“An Osteopath is only a human engineer who should understand all the laws governing his engine and therapy, and thereby, master disease.” – Dr Andrew Tylor Still.
Lower back pain is a disruption of the muscles, nerves, connective tissues, and bones of the lower back.
The pain may occur as a quick, sharp pain or continuously over a short period and may depend on the level of strain. The signs that you are suffering from lower back pain can manifest as stinging, numbness, and weakness in legs with attacks from the lower back.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 1 in 6 people suffered back pain between 2017 and 2018. Osteopath Melbourne professionals have estimated that 90% of people they see will experience lower back pain sometime in their lives.
Lower back pain occurs in three phases:
- Acute pain that occurs shortly or soon after lifting twisting, or forward bending and lasts for about six weeks
- Sub-chronic pain, which is dull and prolonged, and lasts for 6 – 12 weeks
- Chronic lower back pain connected with sleeping difficulties and which manifests with depression
Causes of Lower Back Pain
According to osteopath Melbourne practitioners, back pain may differ according to the size, age, weight, and body fracture of the patient.
For some people, it could occur because of an accident, poor posture over time, or a sports injury, while for others, there are no apparent causes for the problem, and the pain could be as a result of a more in-depth, yet undiagnosed health issue.
Some well-known causes include:
- Lumbar strain, whether acute or chronic from poor posture or sudden movement
- Musco-skeletal issues such as muscle or joint tensions
- Congenital deformity
- Degenerative intervertebral discs
- Excess weight, which puts a strain on the lower back
- Complex medical conditions such as spinal stenosis, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, radiculopathy, sciatica, or spondylolisthesis
How Can You Treat and Prevent Lower Back Pain?
There are proven techniques and recommendations to help relieve back pain, improve movement in joints, and ease muscle tension.
Osteopath Melbourne professionals can differentiate between backaches from a common cause, like a strain or backache caused by a congenital, degenerative, or cancerous tumour, and will treat the condition accordingly.
You can prevent lower backache by:
- Performing regular exercises, e.g. swimming, walking, jogging, and yoga
- Using proper body mechanics like chairs with adjustable arms, neck support, and lumbar support to enhance an appropriate body posture
- Avoid staying in bed for extended periods or more than necessary, as this slows down the recovery process.
How is Lower Back Pain Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of lower back pain depends on the location of the pain, patient history, and exclusion of any nervous system damage or congenital issues.
Some procedures used in the diagnosis of back pain include:
- X-rays – to eliminate bone issues
- Ultrasounds – to show any tears in ligaments, muscles, or tendons
- MRIs – to confirm if there are any infections, tumours, or ruptures
- Electro-diagnostics – to verify if radiculopathy is present
- CT scans: to see spinal structures not visible in an X-ray
It is estimated that 70-90% of people living in Australia will experience lower back pain in their lives. The pain may last for six weeks, between 6 and 12 weeks, and more than 12 weeks.
Several factors can lead to lower back pain, depending on the age and size of a person. The good news is that back pain is treatable in various ways. One is osteopath Melbourne treatments.
Preventing back pain is manageable with regular exercises, proper lumbar support, and following an appropriate recovery process.