Sunday, 19th November 2017
BEAUTY Article
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This Month's Magazine
General Back Pain & Prevention

General Back Pain & Prevention

Osteopath Paul Knight this month explains the nature of a very common problem that affects most people in this day and age.

Back problems account for over 50% of cases osteopaths see and can be severe and debilitating either in acute episodes, or as chronic pain suffered over a long period of time that is both uncomfortable and fatiguing.

Why does back pain occur?
There are many different reasons for back pain and, if prevention and treatment are to be most effective, it is important to have a good understanding of the cause. The onset can often be traced to an accident or trauma, even one that occurred many years previously.

Back pain often does not arise immediately after an injury because the body is very good at compensating for injuries and accommodating strains and stresses. However, the disruption to spinal mechanics causes strain to build up over a period of time and symptoms begin, often insidiously.

Episodes of pain may be triggered by events such as physical exertion, emotional stress or illness. Sometimes a minor strain may give more pain and take longer to heal than expected. This may be because the body has reached the limits of its ability to cope with the combined effects of past injuries, and any new demand is ‘the final straw’. As we grow older our ability to compensate for problems lessens.

In treatment it is often necessary to release stresses from past injuries and trauma in order to relieve the current back pain, and reduce the chance of it recurring


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Other symptoms
Stresses within the body often cause problems in other areas as well as the back. Common associated symptoms are undue fatigue, mood swings or depression, disturbed sleep, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, pins and needles, numbness, period problems, digestive problems and vulnerability to infections. Many of these improve and resolve during a course of osteopathic treatment.

Self help for back sufferers

Whilst every person is different, there are a few general rules to observe to help reduce or prevent back pain. For back pain better to see your osteopath sooner rather than later

  • Take regular exercise. Your osteopath will know what is right for you.
  • Avoid poor prolonged postures. Hours in one position can cause problems. Prevent ‘computer hump’ Do not slouch in chairs with the lower back unsupported. Push your bottom well back into the chair and sit tall (a firm cushion in the mid to lower back will actually keep your spine in a mechanically sound S-shape).
  • During repetitive tasks, vary your rhythm and take regular breaks.
  • Avoid strain when lifting. Stand in front of the object and hold it close to your body. Bend the knees and keep the back as straight as possible. Also keep balanced and do not twist when putting the object down.
  • Pace yourself with heavy work like gardening, don’t risk a disc!
  • Watch children’s posture. They shouldn’t carry bags on one shoulder or spend too long at a computer without breaks.
  • Remember that sleeping in bed is a posture. Make sure that you have a fairly firm mattress, one or two pillows tucked into your neck to give it support, depending on how broad shouldered you are.
  • If it hurts, stop! Pain is there for a reason. If you take heed of the early warning signs, it is often possible to prevent the situation getting worse.
  • Do whatever is most comfortable, not what is most convenient.
  • Seek osteopathic treatment if your back pain does not easy within a week. If acute seek treatment sooner.



Estepona Osteopathic Clinic
Paul Knight BSc (Hons), Avda de España, 124 - 1D, 29680
+34 625 957 673
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Estepona Osteopathic Clinic

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