Of all the complaints that osteopaths treat, back pain is certainly one of the most common. It can affect people of all ages and as many as eight out of ten of us will suffer from back pain at some point in our life. In most cases, back pain isn’t serious and will usually be resolved without treatment within a few days or weeks. However, there’s no doubt that back pain can be extremely painful and troublesome, making it hard to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
Causes and symptoms of back pain
Back pain can be brought on by many different actions, such as bending down, lifting something, moving awkwardly, an accident, or even getting up out of a chair. However, there are other occasions where back pain arises without any specific injury. Factors such as stress and depression, poor posture, being overweight, lack of exercise and other bad lifestyle habits can be causes of back pain.
Symptoms of back pain can be extremely varied, from a little tenderness or stiffness, to mild or even severe pain. In some cases, pain can be very sudden (after an accident or an awkward movement), or it can develop over time. Back pain can also be located anywhere along the spine, from the pelvis and lower back, to the neck. Often, back pain can make it difficult to stand up straight without pain, or your range of movement may be diminished to some extent.
When symptoms of back pain are a result of strain or misuse, they are normally only short-lived, but can last for a few days or weeks in some cases. When pain has been present for three months or longer, it is classed as chronic back pain.
Treating back pain
If back pain persists for more than a few days, although it can take much longer than that to clear up, it’s important to visit a doctor or osteopath. Osteopaths are highly trained in diagnosing back pain and commonly treat patients suffering from problems including:
- Acute back pain
- Chronic back pain
- Mechanical back pain
- Some disc problems
Osteopathic treatment is different for every patient; however, it may include a wide range of manual techniques including gentle manipulations, soft tissue massage and joint articulations to help release tension, stretch muscles, mobilise the joints and help to relieve aches and pains.
Osteopaths can also provide advice on preventing future back pain, including stretches and exercises, posture and relaxation.
If you have questions about back pain or need to book an appointment at Solihull Osteopathic Practice, please call 0121 705 4499.