Lower back pain is a very common presentation for osteopaths and is a problem that affects many people at some stage. The pain can be caused by many factors such as poor posture, poor lifting technique, injury (not just to the back), pregnancy and delivery, coccyx damage, hip and pelvic problems and other factors such as constipation, or painful monthly periods.

A good source of information about lower back pain can be found on the NHS choices website. Here osteopathy is mentioned as a choice that people can make to help with back pain, especially in chronic cases where the pain has lasted for more than six weeks. Your course of treatment will depend on your unique set of symptoms. In the case of lower back pain, the government organisation, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that treatment should include up to nine sessions over 12 weeks. (from the NHS choices website).  However, this a not a strict requirement or prescription and many lower back pain sufferers will experience improvement in symptoms with less treatments.

Some lower back pain can be a sign or symptom of other conditions that are not appropriate for treatment by osteopathy but if, after a consultation, the cause of the pain is considered to be emanating from a muscle or joint, or from a structural or functional compensation then osteopathic treatment may well be able to affect positive change.

Osteopaths asses and treat the whole body and rarely do we treat the painful area in isolation. At the Plymouth Naturopathic Clinic any treatment will always be fully explained and you will be encouraged to ask questions about the care you are receiving. For example some lower back pain could be due to poor functioning in your back and some hip and knee pain may be the result of poor ankle and foot function so these areas will be assessed and treated too.

Your treatment will use a range of appropriate techniques. These may include, physical mobilisation and manipulation; different types of stretching and strengthening techniques; and massage to increase the mobility of joints, to relieve muscle tension and to enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues, therefore helping your body’s own healing mechanisms. Providing advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery and help prevent symptoms recurring is also part of the treatment for lower back pain.