Back pain

What’s causing your lower back pain?


There are number of reasons for your back pain. For office workers it may be your desk is poorly setup, or perhaps you are spending too long in front of your computer in a position that places increased pressure on your lower back eventually leading to back pain. Other contributing factors are a poor driving position, lifting incorrectly, and overstraining whilst doing activities like gardening and cleaning.

When you injure your back there are several structures that may be causing your pain. These include herniated discs or “slipped discs”, facet joint strain and inflammation, ligament damage and over strained muscles. Other causes such as cancer and infection are fortunately much less common and your osteopath is trained to eliminate these non-musculoskeletal causes while taking a full case history.



What symptoms are you experiencing of lower back pain?


Common back pain symptoms include a dull ache in the low back, buttocks and thigh which becomes a sharp pain on particular movements. If you have a disc injury you will often find sitting for more than a few minutes extremely uncomfortable. If you have a “trapped nerve” – the nerve coming out of the spinal cord is being pressed or irritated by another structure, you may also experience symptoms in the legs - sciatica.


If you are experiencing other symptoms such as feeling unwell, losing weight, problems of your bowel or bladder function, you should talk to your GP immediately as these could be a sign of more serious pathology.


Is osteopathic treatment for lower back pain effective?


Yes. NICE guidelines for lower back pain, published in 2009, specify lower back pain treatment from an osteopath as effective. Osteopathy provides treatment for back pain and injury using a range of approaches including:

  • Joint mobilisation - to promote greater range of movement in the back and free trapped nerves.
  • Soft tissue massage – to reduce muscle spasms
  • Postural guidance and safe exercises - to make your body stronger and more flexible, so that your symptoms don’t keep coming back.