Back Pain – How to support yourself
Lower back pain can be acute or chronic, and can range from uncomfortable to disabling. Some people benefit from direct intervention, such as a deep tissue remedial massage, or an adjustment from a Chiropractor, or an Osteopath. Others need a gentler approach such as Acupuncture or Craniosacral therapy. Treating back pain is a hugely complicated affair.
“Whether at your desk, on your tablet or sitting watching TV, it’s really important to take regular breaks to relieve the build-up of tension in your lower back. Sitting causes up to twice as much pressure on discs on the spine as standing so, as a nation, we’re vulnerable.”
Traditional medical approaches will usually focus on medicinal pain relief, and perhaps some physiotherapy, however for most people, a multifaceted approach would be better. Some people will have a combination of physical treatment, some will find that a combination of pain relief and therapy benefits them best.
The best way to find out what works for you is to learn to listen to your body. Choose your therapist wisely, and listen to their advice. For many people there is no single cure for lower back pain, it can be a case of trial and error to find out what works for them.
There are several types of therapists who can help with back pain:
An Acupuncturist will apply fine needles to specific points in the back. This results in the body producing pain-relieving substances, such as endorphins.
Traditional acupuncture is based on the belief that an energy, or “life force”, flows through the body in channels called meridians. This life force is known as Qi, and when Qi does not flow freely through the body, this can cause illness. Acupuncture can restore the flow of Qi, and so restore health.
A Chiropractor will work holistically with you, treating you and your body as a whole. The theory being that proper alignment of the body’s musculoskeletal structure, particularly the spine, will enable the body to heal itself. The belief is that if your back is healthy, then other illnesses and problems can be improved. A chiropractor will use various techniques such as massage, manipulation and adjustment during a treatment.
A Craniosacral Therapist will use very gentle, subtle movement, involving holding the skull and using very light pressure. Craniosacral can free up any restriction in troublesome areas
A Massage Therapist will work on the area of pain, using varying pressure and techniques to loosen the muscles and tissue. Often they will find other areas of tension near to where you may be feeling sore, and they will work on these too, with the hope that by treating all of the pain locations, the original injury will benefit.
An Osteopath will focus on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of a wide range of conditions, such as back, neck and shoulder pain, arthritis, hip, pelvis and leg issues, sports injuries and problems with posture caused by driving, work or pregnancy. They use a range of techniques, including manipulation, stretching and massage.
If you are able to, exercise can help. By strengthening the core, back issues can be improved. Learning to lift and carry correctly, and using a stand-up desk or a posture chair when having to be seated for extended periods really helps too.
If you need help with back pain, why not contact us and try one of the treatments listed above?