It is a known fact that back pain is very common and in most case, with the right combination of treatment and exercise, it goes away quickly. But sometimes the pain doesn’t go away and can even lead to injury. In this article, we will focus on lower back pain, what the main causes for it are and what is the right way to treat and heal lower back pain, from an Osteopath’s perspective, of course 😉
What Is Lower Back Pain And How To Identify It
Pain experienced in the bottom of the ribs, back or top of the legs is lower back pain. It may come on slowly or in sudden bursts and if ignored and neglected, can lead to injury. While painkillers can provide temporary relief, as an osteopathy, we aim to pin point the root of the problem and diagnose a holistic plan of action to help heal and relieve the condition in the long term. 80% of patients that walk through our doors area suffering with back pain, so we are seasoned professions!
Lower Back Pain Causes – Bad Posture & Spine Curvature
A certain amount of spine curvature is natural so long as the spine runs down the centre of the back. Spine curves help to absorb shock but certain factors can lead to deformities of the spine. The most common case of spinal deformity is a condition known as ‘scoliosis’ where the spinal curvature forms a ‘c’ or ‘s’ shape as opposed to a straight line. While scoliosis sounds scary, we regularly treat patients very effectively for scoliosis!
NHS Inform lists a number of signs of scoliosis to watch out for:
• A Visibly Curved Spine
• One Shoulder Being Higher Than The Other
• One Shoulder Or Hip Being More Prominent Than The Other
• Clothes Not Hanging Properly
• A Prominent Ribcage
• A Difference In Leg Lengths
Scoliosis affects children and adults and many go unnoticed throughout the course of peoples lives and depending on the serverity you people may not even have any additional pain as a result. Although it is rare, these signs can be linked to more serious conditions such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy & Marfan syndrome. While bad posture doesn’t cause scoliosis, it can worsen the effects of scoliosis, hence it is important to adapt good posture as much as possible to help relieve the pain. The UK Scoliosis Association advises the following posture and positioning:
“The ideal posture when standing is to have weight evenly spread. That way each joint bears an even amount of pressure. Joints are the places in the body where two bones meet. The neck should be straight with no tilt, the hips level, and the pelvis neutral (this means not tilting forward or backwards). The knees should be straight or alternatively one knee straight, the other slightly bent. It can help to check your posture regularly in the mirror, or get others to check it for you. Imagine yourself as a puppet with a string attached to the top of your head pulling you straight.”
The Psoas Muscle, Balance And Lower Back Pain
Located on each side of the lower spine are psoas (so-az) muscles that links the ribcage with the the trunk of the legs. This muscle serves as a hip flexor that transfers weight from the trunk to the legs and feet, supports organs and most importantly, stabilises the spine. Any number of factors can lead to a psoas imbalance from pregnancy, digestive, respiratory and circulatory issues, dehydration and pelvis problems. Through ‘constructive rest position’, an exercise for lengthening the leg muscles, you can assist your psoas. Lie on the floor with knees bent at a 55 degree angle, place a towel underneath the upper half of your skull and rest your arms on either side of your body for five minutes or longer. This should encourage the psoas to lengthen and release. If you are unsure of how to do this or other exercises to aid the psoas, don’t hesitate to consult to give us a call on 07787 404419 or drop us an email [email protected]
Facet Joint Pain And It’s Symptoms
Facet joint pain is usually an acute condition that can occur at anytime, from something as trivial as bending over in a slightly awkward position to sleeping badly and ‘cricking your neck’. The pain happens as a result of the joints from both an upper and lower vertebrae getting ‘stuck’ together. Sometimes, the increased pressure can impinge on your nerve causing neurological symptoms such as pins and needles or burning into the hands or legs. The condition is regularly treated within our clinic where we mobilise and manipulate if needed the joint to free the neck or back up again to release the joint and reduce symptoms, we will then prescribe use some exercise to continue to increase the mobility within the joints.