If you have ever experienced lower back pain, then I don’t need to explain how uncomfortable it can get especially when doing anything physical. If you have never experienced it, then you should everything in your power and avoid ever getting there. At Balmain, osteopaths can also help with lower back pain. This is the most prevalent musculoskeletal condition especially among the elderly and this is usually as a result of thinning of the bones; a condition known as osteoporosis. The condition, however, is not isolated only for the elderly, but is also common among the middle-aged as a result of lifestyle and posture.

Causes of lower back pain

In today’s urbanized and industrialized society, a lot of work is being done through the use of machinery. Because of this, people are not as physically active as they were some decades ago and that is the major cause of back problems among the middle-aged people. A large number of people also work in offices where they sit for long hours without stretching or going for a short walk. This, combined with wrong sitting posture, can bring about lower back pain. Other causes of lower back pain are; cancer of the spinal cord, raptured disk, arthritis and infection of the spine.

How to diagnose lower back pain

In order to diagnose lower back pain, an osteopath will first request for a medical history and then conduct a physical examination to determine where exactly the pain is radiating from. The osteopath can also check your responses to certain sensations to determine if the nerves are affected. Since most lower back pains resolve on their own, the doctor will first monitor the condition for a few weeks before making a conclusion on the diagnosis. However, if the back pain is accompanied by other symptoms, further tests are required and mandated. Some of these symptoms include; general body weakness, fever, weight loss and lack of bowel control.

Lower back pain treatment

In the case where the pain does not alleviate with self-care treatments, the osteopath can warrant for imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans and MRIs in order to check for bone problems, disc problems and problems with back tendons and ligaments. Depending on the source and severity of the lower back pain, there are various treatment options. The first-line treatment is normally self-care methods such as improving sitting posture and applying ice on the lower back. This is normally carried out for just a few days and if symptoms persist, one is required to take over-the-counter analgesics such as ibuprofen or diclofenac.

Physical therapy in lower back pain treatment

If the painkillers don’t help much, the osteopath will use the next line of treatment which involves physical therapy in conjunction with stronger medication such as; narcotic drugs for the pain, muscle relaxants to relax the muscles and steroid tablets and injections to reduce inflammation. Some of the physical therapy that the doctor can prescribe includes; back and spinal manipulation, strengthening exercises, stretches and massages. If all of the treatments fail, then surgery is warranted. This, however, is usually the last resort and is usually not carried out unless it is completely necessary.