Latest News from Bearsden Osteopaths

Back Pain

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Back Pain - by Linda Canning 

Most people will suffer with back pain at some point. At Bearsden Osteopaths we diagnose and treat back pain - there can be many causes which produce pain. Here are a few: 

Muscle Strain

There are lots of muscles in the lower back and if we overstretch and load them too much, they can strain, tear and become painful. They normally can heal pretty well given the right encouragement.

Facet Joint Inflammation

This is when the spinal joints become strained and inflammed. They can lock up too, causing limited movement. Alongside this, muscles will become tight (hypertonic) and sometimes even spasm to protect the joint.

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

This is the joint that is either side of the sacrum at the back of the pelvis. This is commonly affected in pregnant ladies as it can become overly mobile. Muscles around the lower back and hip tighten to protect the joint from moving further = pain and restriction

Ligament Strain

This can happen if the back has been overstrained, or if the person is particularly mobile.

Disc Degeneration 

The discs in between the vertebrae naturally become thinner over time. Our discs are at our best when we are in our 20''s all downhill after that! It's not all bad though. Disc degeneration or thinning otherwise known as spondylosis doesn't have to be painful. You can scan anyone on the street and find all sorts of anomalies: some will have pain, some won't. 

To diagnose the painful thing in your back, we perform various tests to figure out what is going on. Normally, there's more than one thing that has strained; it's multifactorial. We also test for underlying sources of your pain i.e. you could have a restricted hip, or ankle, or a weaker gluteal muscle group which has affected the mechanics of your back which eventually causes strain.

If there is no apparent reason for your back pain, and you've just woken up with it it's normally due to some kind of postural or alignment issue which we can certainly help with and it's likely some low back pain has been 'brewing' for a while. The body is excellent at adapting to issues, but then it can take a trivial little movement like bending, sneezing or simply 'turning the wrong way' to set it off!

There are more sinister causes for back pain. We take a thorough case history in the first consultation to rule out any serious pathology that could be the cause of your pain to ensure you are safe to treat. If we suspect anything else, we refer you straight back to your GP to ask for further tests to be performed. This is thankfully rare, and remember back pain is extremely common! So even if you are in immense pain, it's very likely it's due to a mechanical cause (i.e. the above list) and some osteopathic treatment along with our expert advice, it will settle down soon. 

Any of the above tissues can also impinge on the nerves coming out of your spine and cause sciatica; pain in the leg. This can also be accompanied by pins and needles, numbness and weakness. We can diagnose and treat sciatica in most cases too. 

If you'd like to learn more about your back pain, call us or book online to make an appointment   |     0141 942 0629