Back Pain is a very common problem affecting a third of the adult population in the UK. But when a painful or stiff back becomes a persistent or daily occurrence, it can become debilitating and interfere with normal activities you enjoy doing.
You may experience back pain with other symptoms such as leg pain or sciatica. It can come on suddenly after an isolated incident such as bending awkwardly or lifting something heavy, or more commonly, it may develop gradually and be more associated with repetitive strain or poor posture.
Taking over-the-counter medications can help in the short term, but it is far better to address the root cause of your back pain and find longer-term relief. Here at The House Clinics, Bristol, our team of specialist Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, and Massage Therapists are expertly trained in the treatment of back pain and injury.
Back pain can present in any of the four main parts of your spinal column:
Back pain can be very uncomfortable and can be felt in one or both sides of the back, between the shoulder blades, or from wasit level and into the buttocks and down the front or the back of the legs. It can be a sharp or dull pain and can spread into the lower legs and sometimes as far as the feet.
Back pain rarely has a serious underlying cause. Seeing a qualified health professional, such as a chiropractor or physiotherapist who is experienced in diagnosing conditions of the back and spine, can help treat back pain, and also identify if a referral or specialist investigations are needed.
Simple or Mechanical Backpain -This is by far the most common type of back pain and is caused by muscle tension and resulting joint stiffness. Tight muscles in the back may develop due to stress and poor posture. Any activities that lead to an alteration in the normal biomechanics of the back can cause joint and soft tissue strain; such as sleeping in a bad position, sitting at a desk for long periods, lifting and carrying, exercise, or jobs that are very physical.
Osteoarthritis or Osteoarthrosis - As we get older, wear and tear may contribute to back pain. The shock-absorbing pads between the bones of the back (known as intervertebral discs) narrow with age. The muscles and ligaments become less pliable, the joints less mobile and prone to malfunction, which results in stiffness, pain, and overall reduced mobility.
Slipped, Bulging, or Prolapsed Disc - Rapid onset of back pain with disc injury is often seen in younger people (under 40), caused by strenuous activity that might include a combination of bending, twisting, and lifting. While in older people over 40, a gradual onset is more common when the disc caused by wear and tear.
Stenosis - Narrowing of a nerve canal; the most commonly affected are the central spinal canal (causing spinal cord compression) and the lateral foraminal canal (causing spinal nerves to become trapped).
Pregnancy-Related Back pain (Pelvic and Pubic) - In pregnancy, the hormone relaxin is secreted into the system which helps to soften and relax the ligamentous structures and prepare the mother to be able to give birth. The relaxed ligaments can result in the lower back joints having reduced ligamentous support, becoming more predisposed to lower back and pelvic joint sprain.
Spondylolisthesis - A condition affecting the lower vertebrae of the back, causing one of the vertebrae to slip forward onto the bone directly beneath it. It is commonly triggered by increased stress or overload on the lumbar vertebra. It is often seen in those with an increased forward postural spinal curvature, weight lifters, rugby players, and gymnasts.
Chiropractors and Physiotherapists specialise in assessing, diagnosing, and managing conditions of the spine and neck. They are highly trained in finding the cause of your pain. Before starting treatment, your practitioner will undertake a full assessment. This will involve taking details about your condition, current health and medical history, and performing a physical examination. Sometimes it may be necessary to refer you for other tests, such as X-rays or MRI scans.
Before starting treatment, our practitioners will explain what is wrong, what can be done, and what can be expected from chiropractic or physiotherapy treatment.
At The House Clinics, we also believe that Massage Therapy can work hand-hand with chiropractic or physiotherapy treatment to speed your recovery to full health. We may recommend massage therapy as part of your treatment programme to relieve back pain.
As a multidisciplinary practice, The House Clinics are able to combine the expertise of our Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, Massage Therapy, Podiatry and Chiropody practitioners to offer a unique and exceptional service to our clients. Please speak to your practitioner if you have any queries about other services we offer.
A wealth of information and useful news articles to help you.
If you've made the positive step of deciding to see a Chiropractor for treatment, you may be wondering what to expect in terms of the treatment and frequency of visits to get good results. Here's our full guide on how Chiropractic treatment plans work...