Most people have probably heard of a slipped disc or lumbago, but Low back pain may be caused by problems in any of the components in the back: muscles, intervertebral joints, intervertebral discs, or Ligaments, or by the referral of pain from other anatomical structures. Problems in the back can also give rise to sensations and pain in the buttocks, thighs, calf or foot as in sciatica.
As a Generalisation back problems can fall into two categories:
ACUTE : Those that occur suddenly or recently
CHRONIC : Where the problem has been present for more than 3 Months
Osteopaths are specialist’s in assessing and treating these types of back pain
Acute Low Back Pain
Strained muscles, a damaged disc or locked intervertebral joints can all give rise to back pain.
In the case of mechanical back pain, the pain is usually generated by inflammatory chemicals which are brought to the affected area by the blood supply and affect adjacent structures. Muscle spam or tightness usually results, and sets up a “chicken and egg” situation where the tight muscles cause pain and as you try to avoid the pain by not moving the muscles they simply get tighter. This in turn restricts joint movement in the low back and gradually movement is lost and the low back joints may become locked. You may find at his point that you twist or lean off to one side as gradually the body compensates and tries to avoid the pain. You may find difficulty with sleeping, bending or getting in and out of a chair or car.
Things that may help Acute Back pain
- The answer is try to keep as mobile as the pain will allow. Bed rest or sitting will not help, as remaining in one position will simply get the muscles even tighter and cause pain when you try to move again.
- Current guidelines states that not only should try to keep mobile, but also seek the help of an osteopath, as research shows that early intervention in the form of manipulative treatment and remedial massage from an osteopath will shorten the duration of the episode.
- Using a cold compress such as a bag of frozen peas, wrapped in a tea towel, and apply to the area for not more than 20 minutes may also help.
Chronic Low Back Pain
Where the pain or condition has been present for more than 3 Months. This is really an extension of the acute back pain where the injury has not got better or resolved. Disc problems, locked lumbar facet joints, strained ligaments, wear and tear of the lumbar joints and chronic muscle spam, are some but not all of the ingredients that contribute to chronic low back pain. “In many cases there is a cyclic effect where pain causes the muscles to go into spasm and the muscle spams causes pain”.
We call this the pain spasm pain Cycle.
Too many people suffer with long term back pain, often just getting by on repeat prescription pain killers and although the pain killers help to some degree by masking the pain, they do not get to the cause of the problem and break the cycle.
We can help to break the pain spasm pain cycle, by using manual intervention of osteopathic massage techniques, joint mobilisation and where clinically indicated osteopathic manipulation of the affected joints. We can loosen the muscles, free up the joints and improve the circulation to the affected areas so that your body will be able to mend the affected areas, reducing pain and restoring mobility.
The sooner that you come to us the better, as further adaptations of the body in addition to the original injury may lengthen and delay your recovery .
We would Also like to add that pain at night that is not related, to moving or other action such as coughing, or turning over in bed needs immediate attention and investigation to determine the cause.
Whatever the cause and whatever your symptoms we may be able to help you to enjoy full movement and relief from pain.
Why not contact us !!
01420-561247 or 07790740895