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 consultation.
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