Back ache and back pain
Back pain is one of the most common reasons for people visiting health professionals, where they may find the conventional GP route unable to offer much beyond painkilling drugs and advice to “see how it goes”.
Sometimes symptoms are acute and have come on suddenly or sometimes it has been going on for a long time. It can affect how you sit, stand or move and can make you down right miserable!
Causes may be widespread and occasionally difficult to diagnose, but they include muscular tension in the upper back and shoulders (often caused by postural issues or sitting at a desk), muscle spasms, problems with the joints or the ligaments around them, injuries from sports or even from twisting around to reach the back of the car! You may have pain around your hips and lower back or sacro-iliac joints, and the resulting muscle tightness might be sending a shooting pain down your leg.
The symptoms can range from a little niggle to something hugely debilitating in terms of pain and restriction of movement stopping you from going about your day to day.
I would start with a thorough review of your symptoms, your posture and your range of movement, before approaching treatment.
I will use gentle techniques such as stretching, massage, rhythmical movements or cranial osteopathy to release muscle tension and improve mobility of the joints in the neck and upper back. Treatment is tailored to your specific needs, and might involve looking at other areas such as your knees, pelvis or hips. I may offer postural advice and stretching.
Sometimes imaging or other tests maybe required to make a diagnosis. In this case I will refer you to your GP or other specialist for any investigations.
If you have a disc prolapse, herniation or injury, although we don't treat the actual damaged disc, we may be able to help speed your bodies' natural recovery process by optimising the environment of the associated structures to allow healing to happen. Often treatment will focus on relieving muscular spasm in the area.
NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) has recommended osteopathy for treatment of back ache. We can assess you to decide whether osteopathy is appropriate.