Back pain is common and can come and go and you may think it is inevitable. But with the right approach, it needn’t be a life sentence. The key to beating back pain is to understand the cause of the pain and then to get effective treatment.
The Sundial Back Pain Programme treats back pain with an effective step by step programme to rebuild a strong and healthy back so you can lead an active life again. Our award-winning team works hard to understand your problem and deliver effective treatment to solve your back pain with three simple steps …
Cause of back pain
Back pain is caused by irritation to the joints, discs, muscles or nerves of the spine. This happens with repetitive minor trauma such as bending and lifting or, more rarely, by a single traumatic injury such as a fall or accident. It can also be caused by inactivity which causes the joints of the spine to stiffen up and the back support muscles to become weak such as sitting at a desk for long periods.
If the joints of the lower back get stiff they are less able to carry out normal movements and this can lead to further joint irritation, stiffness and pain. This is often called Facet Joint Syndrome. The nerves around the stiff joints get irritated too and send alarm signals into the nervous system which can cause further symptoms such as tingling and pain referred down to the hips and legs. This can mimic sciatica.
Occasionally, the nerve irritation can cause muscles in the legs to weaken and cause problems in the hips and knees. How this occurs isn’t clear but anyone with hip or knee problems seeing us here at Sundial will get a thorough muscle and spine check-up.
Treatment for back pain
Making an accurate diagnosis is crucial to solving back pain quickly as the treatment for different sorts of back pain is not the same. Stiff joints benefit from gentle manipulation or mobilisation to loosen them up; muscle spasms get better quickest with deep pressure and stretching techniques and disc bulges improve with well with decompression techniques and specific advice on daily activities.
You may find it hard to know who to see to get the best back care. Here at Sundial you have the best of all worlds as we have chiropractors, physio’s and massage therapists working together to solve your back pain.
If you are not a fan of the back clicking that chiropractors are known for you can choose our No-Click Chiropractic for a gentle yet effective approach.
In addition to unlocking stiff joints, exercises that you can do at home help with almost all back problems. One thing is the same for all back problems though – an accurate diagnosis is required for treatment to be effective.
Cause of Sciatica
The cause of sciatica is often a bulging disc, sometimes called a slipped disc, herniated disc or prolapsed disc. The bulging disc in the lower back presses on the sciatic nerve as it comes out of the spine on its journey down the back of the leg. Sciatica pain can be incredibly intense and can leave you bed-ridden for days or even weeks. Fortunately, it can usually be treated easily with the techniques we use here at Sundial which speeds up the healing process.
Muscle spasm can also cause sciatica. If a particular muscle in the buttock, called the piriformis muscle, goes into spasm then the sciatic nerve can be pinched as it passes close by. This is often called Piriformis Syndrome. The pain is the same as sciatica caused by a disc bulge but the treatment is easier and recovery quicker.
Sciatica symptoms are often described as a deep burning or electric type pain in the buttock going down the back and outer part of the thigh and on to the calf and foot. It is often accompanied by numbness, tingling and funny sensations on the skin. Foot and ankle muscles can often go weak which can prevent you from walking on your toes or heels. Rarely, this can become permanent so prompt action is a good idea.
Treatment for Sciatica
Early treatment for sciatica is recommended as the longer it goes on the harder treatment gets and the less likely as a successful outcome is. Pain killers and anti-inflammatory medication from the GP or pharmacist are helpful and, at Sundial, this is backed up with disc decompression techniques and spinal mobilisation. Exercises form an important part of the programme and consist of several easy-to-do movements at home without any special equipment.
Sciatica can take months to go but early expert treatment can speed up the process and make get you back to normal as fast as possible. With the right care, surgery or other invasive procedures can often be avoided.
As with other sorts of back pain an accurate diagnosis is important so that you get the right treatment. It might seem that an X-ray or MRI scan is a good idea to show what the problem is. Unfortunately, this has not usually shown to be the case. The discs and nerves don’t show up on X-rays and MRI scans often don’t help pinpoint the cause of the pain or improve the treatment. The most important thing is a thorough examination by an expert in back problems.
What makes Sundial special?
We understand how frustrating a bad back can be and the anxiety it causes in doing even simple things. Nobody should have to put up with ineffective treatment or put their life on hold because of back pain. We have treated nearly 30,000 patients over 30 years. When asked, 94% say they are satisfied or very satisfied.
Our excellent results are due to the fact that we are the only clinics in Sussex to have chiropractors and physiotherapists working together to deliver the best care. This team approach is more effective at finding the cause of back pain and treating it effectively. This is the Sundial Back Programme.
If you are fed up with back pain and worried about being inactive, unfit and gaining weight then book now a free consultation.
Top 10 Tips to Beat Back Pain
Medical treatment for back pain
Preventing back pain
Does back pain get worse as we get older?
Preventing long-term back pain
Back pain- what car is best?
Recent Posts on Back Pain …
- 5 predictions for the future of back pain treatment 3rd January 2020 Back pain is a global menace. It is the biggest cause of disability worldwide; it affects whole economies, individuals’ health and makes lives a misery. Back pain contributes to obesity, diabetes, osteoarthritis and mental health issues as those with back pain cannot exercise as much as they would wish. The 2020s should see major advances ...
- Why does back pain come back? And how to prevent it 11th December 2019 Back pain recurs when the stresses and strains on your back overcome your body’s ability to deal with them. Daily activities like bending, lifting and long periods of sitting with poor posture can put a strain on the spine which it can normally cope with very well. Unfortunately, if there is an underlying issue which ...
- The problem with 10,000 steps a day 11th September 2019 It’s recommended that we take 10,000 steps a day. However, a recent study conducted at Stanford University found that the global average for steps taken per day is 4,961. Though the UK’s average is above this stat, it’s a far cry from the suggested amount. But the 10,000 steps figure is not based on science in ...
- Little-known cause of back pain starts in childhood and is entirely preventable 5th September 2019 Back pain often comes on apparently without reason. In fact, one possible cause might stretch all the way back to childhood. Hove dentist, Pieter Grobbelaar, tell us how teeth and jaw problems can be behind chronic pain. The jaw joint (TMJ) and pelvic joints (sacro-iliac joints) both work in conjunction with one another, compensating for one ...
- Exercise mistakes that make your back worse 5th September 2019 If you bend, as in a yoga forward fold, over and over again then it can cause injury. It is like repeatedly bending a credit card, a white line appears and ultimately it breaks. Many people with back pain feel that their back is too stiff and want to stretch it. A better goal for exercises ...
- Surprising facts about back pain and arthritis of the spine 9th July 2019 Back pain is surrounded by myths which often cloud simple facts. People with back pain are often told is that “it is just wear-and-tear and you’ll have to put up with it” or “it’s probably arthritis. What do you expect at your age”. This is not very helpful and often is plain wrong. Many back sufferers ...
- Why an accurate back pain diagnosis is essential 10th June 2019 Back pain is not one condition but several conditions causing similar symptoms. A muscle spasm, disc derangement and a spinal joint dysfunction all cause low back problems that can refer pain down to the buttock and leg and a skilled chiropractor or physio can tell which problem it is likely to be. Whilst several conditions ...
- Bare as you dare – how sunbathing prevents back pain 18th April 2019 The sun is shining; it’s warmed up; time to take your clothes off! If you are suffering from ongoing back pain, then you could be deficient in Vitamin D. This hormone is responsible for a wide range of processes in the body including bone and muscle function. A commonly missed cause of back pain is Vitamin ...
- Can arthritis of the spine cause back pain? 24th July 2018 Does arthritis, specifically osteoarthritis, cause low back pain? In this video Brighton chiropractor and back pain expert, Matthew Bennett, reveals the answer and explains what osteoarthritis of the spine actually looks like.
- New study slams medical treatment for back pain 23rd March 2018 A new study on back pain in the prestigious medical journal, the Lancet, roundly criticises medical treat of low back pain. Researchers from all over the world took part and looked at how back pain is treated and they concluded that there is “inappropriately high use of imaging, rest, opioids, spinal injections, and surgery.” They go ...