Health Topics

Back Pain

According to a recent survey (Palmer KT, Walsh K, Bendall H, Cooper C & Coggan D: Backpain in Britain; Two Prevalent Surveys at an Interval of Ten years, BMJ 2003 20-57) almost half of the adult population suffer some type of back pain during the year. Musculoskeletal disorders ( those affecting the body structure) are the most commonly reported work-related illness and nearly 5 million working days were lost through back pain in 2003/04 (Back Health at Work. HSE 2005)

For the purpose of this information sheet back pain refers to any pain, stiffness or any incapacity of the neck, shoulders, lower back, and hips. Pains in one or both arms or legs can also originate in the back.

The intensity of back pain can vary enormously ranging from intermittent episodes of stiffness and discomfort to acute pain with severe restriction of mobility. Whatever the severity of your back pain, it can be a considerable intrusion into your daily work and family and social life. We aim to provide the solutions you need.

Currently recommendations for managing acute back pain are to:

  • Continue normal activities and use painkillers (we recommend a safe and more effective procedure of hot and cold fomentations - see below)

  • Manipulation (see osteopathy below) Remain at work or return as soon as possible.

For a simple and effective way to relieve pain and stiffness click here. It is important, however, for the causes of your back pain to be determined and, if possible, corrected. For a thorough assessment of your spinal health an osteopathic consultation and treatment should be sought. Our naturopathic approach to spinal problems places as much emphasis on the balance of the muscles and supporting tissues as on the alignment of the vertebrae themselves. Attention to these can be helpful, even when there is arthritic degeneration in the spine; remember the worn bones will have been there long before you started getting pain. For more information on osteopathy click here.

In cases where back pain is severe or prolonged, acupuncture may be a more practical solution. This is a painless treatment that doesn’t involve moving the spine, helpful where the area is too tender for the gentle manipulation procedures of osteopathy. Moxibustion, a branch of acupuncture in which points on the back are heated gently with a smouldering herb, is valuable where the supporting tissues of the back have weakened through long term problems.

For further information please contact us or telephone 01462 684232 during office hours.