Back Pain

Physiology of the Lumbar Spine

The spinal column is an extremely vital part of the human body as it helps to support the trunk of the body and allows for various movements of the head, neck and torso.

Just like how the entire weight of a building is supported by the bottom-most pillars, the lower region of the spine largely carries our body’s weight. The spine’s lower region is collectively called the Lumbar Spine. Lumbar is derived from the Latin word Lumbus which means “lion”. Evidently, the lower spine has been built for both power and flexibility – for us to lift, twist and bend.

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Because the lumbar spine does the most work among the other segments of the spine, it is the most prone to injury. Each lumbar spine segment is comprised of:

  • Spinal bones (called vertebrae) such as L4-L5, stacked vertically with a disc between them. A normal disc acts like a sponge to absorb shock in the spine and has a lot of water. A tough outer ring called the annulus contains the gellike substance. It allows for flexibility and protects the spine from sudden movements.
  • Facet joints which connect two adjacent vertebrae. These joints make our back flexible and enable us to bend and twist.
  • Sciatic Nerve which begins in the lower back and runs through the back of
    the thighs and into the calves and feet. The sciatic nerve conducts signals to the whole of the leg and feet.

Lumbar Disc Herniation


Lumbar disc herniation is sometimes simply known as slipped disc or ruptured disc.
As we age, what happens is the disc between the spinal bones (mentioned above) will slowly start to lose its water content and will thus become less cushiony and harder. As we put more stress on the lumbar disc (even daily activities like lifting something heavy can add stress to the lumbar disc), the disc’s outer ring may bulge or tear. Commonly, lumbar disc herniation can lead to Sciatica, which is explained in detail below.


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Sciatica is a common type of pain due to irritation of the sciatic nerve. Most frequently, sciatica is due to spinal disc herniation (slipped disc). When the herniated disk pushes against the sciatic nerve or when the gel-like substance that flows out of a torn disc touches the sciatic nerve, it can cause a stabbing pain that shoots down the back of the thighs and to the legs and feet. Symptoms can include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Pain in the rear leg which gets worse upon sitting
  • A constant pain on one side of the rear
  • Difficulty in standing up

Non-invasive treatments for back pain at The Pain Relief Practice

1. Radiofrequency Therapy is an electric current produced by a radio wave that is used to heat up a small area of nerve tissue. This decreases pain signals from that specific area. When applied on the back, not only does it decrease pain signal, it is also believed to help with the relaxing of the back muscles. This potentially can widen the gap between 2 vertebrae, and thus reduce the compression of the disc. With reduced bulging of the disc, the sciatic nerve may be irritated less, hence providing relief for the patient.


2. Shockwave Therapy can also reduce pressure on the nerve by softening the tissues around the nerves. It can also increase blood flow with the assistance of acoustic pressure waves to stimulate deep tissue repair. Its main assets are fast pain relief and mobility restoration. Together with being a non-surgical  herapy with no need for painkillers makes it an ideal therapy to speed up recovery and cure various indications causing  cute or chronic pain. It is applied directly to the site of injury through the client’s skin via a gel medium, creating a series of intense physical energy waves. This acoustic energy wave stimulates a healing process and breaks down dysfunctional tissue.

If you suffer from difficult pain, aches or stiffness, simply call, SMS or WhatsApp 9782 1601 to find out how Radiofrequency Therapy & Shockwave Therapy can help you feel better.


The Pain Relief Practice,
Shaw House

350 Orchard Road

#10-00, Shaw House

Medical Suites @ Orchard

Singapore 238868

Call for appointments

PRP @ Shaw House:

Call: 6235 1387
SMS / Whatsapp: 9782 1601

Email Address

Special online rate

$90 for 1st Shockwave Therapy