There are many different reasons why back pain occurs and if prevention and treatment are to be most effective, it is important to have a good understanding of the cause. This can often be traced back to an old accident, injury or trauma.
Back pain does not always arise immediately after an injury because the body is very good at adapting. Episodes of pain may be triggered by emotional stress, physical exertion or illness and the smallest pain can take longer to heal than expected. In treatment it is often necessary to release the retained stresses from past injuries and traumas in order to relieve the current back pain and reduce the chances of it reoccurring.
The most common contributors to back pain are:
OCCUPATIONAL STRAIN caused by habitual bad posture due to poor seating at computers, which places strains on the spine, leading to back pain. With osteopathic treatment and improved seating ingrained spinal stresses can be released.
LIFTING STRAINS caused by lifting heavy or awkward weights including babies; children; and shopping. If the spine is already under stress from another cause, it may only take a small lifting strain to cause problems, usually occurring at the weakest point of the spine.
CAR ACCIDENTS can cause many problems including back pain, even if the car is travelling at very slow speeds. When sudden deceleration happens the body can be thrown around violently in many different directions. Osteopaths are often able to feel components of the directional stresses locked in the body tissues after a whiplash accident. The whole body is affected, not just the neck and unless these strains are treated they may cause further complications.
FALLS can cause the spine to be jerked and twisted and parts can become impacted or compressed. Sit-down falls like falling on ice or a slippery surface are particularly damaging because in addition to the direct impact on the base of the spine, the impact of the head onto the top of the spine causes strain at the top of the neck. Headaches and neck problems are very common after this type of injury.
DIRECT INJURIES like kicks and blows to the spine can create a local area of disruption of the normal spine mechanics. Problems may gradually develop over a period of time, even if the back seemed uninjured at the time.
BLOWS TO THE HEAD can disrupt the normal minute movements of the bones of the skull, a situation that has far reaching effects on the rest of the body. Posture may be modified as the spine adapts to the injury, which can cause areas of strain.
CHILDBIRTH STRAINS caused during childbirth when the mother’s pelvis can become distorted as the baby’s head descends. In many cases the distortion corrects itself, but if severe it can remain for many years and disrupt spinal and pelvic mechanics.
It is preferable to consult an Osteopath before back pain becomes too severe. Most back pain is easier to treat in its early stages and it is may help to minimise structural damage or wear and that can be caused by uneven pain-avoiding postures which can aggravate the weak areas of the spine.