Low Back Pain

Back pain is very common; according to a survey published in 2000 almost half the adult population of the UK (49%) report low back pain lasting for at least 24 hours at some time in the year (1). This cost of back pain to the National Health Service is more than £1 billion per year (2).

In about 85% of cases of low back pain no clear pathology can be identified (3). Factors that contribute to back pain include; past history of back pain, smoking, obesity (4), heavy physical work with frequent bending, twisting and lifting and in contrast, static work postures such as prolonged sitting (5). Psychosocial factors such as stress, anxiety and job satisfaction are often overlooked but have been shown to contribute to low back pain (4).

What are common causes of Back pain?

Prolonged sitting – if you spend hours sitting in front of a computer, TV without much movement.

If you sleep in awkward positions or on your front at night or if your bed is too soft/hard.

Long drives, standing too long.

Excessive Gardening and DIY

Repetitive bending, twisting and lifting

Exercise Injuries or trauma, e.g. falls, accidents

Lifting or moving furniture

Poor posture and weak core muscles

What structures get injured when someone develops Back pain?

Muscles

Joints

Ligaments

Nerves

Discs

We treat the cause of your back pain not just your symptoms.

How Long will it take?

The quicker you have treatment after the onset of symptoms, the quicker you can improve, when it comes to simple mechanical back pain.

The more closely you follow your Chiropractor’s advise, the quicker you improve. It is important to remember however, that healing of a long term back problem that is episodic or constant can take time.

In summary, all the factors listed below affect your rate of improvement.

Your Age

length of time of your symptoms

Severity of your symptoms

Fitness and exercise level

The state of your joints, e.g. do they have wear and tear or old injuries to them.

Your activities of daily living

Your overall general health

References

1.   Palmer KT, Walsh K, et al. Back pain in Britain: comparison of two prevalence surveys at an interval of 10 years BMJ 2000;320:1577-1578.

2.   Maniadakis A, Gray A. The economic burden of back pain in the UK. Pain 2000;84:95-103.

3.   Nachemson AL, Waddell G, Norlund AI. Epidemiology of neck and low back pain. In: Nachemson AL & Jonsson E (eds). Neck and back pain: The scientific evidence of causes, diagnosis and treatment. Philadelphia: Lippencott Williams & Wilkins, 2000.

4.   Burton AK, Balague F, et al. European guidelines for prevention in low back pain. Eur Spine J 2006:15(suppl 2):S136- S168

5.   Andersson GBJ. The epidemiology of spinal disorders. In: Frymoyer JW (eds) The adult spine: Principles and practice. Philadelphia: Liipincott-Raven, 1997

6. Bronfort et al. Effectiveness of manual therapies: the UK evidence report . Chiropractic & Osteopathy 18(3) 2010.

7. Department of Health. Musculoskeletal Services Framework for England and Wales. 12 July 2006

8. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Early Management of persistent non-specific low back pain. 2009 May.

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