How to help your lower back pain

80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. For some people it is chronic long term pain, which feels like it will never go away, for others it’s a short term inconvenience. Fortunately most back pain is temporary and is most often in the lower back, usually caused by doing an activity that places strain on your back, such as:

•    Lifting heavy objects awkwardly or incorrectly
•    Poor posture when standing or sitting
•    Twisting and putting pressure on your lower back
•    Standing or sitting for a long period without a break
•    Pulling or pushing an object awkwardly

Sometimes back pain is caused by an injury or disease including:
•    Slipped disc
•    Join inflammation
•    Whiplash
•    Arthritis

Your back has many connected parts including bones, muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves, and temporary back pain is often due to a strained ligament, muscle or tendon.  However, it isn’t always easy to pinpoint what’s caused the pain and where it is.

If you’re experiencing back pain the two things you can do that will have the biggest impact are: do more exercise and correct your posture.

Get moving!
Our lives nowadays are increasingly sedentary. We sit at the table to eat, then sit in a car or train to work, sit at our desk, sit on the way home, then sit in front of the TV.  Doing exercise helps your body use different muscles and keeps your body active. Most people who come to us with back pain aren’t moving enough. Take a quick walk during your lunch break, or try and do some exercise in the evening.  Pilates and yoga can also help strengthen your back muscles.

Look at how you sit and stand
How do you sit at your desk or in the car? Are you slouching? How are you standing? Is your head slumping over your phone? Take a look at your posture and make an effort to sit and stand up straight.  Here are some exercises you can do at your desk.

Treatment for back pain
Research has shown that early intervention is best when dealing with back pain. So if you’re in pain, get help as soon as you can.

Osteopathy for back pain
Whether you’re experiencing back pain from straining your back, or you’re suffering with a slipped disc, sciatica/joint inflammation, whiplash, or arthritis, we treat people suffering with back pain all the time. In fact, it’s our most common treatment.

As osteopaths, we look at the whole person, rather than just the area that’s injured, to see what’s causing the injury and how to alleivate the pain.  Often back pain isn’t just caused by the back; the shoulders, neck and hips can also affect your back.  We are trained in orthopaedics and biomechanics and work on the basis that the whole body must work together to achieve good health. So when you come to us, we’ll look at how your body works as a whole, and the impact this is having on your back.

At your consultation we’ll place our hands and feel along the part of your body that’s experiencing the pain.  This enables us to really pinpoint what your body is doing and how it is injured, and can therefore give you the most effective treatment.  Most GPs and other healthcare specialists don’t go into this level of detail, which makes osteopathy a unique way to treat back pain.

Your treatment could include mobilisations to loosen the joints, soft tissue massage and acupuncture.  As each treatment is specific to the individual and their circumstances it may involve treating other areas like the neck and hips.

We continually treat people suffering with back pain.  If you’re in pain give us a call on 020 3589 8664 to see how we can help.

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