Osteopathy for back pain

80% of all people will suffer from back pain at some point in their life. Back pain is the number one reason people just like you book to see an Osteopath in Southampton. There are endless causes to back pain, and how you are treated very much depends on your circumstances, including history, current day to day activities and health. An Osteopath is fully equipped to deal with your back pain and it’s number of causes. 

Common causes of back pain are:

  • Sitting or Standing for long periods
  • Injury – either recent or long term with scarring
  • Strain – from pregnancy, heavy lifting, exercise
  • Internal pain from the abdomen, including constipation, kidney dysfunction, endometriosis, PCOS, menstrual pain
  • Weakness in core muscles
  • Imbalance in the lower limbs, pelvis or thoracic area
  • A prolapsed disc between the vertebrae
  • Degeneration of the disc between the vertebrae
  • Insufficient joint mobility

Studies have proven that Osteopathy will help reduce your pain and increase the healing process. There are a number of ways in which this will be approached. Osteopathic methods

Reduce Muscular Tension

If you’ve had massage regularly, you know the importance of reducing tension to bring about relief from back pain. Tension can gather in areas due to a repeated poor posture, scar tissue from injury or other elements such as illness, cold and stress. Tension is essentially tissue fibres that are ‘stuck together’ and unable to function properly. Muscular tension can restrict our natural movement and processes, such as blood flow and waste disposal, causing pain and stiffness.

An Osteopath will use many of the Remedial Massage techniques a massage therapist would, such as Soft Tissue Release, Deep Tissue Massage, Myo-Fascial Release, Frictions, Petrissage and Effleurage. All proven and effective at reducing muscular tension. Some stages of your Osteopathy treatment will be familiar to a massage for this reason.

Reduce Inflammation and Nerve Irritation

One of the main causes of localised pain is inflammation (swelling). Swelling in an area adds pressure to the normal functions of the body and can impact nerve function. Swelling is normally present at an injury site and acts as a ‘cushion’ so that the area can heal in a safe environment. Inflammation can get trapped at an injury site if tension is present throughout.

With back pain, often inflammation is present around the spine and it’s vertebrae. Swelling near a vertebrae can impinge (trap) a nerve as it exits the spine and effect the function of that nerve and space. Often inflammation is present if there has been a slip of the disc – a cushion between our spinal joints (vertebrae) that could become dislodged for many reasons. Your Osteopath will work with you to reduce swelling in all areas that may be causing dysfunction and pain. By helping the inflammation to return to normal, it can speed up the healing process as well as remove pressure and pain.

Improve Joint Mobility

A lot of the time, your massage therapist will refer you to an Osteopath for this reason – to release trapped joints or to increase the available range of movement in particular joint. A joint can become restricted for a number of reasons: posture, reduced mobility, dislocation or injury, inflammation; and generally an immobile joint will add pressure to other joints and can have an effect on the whole body.

If you have a restricted joint, you may feel a pinch, or you may not feel it at all, numbness is often present when a nerve has been pinched by the joint or surrounding tissues. An Osteopathic treatment session will usually start with an assessment of joint mobility to find a pattern of tension to release. For example, a Back Pain may be present, yet the joint restriction could start in your hips or even knees or feet.

The Osteopaths in Southampton that will treat you have had extensive training in joint mobilisation. You may here a ‘crack’ often associated with joint mobilisation, yet not always – do not feel like you need a crack to feel the benefit! This is a common misconception. Trust in your Osteopath to deliver correct treatment. To mobilise your joint, they may apply stretching to ligaments or a gentle repetitive movement to improve nerve function to the joint. The treatment will be as unique as you are, yet you should feel either an immediate or gradual increase in joint movement.

Reduce the frequency of Back Pain

An Osteopath will work with you to help you recover – which means in its most complete meaning – create a healing environment so your body can do what it does best – take care of you. When you see one of our Southampton Osteopaths, they will compliment your therapy session with aftercare, such as exercises, advice on posture and lifestyle and an education on what is occurring and how best to prevent it in the future.

Keep in mind, it can take roughly 10% of the time you have had a problem to recover in full. This time involves treatment and small lifestyle adjustments. If you listen to your Osteopath and work with them, you can reduce the frequency and severity of your back pain.