We all know that back pain is the leading cause of time off from work. There are 7 million visits to the GP annually because of it and it costs the UK £5 billion a year. Back pain is one of the most debilitating conditions and can affect all people from all walks of life.
Back pain that we can help with includes anything from sciatica, stiffness, pulled muscles or spasms to failed back surgery syndrome and all other kinds of non-specific back pain. Of course, one has to keep in mind that it is essential to take a strong history first, in order to exclude anything that would necessitate consultation with a GP or specialist.
Recent NICE guidelines for suggest that manual therapy (a general term for treatments that involve physical manipulation, including osteopathy) are effective ways of helping back pain and getting people back to work:
Workplace health: long-term sickness absence and incapacity to work (2009)
Low back pain and sciatica in over 16s: assessment and management (2016)
People come in with all sorts of onsets of back pain, ranging from having picked up a piece of paper or a child, or having just woken up with it. Sometimes people are surprised with the pain as they have never experienced back pain before, while others seem to know exactly what it is.
What to expect when you visit
Of course, our hope – and, by and large, my experience – is that you will leave with less pain and more mobility.
A history and examination will elucidate the cause and the extent of the pain. The treatment will consist of a variety of techniques. I often suggest using acupuncture needles at some point in the treatment to reduce muscle spasm. or, when needed, I may adjust some joints. I ONLY do this after we have discussed the options, and with your knowledge and consent! The results are often very positive.
It is very important after a treatment to not do anything that can cause the muscle to go into spasm again. Key common things to consider are, for instance, bending your knees when picking something up and facing the object that you are lifting.
If you would like further information on how to help yourself with back pain, please take a look at ‘The Good Back Guide’, the acclaimed book by my colleague, Barrie Savory.
Please feel free to contact me in Harley Street or Highgate to discuss your back pain.