Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic, Islington, London

Back Pain

Back pain is one of the main reasons why many clients come to see us. There are many structures in the spine that can cause pain or other symptoms such as stiffness, paraesthesia (pins & needles), or referred pain into the arm or the leg. Symptoms can come from the joints, discs, muscles nerves or may not even be coming from the back itself. The problem can be from muscles overworking, underworking, poor posture, wear and tear and a huge number of other factors.

What Can We Do to Help You?

Or physiotherapy treatment aims to:

Types of Back Pain we treat

Mechanical Back Pain

A lot of people that we see have what is classed as 'mechanical back pain'. This is pain caused by dysfunction of some spinal structure e.g a stiff joint or spinal segment or muscle strain similar to what you can get in any other part of the body. This can be caused by an injury or in many cases a constant misuse of the body e.g. with poor posture, using the wrong muscles to achieve a movement or muscle imbalance.

We can carry out a physiotherapy assessment and give you a clinical diagnosis as to what we think the problem is and provide treatment if appropriate.

Back Pain Treatment Options

Treatment very much depends on the findings of the assessment and the possible contributing factors identified. Techniques used to treat back pain can often include the following:

Back Pain Case Studies (see all Case Studies)

Potential clients and patients often ask us about the types of conditions that we treat and can help with. We have therefore put together some case studies from our files that outline some of the cases that we have been able to help with and offer a flavour of what we do in our clinic.

30 year old architect with hip & low back pain


  • Particularly bothersome in sitting, could not cross his legs, put shoes or socks on/off etc.
  • Examination showed L5/S1 lower lumbar spine reproducing his hip pain.


Treated with spinal mobilisations, spinal manipulation, hamstring stretches and dry needling on his hip.


Four sessions of treatment led to a full recovery.

31 year old pregnant lady with low back and pelvic pain

Symptoms & Assessment

  • 31 years old, 26 weeks pregnant
  • Pain with walking causing her to limp.


  • She was treated with soft tissue massage, mobilisations to her lower back and acupuncture to her gluteal muscles (all in side lying). 
  • She was also advised to buy an SIJ (sacroiliac joint) belt and shown how to use it.


After two sessions she was much better and walking again pain free.

70 year old woman with chronic lower back/leg pain due to arthritis

Symptoms & Assessment

A 70-year old woman with chronic lower back and leg pain due to degenerative changes (arthritis) in her spine attended for treatment.


She was recommended to try Clinical Pilates in a bid to try and avoid surgery.

She completed a 6-week programme of Clinical Pilates and then continued with a tailor-made home exercise programme.



She became pain-free and reported that her mobility had improved significantly.

36 year old woman with middle/low back pain after childbirth

Symptoms & Assessment

A 36-year-old woman developed middle and low back pain following the birth of her first child.


She attended for 4 sessions of one-to-one Clinical Pilates.


She noticed such a profound change in her back pain that she decided to enrol in a local Pilates group class for the ongoing benefits that she felt it gave her.

Clinic note: Post-pregnancy low back pain is very common due to weakness developing in the core abdominal muscles during pregnancy. This is compounded by an increase in lifting and ‘leaning over’ type activities once the baby arrives. It is generally safe to start Pilates after 6 weeks.

43 year old with neck/back pain after long periods in front of computer

Symptoms & Assessment

A 43-year-old man presented with longstanding neck and upper back pain which he felt was related to long hours spent sitting at a computer for his work.

Assessment showed weakness of his neck and upper back muscles.


He enrolled on a 6-week Clinical Pilates course carried out on a one-to-one basis here at the clinic.

The main focus was to strengthen the body’s natural corset muscles to help support the neck and back during prolonged hours sitting at a desk.


The results were fantastic and he now has very little pain and an ongoing home-maintenance exercise plan.

26 year old office worker with migraines, neck and shoulder pain

Symptoms & Assessment

  • Persistent headaches in particular after long hours of working at the computer
  • Neck and shoulder pain particularly bothersome when sitting at the desk over a long period of time


She was treated with a combination of soft and deep tissue massage and mobilisations to her shoulders in side-lying position.  She was also advised to take regular breaks when working on the computer and engage in regular yoga practice to monitor stress levels


This client is finding a regular massage session helpful and feels better after every session. She is now able to manage her work related stresses and experiences fewer spells of migraines than before. 

38 year old IT worker with calf and lower back pain

Symptoms & Assessment

  • Physically active, practices different sports regularly, daily work out regime, takes part in marathons and cycles long distances
  • Experiences muscular pain and tension in particular after intense bursts of physical activity


He was treated with deep tissue massage, mobilisations to his lower back and pressure points to gluteal muscles. He was also advised to buy a foam roller to aid release of tension in in his gastrocnemius (calf) muscles.


After two sessions he was much better and able to undertake his regular work-out regime without symptoms.

"Thank you very much for your help, you've made my shoulder even better than before the injury!"


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Established in 1998