How to fix Back Pain?

Where do I start, Studies have revealed that 1 in 4 people suffer from back pain at some stage in their lives. If you

back pain - desensitise

hands on treatment of back pain

compare that to other pains, aches or medical conditions it is a very high statistic and yet it is one problem that does not appear to have a structured approach to its management and/or treatment.

How many articles do you see in the newspaper on Back Pain and how many millions of references on the Internet will you find if you type in ‘back’ and ‘pain’ together?

How can you sieve through all this literature and decide what is relevant to you, and then make an informed decision on what is the best path for you to take in your quest for pain relief from your specific affliction.
How many people claim to be able to treat back pain, and how many people run from ‘Billy to Jack’ and back again to in an attempt to relieve themselves of this scourge.

You’ll find orthopaedic and neurosurgeons, rheumatologists and pain specialists, general practitioners, physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, spinologists, musculo-skeletal therapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists, reflexologists, kinesiologists, pharmacologists, aromatherapists, herbalists, holistic practitioners, spinologists and bone setters all offering solutions, but how do you know what will work for you?

I am not going to attempt to tell you which of these work and which don’t or if they are recommended, safe or unsafe because I cannot say what will or won’t work for any individual without assessing them first, and all of the above may vary in skill, ability and experience. I am also not condoning or opposing any form of treatment in this article. All I am trying to do today is make you aware that there is no ONE right way of dealing with back pain, which works for everyone.

Unfortunately, the general public are faced with so many choices regarding their own back pain they have no idea which way to turn. Many of the above are licensed, well recognised disciplines and others are alternative treatments, many are nicely packaged and promoted in such a manner that the sufferer does not know what is likely to work for them.

What I plan to do over the next few weeks is discuss various causes of back pain in such a way that back sufferers may be able to relate a little better to their specific pain and perhaps point them in the right direction regarding what treatment/management to seek out.

The Anatomy of Back Pain.

In order to understand our backs and our back pain, we need to take a look at the anatomy of the spinal column and surrounding tissues.

back pain

Spinal Curves

The spine is made up of seven cervical (neck) vertebrae, twelve thoracic (upper back) vertebrae and five lumbar (low back) vertebrae. These bones are designed to take weight in the front part and then to move relative to each other in the back part. They are held together by ligaments and moved by muscles. The spinal cord passes through a canal towards the back of the vertebrae and the nerves, which come out between these bones, supply all the organs of the body and activate the muscles of the body to make it move. As all of these structures are packed closely together, any dysfunction of one, will have an effect on another,and if the cause of your back pain is actually mechanical, any one of these structures could be the source of your pain
• Discs
• Facet joints
• Ligaments
• Muscles
• Nerves
• Fascia
• Connective tissue
• Blood vessels
Your back pain may also be caused by a combination of dysfunction in several of these.

However there are other major influences on your back pain and this is why so many of the suggested treatments you will search and find on the internet DO NOT WORK for you. There are non-mechanical causes of back pain, and without understanding these fully many approaches to treatment will be unsuccessful. When choosing a treatment approach it is important to consult a practitioner who is able to thoroughly assess the entire body and consider all the possible causes and influences on your pain such as

  • which of the previously mentioned structures in the body may be affected
  • what psychological stresses may be affecting your pain
  • what previous medical history is relevant
  • the bio-mechanics of the body
  • the stresses and strains your body is subject to in your sport, work and leisure

Over the next few weeks I hope to address the various causes of back pain to hopefully direct you better in your quest of how to fix YOUR back pain.

Kilkenny Physiotherapy Service Statement

In Kilkenny Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic Our aim is to provide a high quality service where we not only attempt to relieve you of your current complaint but to discover why it occurred in the first place, recognise any predisposing factors in your body, your work or recreation, and offer a comprehensive course of treatment or exercise programme to try and prevent future occurrences.