Lower back pain is really very common, with 8 out of 10 adults suffering at some point in their lives. As per the title, in many cases the cause is not clear and advice about anti-inflammatory drugs, analgesics and keeping moving makes sense as in most cases the problem will resolve spontaneously in a week or two.
The lower back is made up of the lumbar spine and the extensive network of muscles enveloping the region and forming the abdominal cavity, attaching to the ribs above and the pelvis below. Between each vertebral body (the big round bit) there are discs that act as shock absorbers and allow movements between the Vertebra, at the most posterior part of the back sit the spinal facet joints which control the movements between these vertebral structures.
The 'non specific' part of this description refers to the medical model of diagnosis, which assumes that if there is pain there is possibly a disease process or structural damage that is causing this to occur and this is 'test-able'. Over many years and in the vast majority of cases on medical examination and testing nothing is found that might obviously cause the symptoms. Therefore as it is very difficult for the doctor to identify the exact cause, hence the title. In summary the advise normally goes along the lines of 'It's painful but we don't know why, should get better, follow the advice in the first paragraph, go away and only come back if it is no better in 6 weeks'.
This is the territory where both osteopaths & physios work, seeing many patients in this position and specialising in getting them back to a normal pain free existence. The assessment and diagnosis is a subtle one, assessing through touch and observation how a body moves and the different parts interact with one another. In the majority of cases, the cause of lower back pain is originating from the pelvic joints and/or the small facet joints of the back which can become restricted due to muscle guarding and inflammation. Occasionally there is ligament damage or a pulled muscle or a postural issue; frequently there exists a combination of all of these elements combining to produce discomfort, pain and restriction.
Many patients find that the osteopathic intervention at an early stage speeds their recovery, reduces pain and improves movement. The occasional treatments every few months stop them having a recurrence, simply put 'prevention is better than cure'.
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When I first came to you, I could not put weight fully on my knees and I found it difficult to walk. I was pleased that after only three weeks I felt a difference.I can now take long walks. I can also play my sports without pain. I would certainly recommend you to anyone.