actively manage and provide lower back pain treatment and help alleviate your pain.

What are the causes of Lower Back Pain?

Typically, back pain or lower back pain can develop after a fall, heavy lifting, or lifting or loading the spine while twisting, or after sudden awkward movements. Muscle fatigue, high speeds or poor lifting postures are also common causes.

Inefficient back muscles can lead to poor joint stabilisation and subsequent injury creating an accumulated micro-trauma that overloads your lower back structures over an extended period of time to cause injury and back pain.

The causes of back pain are numerous but roughly fall into either

  • sudden (traumatic) e.g. after a fall, heavy lifting, or lifting or loading the spine while twisting, or after sudden awkward movements. Significant acute lower back pain can result from a herniated disc (slipped disc), back muscle pain, back ligament strain
  • sustained over-stress injuries e.g. from repetitive heavy lifting. In these cases, normally positional stress creates an accumulated micro- trauma that overloadsthe lower back structures over an extended period of time to cause injury and back pain.
  • The spine’s vertebrae can develop compression fractures if the bones become porous and brittle

Muscle or Ligament Injury

A lot of lower back pain is musculoskeletal in origin and is known as non-specific low back pain. Most commonly, these back injuries are caused by muscular strains, spinal ligament sprains and joint dysfunction.

Ligaments are the strong fibrous bands that limit the amount of movement at available at each spinal level. Stretching ligaments too far or too quickly will tear them with subsequent bleeding into the surrounding tissues, causing swelling and pain. Awkward lifting, sports injuries and motor vehicle accidents are very common causes.

Bulging or Herniated or Ruptured Discs

Discs act as cushions between the bones (vertebrae) in your spine. The soft material inside a disc can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve.

Spinal discs are the shock-absorbing while allowing movement at each spinal level, and enough room for the major spinal nerves to exit from the spinal canal and travel to your limbs.

A disc bulge, commonly referred to as slipped disc or herniated disc, can potentially press against or irritate the nerve where it exits from the spine. This nerve pinch can cause back pain, spasms, cramping, numbness, pins and needles, or pain into your legs.

Repeated micro-trauma over an extended period can lead to disc injury. Over time, this leads to poor disc integrity and displacement of the disc nucleus fluid posteriorly.

Sudden unexpected load to the intervertebral discs can also occur in traumatic situations, for example, in a motor vehicle accident. This may happen due to the nature of the sudden forces exerted through your body at the time of impact and your bodies attempt to repel those forces resulting in tearing of the annulus fibres and hence a disc injury.

Bulging Disc Symptoms

A bulging disc injury is suspected when your back pain is aggravated by:

  • sitting
  • forward bending
  • coughing or sneezing
  • lifting

Sciatica or leg pain with or without, pins and needles, numbness or weakness may be associated with more severe disc pathologies.

Altered bladder and bowel function can indicate a severe disc pathology, which should prompt immediate medical assessment.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica describes pain in the leg felt along the course of the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back, down through the buttock, hamstrings and into the lower leg. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. The spinal sections it originates from include L4, L5 or S1.

Pressure on or irritation of the sciatic nerve from a herniated disc and surrounding inflammation, muscle spasm and related muscle and ligament micro-trauma usually causes sciatica.

In addition, inflammation from soft tissue damage around the joints of the spine, and also compression of the nerve from bony arthritic growths can commonly cause sciatica.


Back muscle pain symptoms may range from a mild ache to sudden debilitating back pain.

  • Localised back pain, with no radiation into your buttock or leg
  • Back muscle tenderness and/or spasm.
  • Protective back stiffness
  • Sciatica – leg pain with or without pins and needles, numbness or weakness


Medical history and symptoms are discussed in detail and then a physical assessment is conducted by a doctor to diagnose the cause of back pain. Imaging with a  CT scan or MRI may assist in the diagnosis of the cause of back pain. 

Lower Back Pain Treatment

Traditional treatment of low back pain usually involves the use of pain relieving medication or analgesia. Medication such as paracetamol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, or stronger opioid analgesia are often prescribed. Muscle relaxant medication may also be prescribed.

Analgesia is used to reduce pain and suffering but does not influence the active healing or recovery phase. Such medications can also do more harm than good and recent evidence indicates their benefits are very limited.

It is recommended to rest from aggravating activities or movements yet remain mobile.

One cannot exercise away acute or chronic low back pain. In fact, stretching and loading exercises can often exacerbate chronic low back pain and should be avoided.

Neither can inflamed and damaged tissues of the spine and support structures be massaged into repair. Massaging damaged and inflamed soft tissues can often further irritate and aggravate tissue injury, or at best achieve little when the damage is several centimetres deep and beyond the reach of the massaging hand, or topical anti-inflammatory agents which just don’t reach their target.

Low Level Laser Therapy essentially helps reduce excessive inflammation, which is part of the body’ healing response but leads to muscle spasm and poor blood flow to structures of the lower back area leading to chronic pain.

Through Low Level Laser Therapy (LLTT), red and near infrared light is applied over injuries to stimulate your body’s own natural healing response. LLLT is completely safe, highly effective and scientifically proven to actively treat lower back pain to alleviate pain and restore function.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information and we would be happy to explain the process in more detail.

To see how Low Level Laser Therapy can help your lower back pain today,  contact us for more information or to make an appointment.

South Yarra, Victoria
Suite 8, 200 Toorak Road
(Ground floor from William St)
South Yarra, Vic 3141
Ph: 03 8529 2225
Email us:

Map Location

Train: South Yarra Station, 100m, 1 minute walk
Tram: Route 58, stop  no. 127

Easy off-street free parking:
If driving you will find many free 1P and 2P spots on and around Toorak Rd near the clinic.

Our Mission

We are dedicated to helping our patients with the most technically advanced, proven and affordable medical therapies. Our treatment modalities offer evidence-based, safe, non-invasive and painless solutions to improve health, well-being and quality of life.


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