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Published by Better Health Osteopathy on 7 June 2021, Back Pain
Low back pain is a prevalent medical condition reported to affect over 90% of the population at some time in their lives. Low back pain affects patients in many different ways, with each patient having their own unique experience. Back pain can, at times, have a serious impact on people’s everyday activities.
Low Back Pain typically can be challenging to diagnose and treat, as there are many different causes and contributing factors unique to each individual. It is important, though, to understand what structure in your back is causing the back pain.
Your back comprises many structures, including facet joints, discs, ligaments, ribs, muscles, nerves, and sacroiliac joints. These structures can be easily strained, for example: from poor posture at your desk, by simply bending down to pick up a piece of paper, putting your baby into the back seat of the car, or by lifting something awkwardly on a work site.
5 common causes of back pain are:
When back pain occurs, it can cause anxiety and stress; here are a few tips to help you manage when dealing with back pain.
As mentioned previously, most back pain will improve over several weeks. However, there are some serious symptoms that we refer to as ‘red flags’ which should never be ignored or left untreated – if you have any of these, always see your Osteopath.
Most back pain gets better within a few weeks of home treatment; however, everyone’s pain is different, and back pain can be a complicated condition as there can be multiple factors at play. The following remedies are given as a guide only; always check with your Osteopath for professional advice on caring for your back injury.
Although getting up and moving about may be the last thing you feel like doing – exercise helps. A short walk or low impact activity are a great place to start; the movement will help free up muscles and get things working again. Stretching is also a good idea once you feel up to it. There are plenty of stretches online that can help with back pain; some of the more common ones are:
Leaning over your desk all day, monitors at incorrect heights and mismatched chair and desk heights can all lead to back pain, as can uneven chairs and beds. Take a good look at your daily environment and make sure everything follows ergonomic principles.
Ice packs are most beneficial immediately after the injury strikes to help keep inflammation down. At the same time, heat packs are good for muscle relief and aiding in getting you up and about again.
You will find several pain relief creams available at your local chemist, or you could try using Arnica. Arnica is a homoeopathic remedy used for treating muscle pain, swelling, bruising, and other minor injuries.
In most cases of back pain – imaging is not required. However, in some cases, imaging or blood tests may be required to rule out more serious causes of back pain if an underlying medical issue is suspected. One or more of the following tests may be required.
Osteopaths are highly skilled in recognising and identifying the various structures in your back that may be the source of your pain. They will endeavour to discover and treat the root cause of your pain and return you to everyday activities in as quick a time as possible.
When visiting an Osteopath, you can expect a detailed medical history to be taken, along with a thorough Osteopathic examination to assist the diagnostic process and identify any red flags that may be present. Treatment techniques include soft tissue and joint mobilisation, manipulation, massage and various stretching exercises, and a detailed recovery and prevention plan. Osteopaths can also refer a patient for further orthopaedic assessment, including MRI, steroidal injections or surgery if needed.
If you wish to discuss any issues with Back Pain, please do not hesitate to contact our Osteopaths at Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch. Call 027 7555700 or book online.
Lorraine Herity is the Clinic Director of Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch, New Zealand. She previously worked in Osteopathic clinics in London and Ireland, before moving to New Zealand. Lorraine trained at the British School of Osteopathy in London, where she gained her Master of Osteopathy (M.Ost). Lorraine is a dedicated and passionate Osteopath. Her main aim is to help her patients regain their health and to return her patients back to their everyday activities, in as quick a time as possible. Lorraine is also a clinic tutor on the Osteopathic Course in Ara and relishes the opportunity to teach the next generation of osteopaths.
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