Back Pain is a common condition effecting four out of five people at some point in their life. Lower back pain is one of the more common conditions treated by osteopaths. Many causes of back pain can be down to lifestyle or occupational factors; such as long hours of computer work or driving and frequent reaching, lifting or twisting movements. In most cases, lower back pain is caused by straining of the joints, ligaments or muscles in the back. The good news is that our practitioners at GD Osteopathy & Sports Massage are experts, they can help you on the road to recovery with safe and effective osteopathic care. You can trust the Enfield Back Pain Specialist to help you.
The back is a complex structure; it is important to see a back pain specialist who has the right expertise and knowledge . The back is made up of:
- 24 vertebrae that support the weight of your body and protect the spinal cord
- 23 intervertebral shock absorbing discs
- 100’s of ligaments that hold the bones together
- 100’s of muscles and tendons to create movement in the back
- 1 spinal cord and 62 spinal nerves that send and receive signals between the brain and the rest of the body
Back pain can come on suddenly with an injury, or gradually over time for no apparent reason. Timely assessment by the Enfield Back Pain Specialists can prevent chronic pain and reduce the negative impact that low back pain can have on your work and recreational activities.
What causes low back pain?
Lower back pain is very common and one of the main reasons for sickness absence in the United Kingdom. Acute lower back pain is defined as moderate to severe pain that is present for 6 weeks or less, in most cases the pain lasts between 3 days to six weeks . The complex anatomical structure of the low back means that even a small injury to any of the structures of the back can result in a lot of pain. Pain in the lower back is usually a symptom of fatigue or damage to the ligaments, muscles, tendons or discs. Pain may be localised to the back or may refer to the buttocks and leg. Injury to any of these structures is classified as “mechanical lower back pain”, and can be caused from excessive mechanical stress, fatigue, repetitive strain or trauma.
Acute lower back pain can however also be a result of less common but more serious secondary causes that include metabolic diseases, inflammatory rheumatic disorders, and referred pain from other parts of the body. An early and accurate diagnosis is very important to identify the cause of pain and rule out any serous pathology. Therefore an early visit to an osteopath or other allied healthcare professional is essential to ensure a full medical history, physical examination and an accurate diagnosis is provided.
What treatment can I receive for back pain?
Early intervention with lower back pain is essential as it has been shown in many studies, that the longer an individual remains inactive and off work due to pain, the harder it is for them to return and the less likely it is that they will. The following are recommendations regarding the treatment and management of low back pain:
- It has been shown in many clinical studies that manual therapy such as osteopathy is effective at reducing pain, increasing mobility and speeding up recovery. It is recommended by NICE that patient seek such treatment.
- It is repeatedly reported that bed rest does not promote recovery from mechanical low back pain.
- Sitting for long periods of time is not recommended.
- It is important that you continue with normal activities wherever possible, including return to work.
- Pain killers (e.g. paracetamol) and anti inflammatory drugs (e.g. ibuprofen) have been shown to help with symptomatic relief, but it is important to consult the GP before taking them
- A muscle relaxant may be prescribed but only for a few days, once again consult your GP before taking them.
- Exercises are recommended to increase flexibility and strengthen the muscles.
For more details about specific conditions, check out:
- Facet joint strain
- Sacroiliac joint strain
- Bulging disc / slipped disc / prolapsed disc / herniated disc
- Kyphosis, lordosis and scoliosis
- Osteoporosis, spondylosis and spondyloarthrosis