Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy for Spinal Conditions

Total Health Physio & Allied Health is able to treat specific spinal disorders, provide rehabilitation plans post-spinal-surgery as well as treat general spinal symptoms and disorders from disability and aging.

Back pain affects about 80% of people at some point and according to the World Health Organisation, it’s the leading cause of disability and missed workdays.

We have clinical experience with scoliosis, lumbar spinal stenosis, canal stenosis, spina bifida, spinal arthritis, degenerative disc disease and most other common spinal disorders.

Mobile Clinicians Accross Melbourne

What is Back Pain Caused From?

Problems in the spine can be caused by:

  • Disc degeneration
  • Injury
  • Infections
  • Loss of blood supply
  • Compression by fracture, bone or tumour

It must be noted that about 85% of chronic back pain is described by doctors as “non-specific” meaning there is no precise cause. In a comprehensive review of 89 studies published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, a team of scientists looked at a range of popular therapies for lower back pain.

What worked best, they found, was exercise! This is Total Health Physio’s area of expertise and we pride ourselves on the ability to get our patients with back pain active and moving.


Physiotherapy for Spinal Conditions

Our compassionate Physiotherapists will attend the patient’s home and conduct an initial assessment of

  • Function
  • Strength
  • Reflexes
  • Range of motion
  • Goals and purpose of engaging Total Health Physio

In terms of spinal cord disorders, we usually focus on exercise and core strength. This is because we want to improve the strength of the core muscles to help stabilise the muscles around the spinal cord.

We also aim to reduce the amount of pressure on the nerves that can cause sciatica, cause other sensory changes and/or muscle weakness.

Our caring Physiotherapists assess the individual to identify their deficiencies and main complaints. We would then perform an individualised rehabilitation and exercise plan to improve the respective spinal problems!

OT For Spinal Disorders

Our caring Occupational Therapists primarily help patients with spinal conditions by optimising their movement, their environment and prescribing assistive equipment to help them become more independent!

We may prescribe:

  • Wheelchairs
  • Cushions for wheelchairs
  • Cushions for sofas and chairs
  • Lumbar support or cushions to help while driving
  • Neck braces to help with kyphosis (excessive forward head tilt)

Our Occupational Therapists are highly skilled in upper limb and trunk rehabilitation because they tend to focus on the patient’s functional capacity in everyday life.

Spinal Disorder FAQ

  • Can you give an example of strategies to manage back spasms?

    This would depend on the individual. We try and provide strategies when we’re not around to help to reduce the muscle spasms and also prevent them

    For example, someone with low back pain may be very tight through their glutes and have a tendency to over-contract these muscles. Releasing these muscles will take pressure off the sciatic nerve (which travels through the piriformis, through to the middle of the spine). In this case, we may recommend people to use a spikey ball to help release their glutes. We would also prescribe a home exercise program with appropriate stretches to release the glutes and mobilise the back.

    As mentioned above exercise and movement have been shown to have the best outcome for individuals suffering from low back pain so we would incorporate gentle exercises and stretches to help reduce muscle spasm.

    These two strategies will lower the muscle tension, which will consequently help reduce muscle spasm.

  • What is a disc herniation and how is it treated?

    Disc herniation or bulging discs occur when the inner nucleus breaks through the outer annulus.

    Herniations do not necessarily cause symptoms and may only be detected on an MRI scan. Disc herniations may also present as pain, weakness or a tingling feeling.

    The rehabilitation prescribed would largely depend on the clinical assessment of the patient. A rehabilitation plan would focus on building strength, mobility and modifications to lifestyle, we always encourage movement!

  • How can I improve my spinal health in my own time?

    Put simply, activities that keep people continuously moving!

    Total Health Physio will prescribe exercises to perform on your own, or with the assistance of a carer.

    In addition to this, we are big advocates for Pilates. If our patient is capable and mobile we encourage them to do pilates – we are big advocates of Clinical Pilates!

    We also believe hydrotherapy is a great tool to help with arthritis, spinal disorders and improving overall function.

Referring to Total Health Physio

To enquire about this service, please navigate to our referrals or contact pages.

Medical history and any reports from GPs or other medical specialists would be helpful. One of our core values is trust, so we will firstly establish the patient can achieve great outcomes working with us!