The Osteo

Back Pain

Are you suffering from backpain?​

Persistent, uncomfortable, frustrating dull ache or sharp pain in your back which just won’t budge? Do not worry, despite treating a wide range of conditions which can occur in the body, osteopaths are renowned for their expertise in the treatment and management of low back pain.

Here at the Osteo Practice in Harpenden our aim is not just to get you back to being pain free but also to keep it that way too.

To achieve this we offer a variety of alternative treatment approaches such as, deep and soft tissue massage, joint manipulation, joint articulation, medical acupuncture, kinesiology taping and tailored rehabilitation programmes to fit in with your lifestyle. This multifactorial approach will ensure our management of back pain is suited specifically to each of our individual clients.

“Worth every penny! Matt has been a tremendous help with my chronic lower back pain and my only regret is that I wish I’d found him sooner. I can confidently say that this is the strongest my back has felt (since first suffering from lower back pain and neck/shoulder tightness 5 years ago) and it’s all because of Matt’s help. He is the most non-judgemental and approachable osteopath I’ve come across with fantastic on-going support through his tailored exercise programmes!”

I have shooting pins & needles/numbness/strange sensations/weakness going into my legs​

Is this due to my back pain?​

There are a number of reasons why a person may experience altered sensation or motor function (control of movement and power) into different parts of the body. However, if you are experiencing low back pain which is accompanied by any of the above symptoms it is possible that the two are related. There are many structures in your back which if damaged can cause a wide variety of strange symptoms to develop.

In the majority of cases these symptoms are due to an irritation or damage of the nerve roots as they exit the spine, this is typically caused by prolapsed or bulging discs, compression via the vertebral joint or a muscular spasm.
At the Osteo Practice in Harpenden we can perform a large number of neurological and orthopaedic tests to help determine the cause of your symptoms. This allows us to effectively target and treat the direct source of your presentation.

We understand that when these symptoms arise it can not only be very uncomfortable but also scary. If you are worried, concerned or would simply like some advice or pain management please do not hesitate to call on 07496 918 435

What can cause lower back pain?

The torso and spine is a complex and remarkable mechanical assembly which consists of bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, discs, a spinal cord and nerves.

Due to the important nature of the vertebral column, the body has evolved to ensure that we treat our spine with the upmost respect, and to provide a constant reminder, it has flooded the area with an array of highly pain sensitive fibres. This is why when something goes slightly out of sync, we know about it.

Fortunately this means that the level of discomfort we feel does not always appropriately mirror the level of physical damage that may have occurred.

We often hear people attribute their back pain to ‘poor posture’ or ‘flare up of an old injury’. Although this is often the case, it’s important to ask the question WHY NOW? Why has this back pain just started to become an issue again and why was it not there before?

This is the exact questions we ask ourselves at The Osteo Practice in Harpenden. In doing this, it ensures that when we combine treatment and a few lifestyle changes, we stand a great chance of minimising your appointments and keeping you pain free.

Reducing the chance of injury and minimising the forces placed on our spine can be achieved by lifting objects which do not exceed a certain weight and when doing so, in the correct form. However… we all know this, and unfortunately it’s unrealistic to expect ourselves to abide by these at all times. The problem is when things do go wrong they can be incredibly painful and if the appropriate action isn’t taken, you can experience back pain and discomfort for some considerable time. In these circumstances, various structures such as ligaments, muscles, discs, nerves, bones and joints can be affected.

A thorough case history and a range of diagnostic tests allow the Osteopath the ability to decipher the exact cause of your back pain, leading to the appropriate management and plan of action.

This is often due to a ‘failure of adaptation’. We expect a great deal from our body and when we change our normal operating function, adaptations and compensations must occur in order to cope with the new demands. This doesn’t always happen quite as quickly as we’d like and along the way we can sometimes experience aches and pains as our body comes to terms with the alterations in our lifestyle.

Our job is to speed up this process of adaptation, or to use our professional osteopathic judgement to assess whether lifestyle factors need to be modified, and ultimately get you back on the road to recovery and enjoying a pain free life to do the things that you enjoy.

These are all scary terminologies which I believe are thrown around as a diagnosis far too often. Degeneration and osteoarthritis (arthritis which is due to wear and tear of a joint, not due to a systemic inflammatory or rheumatological cause) can occur in the discs and bony joints of the spine from a young age. In the majority of individuals it will remain asymptomatic throughout life, however for those who do experience symptoms, osteopathy provides a wide range of treatment styles, lifestyle advice and pain management approaches to help you tackle any discomfort, joint or back pain that you are experiencing.

Osteopaths undergo extensive training in order to determine whether your pain is mechanical in nature i.e. damage or change to tissues local to the area of discomfort, or whether your pain is secondary to an underlying systemic condition e.g. inflammatory, cardiovascular, endocrine.

During your initial appointment it is perfectly normal for your osteopath to ask a number of questions which may seem unrelated to your presentation. This is our way of assessing for red flags which could suggest your symptoms need further investigation, such as blood tests or imaging. In the event that they do, your osteopath will ask for your permission to write to your GP, or a specialist in the required field, documenting our findings to ensure that you receive the appropriate care.

Pregnancy is a unique and powerful experience. Huge physical, hormonal and emotional changes will occur over a relatively short period of time. The body must adapt to carrying up to 20kg of foetus, amniotic fluid, body fat and placenta. This can impose huge strains on both organs and muscular-skeletal tissues as both posture and directional forces of gravity change.

Following childbirth, the mother’s body has to recover from the changes made during pregnancy but also from the stresses of delivery and the demands of having a new baby. Carrying, lifting and nursing of baby in poor positions can all place large pressures on the body and can ultimately lead to back pain. Our osteopathic treatment and postural advice can help you return to normal by relieving strains from both pregnancy and labour so you can relax and enjoy your new baby.