Osteopathy for Sciatica and Lower Back Pain
This is the commonest complaint treated by osteopaths. Acute low back pain can be treated very successfully, and if it is seen to quickly, it has a very good prognosis. If you suffer from chronic back pain (ie it has lasted more than about three to six months), it may take longer to put right. However do not assume that because you are not better after two or three treatments that you will not get better at all. It may take longer to put things right, but it is not often impossible.
What Causes Low Back Pain?
Back pain can result from bad posture, a sudden jerky movement, a lumpy mattress or poor lifting techniques. It can also be caused by injury in a work place, by a sports accident or by muscular spasms. It often occurs during pregnancy or, because of decreased flexibility, as people get older. Although low back pain often arises from problems with the back itself, it can also result from dysfunction of the hip, knee and foot.
Our modern, sedentary lifestyles have a profound effect on the development of back pain; indeed one of the most effective ways of preventing it is simply to stay active. An average adult in the UK spends at least two hours a day in front of a computer screen or television set, and back problems can be triggered if they don’t sit properly. In an age of mobile phones and computer games, such troubles are increasingly afflicting school-age children as well.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is pain which you feel down the back of your leg. It may stop just short of your knee or it may go all the way to your foot. Sciatica has several causes, the commonest being compression of the sciatic nerve (true sciatica) which passes either underneath or through a muscle in your buttock which is known as piriformis. This is known as piriformis syndrome.
A disc herniation may cause sciatica when the disc material or inflammation presses on a nerve as it exits the spine to join the sciatic nerve. And the same pain may be caused by inflammation in one of the small joints between two vertebrae.
Pain down the back of the leg may also be caused by pain radiating from the sacroiliac joint which is the joint between the sacrum (a large wedge-shaped bone at the base of the spine) and the large pelvic bone, the ilium. In this case the sciatic nerve is not involved.
Osteopathic Treatment for Low Back Pain
Osteopathic treatment is often the most effective first line of attack in correcting the problems which lead to back pain. Speedy access to osteopathic care for acute patients often prevents the condition becoming chronic. By correcting any underlying mechanical disturbances in the musculo-skeletal system, an osteopath can greatly relieve pain and distress and minimise dependency on drugs. The osteopath will also take account of other factors that might be making your pain worse. Pain is always worse when we are stressed or fatigued and it is important to recognise this and help the patient find ways of coping with the stresses that may be contributing to their pain.
Osteopathic treatment often removes the need for further medical investigation or surgery. However osteopaths are skilled in diagnosing problems that require such investigation or treatment, and will refer you back to your GP if necessary. By correcting a back problem, osteopathic treatment may also help to resolve related problems such as digestive disturbances and stomach pain, constipation and period pains.
I had 2 prolapsed disks in the base of my spine causing me unbearable pain and limited movement. After a recommendation from a friend I went to see Sorrel. This was the best advice I have ever taken… Sorrel’s highly expert treatment teamed with her gentle nature was the very healing I needed. Not only did Sorrel work thoroughly on my back but she looked at other areas of my life to enhance the work she was doing with me.
Going to see Sorrel was the best investment in my health I could have made. I have never looked back.