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Disc injury

What causes lower back pain?

Back pain, especially lower back pain is one of the main reasons that people come to see an osteopath.

There are a large number of different causes of back pain. For example, a poor desk setup means that people spend hours in front of a computer in a position that places increased pressure on the lower back, eventually leading to back pain. London is, of course, full of people sitting in offices. Other common causes are poor driving positions, awkward lifting, overstraining whilst doing activities like gardening and cleaning.

When you do injure your back there are several different structures that can be causing the pain. These include herniated discs (aka “slipped discs”), over strained muscles, joint inflammation and ligament damage. Other causes such as cancer and infection are fortunately much less common.

What are the common symptoms of lower back pain?

Common back pain symptoms include a dull ache in the low back, buttocks and thigh which becomes a sharp pain on particular movements. If you have a disc injury you will often find Sitting for more than a few minutes also causes significant back pain, London office workers take note. If you have a “trapped nerve” – ie the nerve coming out of the spinal cord is being pressed or irritated by another structure, you may also experience symptoms in the legs – (click sciatica article for more details about leg symptoms caused by back injuries). If you are experiencing other symptoms such as feeling unwell, losing weight, disturbance of bowel or bladder function, you should talk to your GP as these could be signs of more serious pathologies.

Is lower back pain treatment from an osteopath effective?

The short answer is YES. NICE guidelines for lower back pain, published in 2009 specify lower back pain treatment from an osteopath as effective. Ben Posen Osteopath, provides treatment for back pain and injury using a range of approaches including:

  • Joint mobilisation – to promote greater range of movement in the back and free trapped nerves.
  • Deep soft tissue massage – to reduce muscle spasms

Postural guidance and safe exercises – to make your body stronger and more flexible, so that your symptoms don’t keep coming back.