The low back pain

Almost half of my patients are coming for treatments due to chronic or acute low back pain. Low back pain can have many origins and therefore needs to be well-diagnosed before starting any treatment.

The first step is to know if the low back pain is due to a mechanical or inflammatory problem.

A low back pain caused by a mechanical problem is very common and an osteopathy treatment can be beneficial quite fast.

An inflammatory problem is more complicated because it involves a physiological inflammatory reaction. Inflammation is a natural process that the body makes to repair damaged tissues. Therefore it is a lot more difficult to stop that process than a common mechanical low back pain. Osteopathy can help diminish inflammation by using draining and mobilization techniques but the process is longer.

Now you might think, how do I know which type of low back pain I have?

Basically, if you have severe pain during the night when lying still and the pain is getting somewhat better during the day as you are moving and gets worse in the evening when relaxing, the chance of an inflammatory case is quiet high.

If the pain increases during the day or when sitting down for too long and if you feel stiffness in the lower back region when you wake up or have difficulties in certain movements like bending forward or backward, you most probably have a mechanical low back pain.

Osteopathic treatment of the mechanical low back pain

There are many reasons why your low back pain might be causing you pain.

A thorough anamnesis (the medical or developmental history of a patient) and a medical examination is crucial to understand and treat the origin of a low back pain issue.

One of the most common problems is the increased pressure on the discs (do not confuse with the prolapsed disc, which is when the disc is herniated/broken).

Nowadays, many people are staying too static, driving cars for hours and sitting in unfortunate positions for many hours each day. These unfortunate positions make the lumbar spine curve the wrong way causing the discs in the lower back to suffer (thereby the increased pressure), which over a longer period of time will slowly push the liquids out of the disc causing it to gently loose its height and capacity of absorbing shocks. Patients then start suffering from a typical low back pain which they describe as a horizontal stick going through their lower back.

They say that the flexion (bending the back forward) is difficult as the extension can sometimes ease the pain. The pain could also radiate down into their buttocks.

Osteopathy has very efficient decompression techniques to bring some liquid back into the disc and thereby helping the patient to recover from a mechanical low back pain.

Furthermore I use an advanced treatment table which has flexion/distraction options that are very efficient to treat this problem.

For further info on and a presentation of my treatment table:

lomb disc pressure.png

Disc pressure increased while sitting

Another cause of a mechanical low back pain is when a nerve is affected. This can happen when a herniated (broken) disc in the lower back compresses the nerve's root and provokes a pain, electricity, numbness and/or lack of strength in one leg.

Osteopathy can be very helpful to release the pressure on a nerve's root. In some cases the osteopath will have to ask the patient to do a scan before any manipulations to exclude any severe medical issues.

There are many other low back pain scenarios that can be discussed (psoas muscle tension, misalignment of the pelvis, diaphragmatic pressure, visceral dysfunctions  etc.). You are more than welcome to write me regarding your low back issues and get a precise check up at the clinic.