Back Pain

Back pain is extremely common; at any one time, 25% of the population suffer from back pain. It can be extremely severe and debilitating either as acute episodes, where you can’t even stand up, or as long-lasting chronic pain which can make your life miserable.

Whilst it is true that back pain can be a symptom of serious disease, this is rare with less than 1% of all back pain being due to this.

Between 5-6% of back pain will be due to problems with your disc.

Direct injury can occur as a result of damage to sensitive structures of the spine following a trauma such as a fall, car crash or while playing sport, or even over-exertion from DIY or gardening.

And degenerative changes or osteoarthritis can cause facet syndrome and cause back pain.

However none of these are the most common reason for back pain.

By far the largest category is known as non-specific or simple back pain…  Although it is no such thing.


Simple or non-specific back pain

Most back pain starts for no apparent reason, sometimes you can just wake up with a bit of back ache that then gets progressively worse over the next day or two and you don’t really know why. This is because most back pain is a complex condition, meaning that it is not usually due to one event, but rather many different risk factors all interacting to result in back pain.

This happens when there is disruption of normal spinal mechanics so that the ability of your back to adapt and deal with all the many different stresses and strains that it has to deal with on a daily basis, is compromised. This creates an ‘injury process’ which leads to abnormal loads being put through your joints, ligaments and muscles which eventually start to cause problems. This may occur over an extended period of time dependent on how well your structures deal with this but then causes pain when it reaches a ‘critical’ level.

It is a common belief that most back pain gets better within 6 weeks but research has shown that this may not be the case and that back pain is more likely to be an ongoing problem with regular ‘flair ups’. It is now accepted that the biggest risk factor for further back pain is a previous occurrence and 40% of back pain sufferers have been shown to have recurrent, intermittent and episodic pain (Croft et al 1997). So, although your back pain may settle within this time, many will go onto have grumbling and recurrent problems for long periods of time, sometimes becoming much worse.

It is vital therefore that if we are going to effectively tackle your back pain and change these statistics, we must not only address your pain but also any risk factors that are maintaining the ‘injury process’ that leads to further occurrences of back pain.

Back Pain Treatment

Our Osteopaths at the Sussex Back Pain Clinic are trained to give back pain treatment by assessing the mechanics of the spine properly and identify any regions of trauma or undue stress and strain that alter the function of your spine, that would create an ‘injury process’, leaving it susceptible to mechanical overload and pain. By using gentle corrective manipulative techniques, as well as giving lifestyle, postural and exercise advice, we can restore your spine to its correct function to ease movement and not only remove your pain but, with your involvement, address many of the different risk factors to stop the ‘injury process’ to enable you fully recover and protect your spine from any further recurrence or future damage.

Medication prescribed by your GP can often help with the pain and is often useful used alongside Osteopathy, but can have quite nasty side effects and can be addictive. Also, medication only addresses your symptoms and will do nothing about the underlying injury process, meaning that there is a risk of this recurring again, if not managed with appropriate treatment and advice.

If your back pain is due to a disc problem, such as a Slipped or Prolapsed Disc, we may recommend a course of IDD Therapy Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression treatment. With IDD Therapy we have successfully helped many hundreds of patients suffering with chronic low back pain.

Book a Consultation Today with one of our Osteopaths and Get Started on the Road to Recovery
Call us on 01273 725667