Back Pain

Back pain is a common condition, affecting a third of the adult population each year. Most episodes of back pain will resolve within a few days, but sometimes the pain will persist and it is in these situations manual therapy is uniquely placed to help. Osteopathic treatment has been shown to be effective for the treatment of low back pain (see articles 1 and 2 at the bottom of this page) and many people prefer to use our therapists because treatment does not require the use of medications and it is considered a more natural approach than conventional medicine.

An injury to your back will often refer pain to more remote areas such as the buttocks, groin, hips, legs and arms, the skillful therapist trained in clinical diagnosis will be able to distinguish when treatment is appropriate or when the patient will need referral to their Doctor.

Osteopathic Treatment for Back Pain

All of our osteopaths are trained to diagnose the specific tissue which is causing your symptoms. However, at the ROC we will also analyse why that specific area has become injured and treat the causes, not just the symptoms.

Case Study
John, aged 28 presented with low back pain after running. John used to do a 5K run 3 times a week. Unfortunately, he had had to stop running due to his back. On examination it was found that John had strained a ligament in his low back which was causing muscle pain and fatigue. On further analysis it was found that the reason he had strained his back was because of the way in which he ran. On analysing his running gait John was rolling his right foot in (over pronating) resulting in a breakdown of his running mechanics.  After treatment of the back and foot and strength conditioning exercises he was able to return to running.

What happens on your first appointment and how to go forward?

At your first appointment we will ask you where your pain is, how long you have had it and what activities make it better or worse. We will ask about previous episodes of back pain and some relevant questions about your general health. After a full assessment we will talk you through our findings and agree a treatment approach.

The treatment will include soft tissue massage to relax the muscle tension. We may follow this up with articulation and manipulation to release joints and gentle Cranial Osteopathic techniques to re-balance the rhythmic function of the spine and cranium. In some cases acupuncture may be offered to help reduce muscle tension. Recommended exercises for correcting poor posture are also a part of treatment and consultation.

10 top tips for back care

1. Take regular exercise. The fitter you are the less likely you are to get problems
2. When your back is aching, stand up and walk around 
3. Take frequent breaks between repetitive tasks and vary the rhythm
4. Make sure your work station has been assessed properly
5. Pace yourself when the work is heavy e.g. gardening
6. Adjust car seats, and on long journeys have breaks and stretch
7. Watch children’s posture – don’t let them carry bags on one shoulder
8. Do not heat an injured back as this will increase inflammation
9. Is your bed the right bed or is it getting old? Hard beds are not best 
10. Seek osteopathic advice earlier rather than later

Osteopathic Professionalism and Safety

To qualify, an osteopath must study four to five years for an undergraduate degree. This is similar to a medical degree, with more emphasis on anatomy and musculoskeletal medicine, and includes more than 1,000 hours of training in osteopathic techniques. By law, osteopaths must register with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). It is an offence for anyone to call themselves an osteopath if they are not registered.

Further reading

  1. Osteopathic Manual Treatment and Ultrasound Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    John C. Licciardone, DO, MS, MBA1,2⇑, Dennis E. Minotti, DO1, Robert J. Gatchel, PhD1,3, Cathleen M. Kearns, BA1 and Karan P. Singh, PhD1,4

  2. Osteopathic manipulative treatment for low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
John C Licciardone1*, Angela K Brimhall2 and Linda N King3


Parking Information

Enter postcode for directions:

Rugby Osteopathic Centre, 69 Albert Street, Rugby
Warwickshire, CV21 2SN, Tel: 01788 560646, Fax:01788 571318
Email: reception@rugbyosteopaths.co.uk

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