Lumbopelvic Pain and Complaints

By Sydney CBD Osteopath Dr Abbey Davidson

The lumbopelvic region is made up of the lumbar spine or low back and the pelvis. Pain in this region is very common, with 70-80% of people encountering it at least once in their lifetime. This pain can be caused by trauma, ageing, genetics, obesity, pregnancy, overuse, underuse (sedentary lifestyle) and unknown causes

Lumbopelvic pain can have huge impacts on your daily activities, including quality of life, productivity and employment. However, there are ways to prevent and decrease the amount of pain you experience in this region, such as maintaining a healthy weight, general exercise, avoiding smoking, learning correct lifting posture and stretching.


What are the common causes of Lumbopelvic Pain?


What are the common structures which contribute to lumbopelvic pain?The lumbopelvic region is made up of the lumbar spine or low back and the pelvis

  • Muscles
  • Joints
  • Discs
  • Nerves
  • Ligaments
  • Tendons
  • Organs


What you can do to help yourself with Lumbopelvic pain?

With traumatic or acute lumbopelvic complaints, ice application is generally recommended. When applying ice, you should avoid direct contact with your skin by wrapping a towel around the icepack and then applying this to the region for no longer than 20 minutes at a time. With longer standing pain (48 hours or more), heat pack application can be of benefit, as this will encourage blood flow to the region to stimulate repair of tissues and induce muscle relaxation. Topical anti-inflammatory creams may also be useful in some circumstances, and a health professional can provide you with more advice in an appointment.

Stretching can be useful for increasing back mobility and decreasing painGenerally, bed rest is not recommended in lumbopelvic complaints, however active rest, where you are encouraged to go about your normal activities but avoid the specific activities which are aggravating of your pain (e.g. heavy lifting, running, bending over), is useful . Your therapist can spend time educating you on what activities and exercise are appropriate for you and may incorporate specific stretches/exercises into your at-home management of the complaint.

General aerobic exercise can help improve your low back mobility, modulate pain levels and assist in the maintenance of a healthy weight range which can further reduce pressure on the lumbopelvic region.


For more information on some stretches that can be useful for lower back and lumbopelvic pain, watch the following video by Sydney CBD Osteopath Dr Abbey Davidson, or click here.



When should you seek professional help for your Lumbopelvic Pain?

You should consider seeing a health professional, such as physiotherapist, osteopath or chiropractor, if you are experiencing one or multiple of the following:

  • Progressively worsening symptoms
  • Interrupted sleep due to symptoms
  • Reduced range of motion impacting ability to perform normal activities
  • Pins, needles, tingles or weakness in the lower limb
  • Bowel or bladder changes


What can a health practitioner do to help with your Lumbopelvic Pain?

In your appointment, your health professional will ask you a series of questions to narrow down the conditions you could be suffering from. This will be followed by assessment of the region which will involve the use of provocative testing to establish with structure is causing your symptoms. The biomechanics of lower limb and trunk will also be assessed so that the prescription of rehabilitation exercises for stability and movement control are accurate.

Hands on therapy will involve an application of a range of techniques in and around the symptomatic region. These will aim to decrease muscular tension, improve lumbopelvic mobility and resolve restriction.


For more information on Lumbopelvic conditions, click on the following conditions below:


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