Back Pain and Sciatica
Back pain and sciatica is common, but that doesn’t mean it’s normal for it to occur.
At my Glasgow osteopathy clinic I spend much of my time assessing and treating back pain due to it’s high incidence. There are many structures in the low back which may give pain to other parts of the body. The pain and stiffness can become worse if not identified and treated sooner rather than later.
Government statistics state that “Up to 70% of people will experience back pain in their life” and that “around one in three men and one in four of women in some age groups suffered for the whole year with back pain.”
Osteopathic treatment is often the most effective first line of treatment in correcting mechanical problems caused by back pain and preventing things from becoming persistent.
Back problems are often misunderstood.
Most cases of acute low back pain are classed as ‘simple low back pain’ or ‘non-specific low back pain’. Simple low back pain means that the pain is not due to any underlying disease that can be found. In some cases the cause may be a sprain or strain or maybe even spasm of a ligament or muscle.
In other cases the cause may be a minor problem with a disc between two vertebrae, or a minor problem with a small ‘facet’ joint between two vertebrae. However, the causes of the pain are impossible to prove by tests and so it may be impossible for a doctor to say exactly where the pain is coming from, or exactly what is causing the pain.
The longer you put it off, the harder it will be to get going again.
Simple does not mean that the pain is mild – the pain can range from mild to very bad. Typically, the pain is in one area of the lower back, but sometimes it spreads to the buttock or thigh. The pain is usually eased by lying down flat, and is often made worse if you move your back, cough, or sneeze. So, simple back pain is ‘mechanical’ in the sense that it varies with posture or activity.
Problems with your back can cause pain in areas you may not associate with coming from your back. Leg pain and buttock ache, groin pain or tingling in the toes can all come from the base of the spine. This is why a back strain can be mistaken for a hamstring strain.
Conversely, a problem elsewhere in the body may give you back pain. A problem with your hip or ankle, for example, may cause you to walk differently leading to a pain in your back.
Don’t be another back pain statistic. As an osteopath I’m ideally suited to helping you.