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Low back pain causes & treatment

 In Healthy Lifestyle

Low back pain is the most common and costly musculoskeletal disorder. Most people will experience one episode of low back pain in their lifetime lasting at least two to three days.

Osteopathy can identify and treat the most frequent causes of back pain. The causes of low back pain are many, as there are many parts of the spine that can be affected. Muscles, joints, discs or even organs could be the root behind these symptoms too. And it is necessary to identify the cause before treatment can be started.

female-back-pain-osteopath

Some of the low back pain causes include:

Lumbar sprain / strain

This is the commonest cause of low back pain and occurs when ligaments are overstretched or torn. It usually resolves within a few days.

Pinched nerves

A pinched nerve occurs when too much pressure is applied to a nerve by surrounding tissues, such as bones, cartilage, muscles or tendons. This pressure disrupts the nerve’s function, causing pain typically shooting down the leg (also commonly referred to as sciatica).

Spinal stenosis

This is a narrowing of the spaces within your spine, which can put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine. Spinal stenosis occurs most often in the lower back and the neck. It may cause back and often leg pain affecting both legs.

Facet arthritis

This happens when the cartilage that covers the ends of the joints wears out and becomes thin. It is usually due to aging or arthritis of the joints in the spine also producing back pain.

Tumors

Not a common cause of low back pain often awakening you at night.

Fractures

Fractures commonly happen because of car accidents, falls, or sports injuries. Other causes are low bone density and osteoporosis, which cause weakening of the bones.

Infection

This is rare, but can be a serious cause of intense affection the disc or vertebra.

low back pain osteopathic manual therapy

Osteopathic techniques for lower back pain

At VS MedSpa your osteopath will use manual techniques to try and reduce your back pain. Osteopathy treatment aim to increase the movement in your joints and relieve muscle tension.

Some of the main techniques your osteopath may use include the following.

  • This is when your osteopath directly applies pressure to the soft tissues of your back. It aims to reduce tension in your back and relieve your pain.
  • In manipulation, your osteopath will make a quicker thrusting action with their hands at a particular point of your spine. You might hear a ‘pop’ sound when they do this.
  • Muscle energy technique. This is a technique in which your osteopath will ask you to push against them, while they apply force back. This aims to increase the range of motion in the affected joint.
  • Functional technique. With this technique, your osteopath will gently move your joints into positions that reduce your tension and pain, before gradually working them back to the original position.
  • This involves your osteopath slowly moving you into the position that causes you least pain. They will hold you in this position for a short time while they monitor ‘tender points’ – areas on your body that are causing your pain.
  • Myofascial release therapy. This is a type of deep massage technique, in which your osteopath aims to release tension and tightness in your muscles.
  • Lymphatic pump techniques. These techniques aim to help with the movement of fluid known as lymph, around your body, correcting any blockages. They’re based on the theory that a build-up of lymph in your tissues can lead to health problems.

Your osteopath may also give you advice on improving your posture, and what types of exercise you can do to help with your back pain.

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