Back Pain Treatment


Lower back pain is becoming more prolific in most people nowadays and most will suffer from it during their lifetime. Lower back pain is something that can be treated in a variety of different ways. Treatment can be given to you by either a chiropractor, physiotherapist, osteopath, or you may visit your GP. 


It can be persistent and painful and can have a huge impact on people’s day-to-day life. There are different catalysts that cause back pain such as a sudden impact like lifting a heavy object, or, it can progress gradually due to poor posture. As you get older it is more common to develop back pain just through wear and tear which causes stiffness and pain. There is an increased number of back problems arising due to it being more common to work from home or at a desk all day.  


Having a computer or laptop not set at the correct height for you may be a factor in lower back pain. Sitting down for long periods of time can enable you to get into bad habits such as hunching over or not moving, thus creating pain and stiffness in the lower back. A sit stand desk is a good way of ensuring good posture during a full day at work. This is one way of slowing down the progression of lower back pain. 


Back Pain Treatment

There are options to treat lower back pain such as chiropractic or physical therapy. These are both non surgical and don’t require the use of medication, which are highly recommended. 


Chiropractors treat both the nervous and musculoskeletal system, focusing mainly on the spine. Studies show that all manual therapies carried out by chiropractors are effective in the treatment of lower back pain. The main way of managing lower back pain is through manual therapy of spinal manipulations and mobilisations. A manipulation is a high velocity, short lever thrust applied to certain structures around the spine. The main aim of this is to improve spinal function and mobility and reduce nerve irritability around the lower back. Whereas a mobilisation is a low velocity manipulation by moving the joints to increase range of motion around those structures. 


A physical therapist focuses more on the musculoskeletal system. Their approach to treating lower back pain is slightly different to that of a chiropractor as they do more work into the muscles and provide patients with stretches and exercises which can be done at home. Treatment you will usually receive will be either trigger point therapy or massage to target tight muscles around the lower back and hip and release any tension within these muscles to aid mobility. Exercises and stretches are a key factor in reducing lower back pain. Strengthening your core is very important as it teaches spinal alignment and helps anchor your spine and support a large amount of body weight. The weaker your abdominal muscles are the harder other structures like spinal muscles have to work, which may cause strain and further injury. Basic exercises such as dead bugs and the plank are fairly simple to carry out for any age. This needs to be incorporated with stretches for the lower back such as knee to chest, cat camel and childs pose. 


All this care should be followed closely from a healthcare professional to ensure they are carried out correctly and alleviate any chance of further injury. 


What is traction treatment for back pain?


Along with the advice and treatment given to you by a healthcare professional you may also be given equipment to use at home or a different type of hands on treatment.  Traction is a key treatment option aimed at decompressing the spine to relieve pressure. This alternative can be used to treat a wide range of spinal problems such as sciatica and herniated discs as the aim is to take any pressure off any discs affected. 


Cervical and lumbar traction stretch or use of devices creates a light stretch on the spine either at the neck or the lower back.  This use of treatment is both highly effective and has a rapid response. 


Cervical traction works by both stretching the vertebrae and muscles, which then in turn relieves any pain and pressure put through the joints and muscles. This then helps increase alignment and mobility. 

There are a range of ways in which cervical traction can be carried out, either manually by a therapist or at your own home. Manual cervical traction is carried out by a therapist where they create a slight stretch on the neck, alongside a chiropractor who will carry out any necessary adjustments. This provides the largest benefit to those being treated. 


Lumbar traction is performed by a therapist where they place their hand on your pelvis and their upper hand on a thoracic vertebrae and push outwards and a stretch should be felt through the spine. 


There are ways of carrying out traction for both the cervical and lumbar spine at home. This is carried out by using traction wedges, which are large foam blocks with special designs to allow the spine to bend over it and allow that stretch. This type of treatment may be given to a patient, alongside their regular treatment. This is carried out as regularly as possible and going up in small increments until they reach the full 20 minutes comfortably, this will then be completed for 3 months to gain maximum benefit. 


Undertaking these traction treatments are safe to perform and pain – free, as long as your therapist has educated you. There are some side effects that come with this such as headaches and dizziness, this is due to your body changing to this positioning. If this were to happen, stop immediately and discuss with your therapist. 


There are many contraindications of carrying out traction. A contraindication is a condition or factor that may refrain someone from carrying out this certain exercise as it may cause harm to the patient. They are as follows: rheumatoid arthritis, recent fracture or injury to that area, tumours in that area, osteoporosis, hypermobility or instability. 


Always remember to listen to your body and do not push it further than what is comfortable. 


Do massages help in Back Pain Treatment


Massage is manipulation of the body’s soft tissue. Soft tissue is a connective tissue which includes muscles, ligaments, tendons and skin. Massage is designed to work deep into these soft tissues and and assist in correcting any imbalances within them as a result of trauma or repetitive strain. Massage has health benefits for anyone suffering from back pain. It has been proven to increase blood flow to provide the soft tissues with much needed nutrients and aid recovery after exercise. It relaxes muscles by decreasing the tension and this then allows more flexibility leading to reduced pain. 


There are different types of unique massage techniques with some proven to be more effective than others. A deep tissue massage is an effective and relaxing method of massage. It uses different techniques including effleurage, petrissage and tapotement which are kneading, stroking and rhythmic striking motions. Trigger point therapy is one of the most effective types of massage when done correctly. Trigger points are normally the cause of pain in the back or contribute to pain. When pressure is applied to these points pain can refer and break the pain cycle that is caused by tension in the muscle.  


Massage is a safe treatment for back pain, however there are some minor side effects of tenderness or stiffness for a couple of days. After this tenderness subsides there should be a noticeable relaxation in the back which lasts up to around 2 weeks. Having a massage every few weeks will help the pain to subside slightly but will not fully alleviate pain after one session. This means that whilst massages can help ease back pain it doesn’t always get to the source of pain until after a few sessions.  If the muscles do not relax in response to this treatment inflammation is usually present, so another treatment plan should be considered. 


Combining massage therapy with other medical treatments such as chiropractic can provide optimum care for back pain with the best possible results. 


To have your back pain assessed by a professional. Call the Dorsi Spinal Institute or CLICK HERE to book.


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