Back Pain and Sciatica

back pain#1Back pain, Lumbago, Sciatica, Sciatic Pain, Sacroiliac Pain – They are all names given for slightly different kinds of pain felt in the area of the lower back, sometimes (but not always) travelling down the back of the leg. They can be due to the same cause or a variety of different structures in the back causing the pain.

Back Pain

Back pain is responsible for more days off work than the flu! And therefore some G.P.s will only prescribe painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs to treat it. Most of the time this works, but if the back pain persists, then an alternative form of treatment will be required (you don't want to have a dependance on drugs all your life!)


Lumbago is typically seen as pain in the lower part of the back (The Saddle Area) and nowhere else. It can be very debilitating and patients often complain of “not being able to put their shoes or socks on” due to the pain in their back. many have to ask a family member to help with the act of getting dressed!

Sciatica or Sciatic Pain

Sciatica is pain that can start in the back and travel down one leg or the other (or both!) often right down into the toes. Occasionally there is no pain in the back and only pain in the back of the thigh and into the leg, but mostly the cause lies in the bottom of the back and it is here that we have to treat.

Sacroiliac Pain, Sacroiliitis

Sacroiliac pain is usually felt in one buttock cheek or the other.Very rarely does it effect both sides (at the same time) but it can be, literally “a pain in the bum!” It is often described as a burning sensation deep in the buttock muscle and can make standing and the act of walking very painful.

There are many different treatments out there that supposedly will help your back pain, but most of them will just hide the pain or temporarily reduce it so that you can manage to get about. But they don't get to the root of the problem and fix it! There is often a mechanical cause of your back pain and unless that mechanical cause is corrected, it will continue to give you problems for the rest of your life.

Diagnosis and Treatment

As an osteopath, it is up to me to diagnose the cause of your pain and devise a treatment plan to help you get back to optimum back health. This will often involve some movement of the back joints (known as manipulation) some stretching of the surrounding muscles and occasionally some electrotherapy (mild electric current) applied to the area via some sticky pads (like a TENS machine, only more versatile) to make the muscles relax and allow your back to move more freely. I also advise you on which exercises will help to keep you back working properly and what activities you should avoid to prevent this from happening again.

Usually this will involve a course of treatments to get you back to optimum health (you can't build Rome in a day) and the problem will then require no further treatment. Usually 4-6 treatments will do the job, but it is dependant upon the severity of the back pain, and the underlying condition that is causing your pain.

Maintenance Treatments

The beautiful young woman getting a massageIf you're a little older you may require some regular maintenance treatment to keep your back healthy, again we have a maintenance treatment package that will manage this for you. Once a month is advised, but this can vary from once a month to once every three months, any less than this and the treatment becomes ineffective, and you are likely to have recurring episodes of worsening back pain throughout your life. A maintenance plan is your way of looking after your back, the way it has looked after you, up until now.

I'm often asked “why does my back need regular treatment?” and I reply “Consider yourself as a Classic Car. As you get a little older, you need to be driven a little more carefully. You'll need constant attention to keep everything running smoothly and in tune, and if you do this you can expect to keep everything running smoothly for many years to come.” Please note, I see many people that spend more time on their cars than they do looking after their own back health, and that's why they end up seeing me.

Looking after your back this way is the same as looking after yourself in other ways. Some people exercise regularly, others watch what they eat, some do both, but usually all of this is in moderation. This means that they can have lazy days when they do nothing or very little, and have days when pizza, chocolate and ice-cream are all on the menu. But generally this means that they can enjoy good health without being a slave to punishing exercises or never eating the foods that they love.

Best Advice…

So if you want to get your back checked out and keep it moving pain free whatever the activity you want to do, or you know that you need some treatment to get rid of those niggling aches and pains, then give me a ring on 077-1024-4390 and we'll schedule an appointment to get your back moving free and easy, and check it out to see that it's healthy and will last you for a lifetime, the way it was meant to be.

Call 077-1024-4390 today for more details, or to book an appointment.


Tom Harper has been actively involved in promoting pain relief treatment for over twenty years. He is the Registered Osteopath at the Nuneaton Osteopathic Clinic and has interests in sports injuries and headache and migraine treatment and is a keen cyclist and fell-walker.

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