Regardless of age or gender, 80 per cent of the population will suffer from back pain at some time in their life.
Common causes of back pain include:
- extensive sitting or standing
- heavy lifting
- constipation, irritable bowel and endometriosis
- menstrual pain
- insufficient flexibility
- muscle weakness
- dysfunction in the thorax, lower limbs and pelvis.
There are several more serious causes of low back pain, such as disc injury, fracture, tumour and infection. Osteopaths, as primary healthcare practitioners, are trained to differentiate between uncomplicated back pain and back pain requiring referral to specialist care.
Your osteopath will help you develop the most effective course of action to manage your back pain. They will assist you to:
- improve joint mobility
- reduce muscular tension, inflammation and nerve irritation
- improve blood supply and drainage to and from the spine and pelvis
- reduce the duration of low back pain episodes
- help prevent future episodes
- get advice on posture, exercises and stretching
- learn how to improve your ergonomic environment
- learn about diet, hydration and exercise
- communicate and plan treatment with your GP and insurer
- be referred for radiological assessment when required.
Top tips for back care:
- Seek osteopathic advice regularly.
- Keep mobile and exercise daily. Nothing is better than walking.
- During repetitive tasks or heavy labour, make sure to vary your rhythm, take regular breaks, and have a stretch.
- Keep well hydrated to keep your spine more mobile.
- Eat sufficient protein to help repair tissue.
- Be careful when lifting.
- Have regular osteopathic care during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
- Ensure you have a supportive mattress.
- Make sure your children do not carry a heavy bag on one shoulder or spend too much time in front of technology or the TV.
Copyright © Australian Osteopathic Association (www.osteopathy.org.au)