Back pain is very common and a major cause of absence from work. Reports suggest that as many as 8 out of 10 will suffer from back pain at some point in our lives. Each year around 5.6 million working days are lost due to back pain, second only to stress!
Back pain can affect anyone, at any age. It can be due to osteoarthritis or wear and tear, but is often due to a sprain or strain of the back’s structure, for example, the muscles, ligaments, joints or discs.
Back pain can be brought on by lifting, moving awkwardly or by an accident. Sometimes it may seem to occur for no reason at all. The body is very good at accommodating the stress and strain it is put under, and adapting to injuries. However, the disruption brought about by an injury can build up over a period of time and often symptoms begin insidiously. Problems with the back may also cause symptoms in more remote areas such as the buttocks, groin, hips and legs. Symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, clicking jaw, pins and needles, and digestive disturbance may also be caused by problems in the neck and spine. It can have a significant impact on quality of life, research shows that chronic pain is often associated with depression, anxiety and poor sleep.
How can osteopathy help?
Osteopaths are well known for treating back pain and patients report high satisfaction with treatment. There is good quality evidence to support the beneficial effects of manipulation for back pain. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends osteopathy for sub-acute and chronic low back pain.
We tailor each treatment to your individual needs and treatment may involve working on other areas of the body, for example the legs or the neck.
We may offer advice on lifestyle if we feel something that you are doing is contributing to your symptoms. We may advise on posture and give specific exercises to help you to manage the problem.
Some conditions patients visit an osteopath for:
- Acute low back pain
- Chronic low back pain
- Some disc problems
- Mechanical back pain
- Ankylosing spondylitis