Back pain is very common, and can be acute or chronic, and severe and debilitating. If suffered chronically it becomes disabling and fatiguing. Read more below:
Why Back Pain?
There are many different answers to this question. If we want to be effective in prevention and treatment, it is important to have a good understanding of the cause. When we take a full case history during your initial visit, it is to establish how the onset of your problem relates to previous trauma or accident or a gradual buildup of problems that led to many compensations and eventually your presenting pain.
The Accumulation of Stresses,
The body is incredibly effective at adapting to injuries and trauma, and accommodating for strains and stresses, which means that the body may not give symptoms of pain immediately. However, over time the effects of the disruption of spinal mechanics build up and symptoms insidiously show themselves.
Physical exertion, emotional stress, or potentially illness and inactivity cause a change in the usage or functionality of the body. This change can trigger an episode of pain.
Sometimes events that we do not perceive as being significant may cause a minor strain to the body. When this minor strain takes longer to heal then expected, this may be because the body has reached the limits of its ability to compensate for the combined effects of the previous past injuries, and this new strain became the “final straw” demand upon your system.
When we treat, it is important that we are aware of your full medical and trauma history so that we are able to examine and treat with the consideration that it may be necessary to release previous stresses and strains in order to effectively treat your current pain and prevent its reoccurrence.
Common symptoms such as depression, headaches, digestive problems, period pain, disturbed sleep, and respiratory problems may also relate to previous stresses and strains in the body.
When considering back pain, prompt effective care from your osteopath will avert the possibility of the condition becoming chronic.
By effectively examining and treating you as an individual, whilst being aware of your lifestyle and history, we can greatly reduce pain and reduce or stop dependency on drugs.
We will consider you an individual in the context of your pain with regard to your lifestyle, and our treatment plan will enhance your overall health by taking into account advice on diet, exercise, and posture, as well as many other aspects of your life.
This approach of allowing treatment and care that complements your individual needs aims to improve your body’s long-term capacity for health – not just removing your current pain.
Sitting at a desk or computer can cause habit-forming bad postures. These postures cause strains to develop on the spine and pelvis that can lead to back pain. With effective osteopathic examination and treatment, we are able to release these. We will also consult with you regarding effective ergonomics and improved seated postures, therefore reducing the potential for re-strain.
If your spine is already compensating for a previous injury, then it may only take a minor lifting strain to cause further injury. Lifting in an awkward movement or lifting a heavy object including children’s car seats, babies and infants, shopping, etc. can lead to significant strain. Sometimes the incident is specific and isolated; however, with regards to lifting children or car seats, the movements can become habitual and regular. Injury will usually occur at the weakest point in the spine, especially if the lift is not performed correctly.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
The rapid deceleration forces created in a car accident, whether it occurs at a high or low speed, cause significant strain on the human body. These forces are not placed through one plane of movement or direction, and therefore create a complex strain pattern through the human tissue structure. We are able to examine and treat the components and effects upon the tissues of these multi-directional forces. These stresses and strains will remain unless treated, causing the whole body to be significantly affected.
As the body absorbs the rapid deceleration force, the sacrum becomes forced into the pelvis. This reduces the mobility of the pelvis considerably, placing significant strain upon the mechanics of the spine above. Due to the body’s ability to compensate here, treating the pelvis and lower spinal mechanics is extremely important in the effective treatment of whiplash symptoms of the neck.
Rotational stresses are produced by the ribcage straining under restriction of the seat belt, with the airbag potentially compressing the front of the ribcage at the sternum. This immediately causes the shoulder and the organs supported and protected by the thorax to be affected. Often symptoms of pain, reduced capacity for breath, and reflux or indigestion will be noticed.
The vulnerable structure of the neck will have absorbed significant flexion and extension strains through the rapid deceleration. The muscles, ligaments, and vertebral structure will have compensated for the transition of forces. However, this trauma will often cause persistent neck pain and headaches.
During a fall, the spine and peripheral joints are often jerked and twisted, and in the landing, compressive and impactive forces are felt. In a fall, landing on your buttocks and pelvis, trauma is caused to the sensitive biomechanics of the base of the spine, whereas an impact to the top of the spine causes strain to the neck. An osteopath is able to treat to release the effects of strains and compressive traumas on the spine and peripheral joints.
Impacts to the Head
Impact to the head or cranium can cause adaptations in the minute movements of these parts of the body. As the body adapts to the force caused during the injury, postural mechanics will change and potentially lead to strain and compensation in other areas of the spine.