Back pain is the main cause of disability worldwide, affecting 540 million people at any one time. In the UK, back pain is experienced by around a third of the UK population each year. Unsurprising, then, that it’s possibly the most common complaint seen by osteopaths. It can happen in any part of the back, though the low (lumbar) area is most prevalent. It can be pain of the acute, crippling type (“I leant over the basin to brush my teeth and my back just went!”) or the chronic, wear-you-down type.
Osteopathic treatment is great at dealing with back pain. Massage and manipulation can be really effective at easing troublesome backs, but the work only starts there. The real challenge is making it not come back – or if that’s not realistic, finding great self-management strategies that you can use to keep it at bay. That might include anything from taking up Pilates, to altering your desk set-up, to stress management or relaxation techniques. There’s no one answer – it depends on you. What you do, how you think about your pain, what you want to be able to achieve. There are other approaches that can be helpful too, such as talking therapies for chronic pain or acupuncture and other complementary therapies. It’s about finding what works for you.
The key thing is, back pain is incredibly common, and a serious or worrying cause is incredibly rare. Osteopaths know what to look out for, and will refer you if there are any concerns.
So don’t put up with it – take control and get back to being you!