Monthly Symptom Checker: Low Back Pain
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In our Monthly Symptom Checker, we’re focusing on one of the most prevalent yet often underestimated issues – low back pain. Understanding its nature and addressing it early is crucial for effective management and long-term relief.

Understanding Low Back Pain

Did you know that 25% of us experience back pain at any given moment? Its severity can range from mild discomfort to debilitating episodes impacting daily life.

Back pain is often misunderstood as a standalone condition but is actually a symptom of underlying issues. It can be categorised into pathological back pain (linked to diseases), radiculopathy (often from disc problems), and non-specific back pain (most common and medically unexplained). Serious diseases cause less than 1% of back pain cases, but it’s important to watch for red flags like persistent painnighttime discomfort, or unexplained weight loss​.

Common Causes of Low Back Pain

  • Muscle or ligament strain: Repeated heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement can strain back muscles and spinal ligaments.
  • Bulging or ruptured discs: Discs act as cushions between the bones (vertebrae) in your spine. The soft material inside a disc can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve.
  • Arthritis: Osteoarthritis can affect the lower back. In some cases, arthritis in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis.
  • Skeletal irregularities: Conditions such as scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, can lead to back pain​.

Symptom Checklist for Low Back Pain:

❓ Do you have persistent lower back pain? Yes🔘, No⚪

❓ Experience stiffness or reduced mobility in your back? Yes🔘, No⚪

❓ Feel pain radiating down your legs? Yes🔘, No⚪

 

If you’ve answered “Yes”, we recommend an assessment with us.

Catching Regular Episodes of Low Back Pain Early

If you regularly experience episodes of low back pain, such as after gardening or working at a computer all day, it’s important to address these issues early.

Often, such recurrent discomfort is due to accumulated effects of poor habits or ergonomics, which, if ignored, can lead to more serious problems. A proactive approach to such pain can prevent the buildup of these effects and safeguard against more significant issues in the future​​.

Self-care and Prevention Tips

  • Maintain good posture: Ensure your workspace is ergonomically designed, avoid slouching, and get up regularly if you are sitting at a desk for long periods. Taking short breaks to stand and stretch can significantly reduce the risk of back pain. We have a helpful video on proper sitting posture that you can watch here.

 

  • Stay active: Regular physical activity can strengthen your muscles and improve flexibility, which helps prevent back pain.
  • Use proper lifting techniques: Bend at your knees and keep your back straight when lifting heavy objects.
  • Manage weight: Excess weight can put additional strain on your back.

Addressing Common Myths

Contrary to popular belief, back pain isn’t always due to simple muscle or ligament strains. It often results from a complex interaction of various factors including genetics, environment, function, chemicals, nerves, and psychological stress. Structural abnormalities like scoliosis or leg length differences often have a weak relationship with back pain​​.

Holistic Approach to Back Pain

Effective treatment requires addressing multiple factors and adopting a holistic approach. This includes educationmanual therapy, and addressing lifestyle and psychological factors. By understanding the complexity of back pain, we can provide more effective treatments and better outcomes.

Treating Low Back Pain at Sussex Back Pain Clinic

Our osteopaths and physiotherapists assess spinal mechanics, identify stress areas, and restore proper function using gentle techniques, coupled with lifestyle and exercise advice. This holistic approach not only alleviates pain but also targets its underlying causes to prevent recurrence​.

For disc-related back painIDD Therapy Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression has shown great success in providing long-term relief. This therapy is particularly effective for patients with disc problems such as bulging discs or degeneration​​.

Experiencing low back pain symptoms? Don’t hesitate to come and see us. Early intervention can lead to significant improvements in your back health.

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We offer a complete range of treatments to tackle all types of back pain. Whatever the problem, we have the knowledge, expertise and solutions to get you right again.