Seeing an Osteopath when you have back pain
A lot can go wrong with your back. We really aren’t designed to sit in chairs at computers all day. We probably aren’t designed to sit in chairs at all, in fact. If you grew up in a society where squatting is the most normal way to sit, the shape of your feet will have developed differently, which would have changed the way your whole system works.
We probably aren’t designed to wear shoes, either; or at least, not for long periods of time. Our feet send a massive amount of information to our central nervous system, because the brain is designed to respond very quickly to what happens when we put our bare feet on rapidly changing ground. The nerves from the feet pass information to the spine via the lower back, and having our feet in shoes is like putting them into sensory deprivation chambers: our nervous system is constantly looking for information which isn’t available, which can make it confused.
We aren’t designed to sit in cars, then twist to get in and out. We aren’t designed to stay in the same posture for long periods of time.
We aren’t designed for the psychological stress of the modern workplace. (Our systems are better designed for coping with physical dangers than psychological threats).
All of these things, and many others, mean that there is a lot of back pain in our society. There are also a lot of people who can treat it quite effectively; chiropractors, physiotherapists, massage therapists, and Bowen therapists, among others, are usually pretty good at it.
If you have been seeing someone for your back pain for a long time, though, and the treatment that they give you doesn’t seem to be making a lasting difference, it might be time to see an osteopath.
I will look at things holistically, and will try very hard to find out, not just where it hurts or where it is stuck, but why that has happened. I will look for the underlying causes, and will respond to them, as well as to the immediate problem.
There is scientific research supporting this approach to your back pain (see below).
Seeing an osteopath when you have back pain:
Licciardone JC, Kearns CM, Hodge LM, Minotti DE. 2013 Osteopathic manual treatment in patients with diabetes mellitus and comorbid chronic low back pain: subgroup results from the OSTEOPATHIC Trial. J Am Osteopath Assoc Jun;113(6):468-78
Vismara L, Cimolin V, Menegonia F, Zaina F, Galli M, Negrini S, Villa V, Capodaglio P, 2012 Osteopathic manipulative treatment in obese patients with chronic low back pain: A pilot studyManual Therapy Volume 17, Issue 5, October , Pages 451–455
Kim BJ, Ahn J, Cho H, Kim D, Kim T, Yoon B, 2014 Rehabilitation with osteopathic manipulative treatment after lumbar disc surgery: A randomised, controlled pilot study International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine November
Licciardone JC, Kearns CM, Crow WT 2014 Changes in biomechanical dysfunction and low back pain reduction with osteopathic manual treatment: Results from the OSTEOPATHIC TrialManual Therapy Vol 19 (4) pages 324-330
Licciardone JC, Aryal S, 2014 Clinical response and relapse in patients with chronic low back pain following osteopathic manual treatment: Results from the OSTEOPATHIC Trial Manual Therapy Volume 19, Issue 6, December , Pages 541–548
Parker J, Heinking KP, Kappler RE 2012 Efficacy of osteopathic manipulative treatment for low back pain in euhydrated and hypohydrated conditions: a randomized crossover trial. J Am Osteopath Assoc May;112(5):276-84
Arienti C, Daccò S, Piccolo I, Redaelli T 2011 Osteopathic manipulative treatment is effective on pain control associated to spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord Apr;49(4):515-9
Cruser dA, Maurer D, Hensel K, Brown SK, White K, Stoll ST. 2012 A randomized, controlled trial of osteopathic manipulative treatment for acute low back pain in active duty military personnel. J Man Manip Ther Feb;20(1):5-15
Licciardone JC, Kearns CM, Minotti DE 2013 Outcomes of osteopathic manual treatment for chronic low back pain according to baseline pain severity: results from the OSTEOPATHIC Trial.Man Ther Dec;18(6):533-40
Childs JD, Fritz JM, Wu SS, Flynn TW, Wainner RS, Robertson EK, Kim FS, George SZ. 2015 Implications of early and guideline adherent physical therapy for low back pain on utilization and costs. BMC Health Serv Res Apr 9;15:150
Fritz JM, Childs JD, Wainner RS, Flynn TW 2012 Primary care referral of patients with low back pain to physical therapy: impact on future health care utilization and costs. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) Dec 1;37(25):2114-21
Fritz JM, Brennan GP, Leaman H 2006 Does the evidence for spinal manipulation translate into better outcomes in routine clinical care for patients with occupational low back pain? A case-control study The Spine Journal Volume 6, Issue 3, May–June , Pages 289–295
Guthrie RA, Martin RH 1982 Effect of pressure applied to the upper thoracic (placebo) versus lumbar areas (osteopathic manipulative treatment) for inhibition of lumbar myalgia during labor J Am Osteopath Assoc 82(4):247-251
Norén L, Ostgaard S, Nielsen TF, Ostgaard HC 1997 Reduction of sick leave for lumbar back and posterior pelvic pain in pregnancy Spine 22(18):2157-2160
Diakow PR, Gadsby TA, Gadsby JB, Gleddie JG, Leprich DJ, Scales AM 1991 Back pain during pregnancy and labor J Manipulative Physiol Ther 14(2):116-118
Fryer G, Carub J, McIver S 2004 The effect of manipulation and mobilisation on pressure pain thresholds in the thoracic spine Journal of Osteopathic Medicine Volume 7, Issue 1, April , Pages 8–14
Campbell GA, Leighton C, Brook M, Janna F 2012 Management Patterns in Acute Low Back Pain: The Role of Physical Therapy Spine Issue: Volume 37(9), 20 April, p 775–782
von Heymann W, Schloemer P, Timm J, Muehlbauer B 2013 Spinal High-Velocity Low Amplitude Manipulation in Acute Nonspecific Low Back Pain: A Double-Blinded Randomized Controlled Trial in Comparison With Diclofenac and Placebo Spine Issue: Volume 38(7), 01 April, p 540–548
Schwerla F, Rother K, Rother D, Ruetz M, Resch KL 2015 Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy in Women With Postpartum Low Back Pain and Disability: A Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial J Am Osteopath Assoc Jul 1;115(7):416-25
Bronfort G, Haas M, Evans RL, Bouter LM. 2004 Efficacy of spinal manipulation and mobilization for low back pain and neck pain: a systematic review and best evidence synthesis. Spine J May-Jun;4(3):335-56
Licciardone JC, Gatchel RJ, Kearns CM, Minotti DE. 2012 Depression, somatization, and somatic dysfunction in patients with nonspecific chronic low back pain: results from the OSTEOPATHIC Trial. J Am Osteopath Assoc Dec;112(12):783-91
Harrison RE, Page JS 2011 Multipractitioner Upledger CranioSacral Therapy: descriptive outcome study 2007-2008. J Altern Complement Med Jan;17(1):13-7
Prinsen JK, Hensel KL, Snow RJ 2014 OMT associated with reduced analgesic prescribing and fewer missed work days in patients with low back pain: an observational study. J Am Osteopath Assoc Feb;114(2):90-8