Why Does My Back Hurt

Many of us suffer from pain or aching in our back, here are a few facts about what may be the reason for this.

 

Low back pain is a modern epidemic it is the reason for :
£3.8 Billion lost production a year.
106 Million sick days per year.
£1.4 Billion in benefits.
14 Million GP visits.
1.6 Million hospital visits.

 

NATURAL HISTORY

 

Disc ageing starts in the mid 20’S.
Akin to a car tyre deflating the back becomes stiffer and shorter.
80% of the populationwill havesome low back pain, the vast majority is self limiting.
This is not a disease but a wear and tear process.

 

DEGENERATIVE LOW BACK PAIN


Discs wear like car tyres, getting flatter.
Facet joints wear – these are the joints at the back of the spinal column, worn joints
reate stiffness in the morning and after sitting.

Unfortunately we cannot use WD40.

 

INSTABILITY PAIN


Causes severe episodic low back pain.
Occurs when least expected.
Severe attack of back spasm.

Can take days to get over.
Attacks sometimes become more frequent and severe.
Can  be normal in between times.

 

THE AGEING PROCESS

 

Inevitable.

1. Disc starts to tear and age.

2. Instability can occur giving attacks of pain and facet joint stiffness.

3. Stability then occurs via arthritis.

 

Premature lumbar disc degeneration can occur more rapidly in some people due to:    backache_1
1.  Inherited
2.  Labouring
3.  Previous injury
4.  Smoking
5.  Medical conditions [RA, Diabetes etc]

 

LOW BACK PAIN AND WORN DISCS


X-Rays will only show bony changes they can’t show pain.
Pain can be due to:
Changes in vascularisation
(Annular) Disc tears
Joint wear
Instability [Bone or soft tissue]
Nerve irritation
Muscle and ligament strains
Nerve pain and back pain
Nerve root compression by disc, bone, ligament or by all three
Stenosis [narrowing]

 

BONE  CAUSES  OF  LOW  BACK  PAIN

 

Pain from bone problems:

1. Stress fracture

2. Osteoporosis

3. Tumours - rare

4. Infection - rare

5. Pain from wear and tear

6. Collapse of disc spaces [Bone on bone]

 

STRUCTURAL  CAUSES  OF  LOW  BACK  PAIN

 
Structural problems will cause unequal wear and tear and assocciated soft tissue problems in muscles, ligaments and discs.

 

COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS
1. Pain = Damage
2. Don't take pain killers as they mask damage (pain relief is fine if you are sensible)
3. I will end up in a wheel chair as I will get worse with age.

 

SURGERY

 

For back pain is aform of pain control.
For instability is a mechanical solution.
For nerve pain = Removing the source (ruptured disc material pressing on nerve)

 

PREVENTION BETTER THAN CURE


First get the pain under control then try to restore normal spinal mobility with Osteopathy treatment.
Then prevent reoccurance by strengthening your muscular corset with core muscle strengthening exercises.

 

Injections for pain control if necessary.
It is important to get severe pain under control.
Then return to an exercise programme

Injections are not a cure on their own.

 

Return to work, programmes of different duties and fewer hours initially.
If a person is out of work for 6 months the return rate is only 50%. It is important not to get out of the habit of work.

 

SELF HELP

 

Remia as active as possible [need to keep muscles and joints active]
Take what ever pain killers and/ anti inflammotories needed [on the short term] to reduce frustration.

SEEK OSTEOPATHIC TREATMENT