Back painBack pain can be improved and relieved with treatment including Acupuncture and Osteopathy.
- What is Back Pain?
- What can cause Back Pain?
- How can Acupuncture help back pain?
- How can Osteopathy help back pain?
- What evidence is available?
- Where can you find us?
What is Back Pain?Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain that makes it hard to move. It can start quickly if you fall or lift something too heavy, or it can get worse slowly. Sometimes symptoms also radiate up the back or down the legs.
What can cause Back Pain?Back pain is more common the older you get and if your physical fitness levels are poor.
Being overweight, with a diet high in calories and fat can stress the back and cause pain.
Some causes of back pain, such as ankylosing spondylitis, (a form of arthritis that affects the spine), can have a genetic component.
If you have to lift, push, or pull while twisting your spine, whether at work or through sports, this may cause back pain. Equally, if you sit at a desk or steering wheel all day and do not adopt a good posture, you may also experience back pain.
If you smoke, your body may not be able to get enough nutrients to the disks in your back, as smoking has a leeching effect. Smoker's cough may also cause back pain. People who smoke are often slower to heal, in which case back pain may last longer.
Mechanical problems with the back itself can cause pain, for example disk breakdown or rupture, spasms or tense muscles, plus injuries from sprains, fractures, accidents, and falls.
Some conditions and diseases can lead to symptoms of back pain, including Scoliosis, Spondylolisthesis, Arthritis, Spinal stenosis, Pregnancy, Kidney stones, Infections, Endometriosis, Fibromyalgia, Cancer, infections, tumours and stress.
How can Acupuncture help back pain?Acupuncture provides pain relief by stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, which leads to the release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors which change the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord.
Additionally Acupuncture reduces inflammation by promoting the release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors, and improves muscle stiffness and joint mobility by increasing local microcirculation. This aids the dispersal of swelling and bruising.
By helping relieve symptoms, Acupuncture can reduce the use of medication for back complaints, thereby providing a more cost-effective treatment over a longer period of time.
Furthermore, Acupuncture can improve the outcome and success of treatment when added to other rehabilitation therapies such as Osteopathy.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines on best practice, now recommend that GPs propose a course of 10 sessions of acupuncture as a first line treatment for persistent, non-specific low back pain.
How can Osteopathy help back pain?Osteopathy uses manual techniques, based on an examination of the whole body. This diagnostic process will identify sources of pain and restricted movement that may indicate injury or impaired function.
Osteopathy works in several ways which relieve back pain, including stretching the muscles and ligaments of the back to reduce muscle spasms and restoring better mobility to the vertebrae.
Treatment will also improve blood flow and lymphatic drainage locally which helps to reduce pain, and by promoting free movement of the entire musculoskeletal system, an improvement in symptoms can be achieved.
Osteopathy sessions will include advice for patients on techniques they can adopt themselves, to help relieving and avoiding future episodes of back pain. Some methods will involve improving posture, correct exercise and stretching routines and proper lifting techniques.
Other areas which often require support and advice are diet and lifestyle, stress management and workplace ergonomics.
What evidence is available?
- National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence clinical guideline 88 - Low back pain
- The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association article on the benefits of Osteopathy for acute and chronic low back pain
- The British Journal of General Practice opinion on the use of Osteopathy for treating back pain
Where can you find us?Our clinics in Cambridgeshire and London offer Acupuncture, Osteopathy, Naturopathy treatments for back pain.
Our Sawtry clinic covers a wide area from Peterborough to Huntingdon and St. Neots, while at the Steeple Morden clinic we receive patients from Baldock and Royston, plus Ashwell and all over North Herts.
From Deeping St James, our most rural clinic attracts patients from Stamford, Spalding and Peterborough.
Please call us for more information and to discuss your individual symptoms on