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The Lowdown on Lower Back Pain

Lifespan Osteopathy Essendon / Health & Well Being  / The Lowdown on Lower Back Pain

The Lowdown on Lower Back Pain

One of the most common complaints we see here at Lifespan is lower back pain.

That’s not surprising, because around 85% of the population will experience it at some stage of their lives.

In people younger than 45, low back pain the most common cause of disability, but fortunately, most people fully recover within around 2-4 weeks, with only around 14% of cases persisting beyond this time.

In terms of cost to the community, the numbers are huge, due to things like time spent off work, and insurance compensation claims.

Some people are able to tell us exactly how and when theirs started, for example, when they slipped on a wet surface or lifted something awkwardly. For others, it starts more gradually or for no apparent reason.

However it started, we’re tipping that if you’re reading this, lower back pain is stopping you from doing all the things you love, or even some of the things you don’t (like sitting at your work desk) comfortably.

 

Research tells us that the risk factors for lower back pain include:

  • Being overweight or obese,
  • Smoking,
  • Lack of sleep, and
  • Lack of leisure-time physical activity.

 

There are a number of possible causes of lower back pain:

  • 70% of cases are due to lumbar region joint sprain or muscle strain,
  • 10% of cases are due to age-related degenerative changes,
  • 20% of cases are due to a variety of other less common causes.

 

Why do we tell you all of these statistics?

It’s not to alarm or depress you about the widespread nature of lower back pain, but to assure you that even if you have lower back pain now, you’re not alone and that we’ve seen cases like yours plenty of times before.

 

If you’re ready for treatment now, the following is a breakdown of what to expect if you decide to see one of our Lifespan Osteopaths about your pain.

When patients present to our clinic with lower back pain, we’ll take the time to go through a full case history- making sure we note down things like:

  • Exactly where the pain is,
  • What type of pain they have,
  • How and when it started,
  • The intensity of the pain,
  • Any radiations or referrals (for example pain that runs down the back of the leg),
  • Aggravating and relieving factors, and
  • Any other associated symptoms

We’ll also want to know about your medical history, as this may have some relevance to your current symptoms.

Once we’ve got your history down, we’ll leave the room to allow you to get changed into a robe, so that when we examine you, we can actually see your lower back.

Our examination may include things like:

  • Asking you to perform specific movements,
  • Orthopaedic tests, and
  • Neurological testing where appropriate.

All of these are done in the consultation room. It’s pretty rare for us to refer for any imaging at this stage, unless we want to rule something out to make sure it’s safe to treat you.

The examination is ultimately performed so we can piece our findings together with your case history, to arrive at a working diagnosis. Once we’ve reached this, we’ll discuss what we’ve found with you, and work with you to devise a management plan based on your treatment goals and current condition.

You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions, set treatment goals, and make sure you understand your condition fully before going ahead.

We pride ourselves on individualising each patient’s care, so it’s difficult to say exactly how many treatments each patient will need.

What we can say, however, is that we’ll always make it clear to you at the beginning how many treatments we expect you will need, and what the indicators will be if that doesn’t seem to be working out for any reason.

Our highly experienced Osteopaths are available 6 days a week.

Why not give us a call or book online today and start your treatment program now?