Back and Neck Pain is a warning signal that something is wrong; pain is part of the body’s natural defence mechanism which is triggered to alert you to a problem and stop you causing further damage. Don’t ignore it. Back problems may produce buttock, inguinal or leg pain, commonly known as Sciatica, due to local nerve root irritation via inflammation secretion and joint restriction. (See Neuralgia below). Neck Problems may actually be the primary cause of head, face or arm symptoms, again via the neurological/mechanical pathway.
Osteopathic treatment is often a very effective route towards symptom reduction. Your practitioner may use a wide range of manual techniques to aid your rehabilitation as well as prescribing self-help methods to speed your progress. Most people are aware of the traditional or structural Osteopathic approach which comprises of specific muscle stretching, articulation and joint manipulations/high velocity thrust techniques (H.V.T’s). This is potentially an excellent first step on the road to recovery but it is important to remember that such techniques are not suitable for all patients so your Osteopath will discuss all the options with you.
In many cases H.V.T’s can be unwise or contra-indicated and under such circumstances Osteopaths will adopt a more functional/cranial approach to promote the changes required. A maintenance program is then the sensible option, along with an appropriate exercise regime. Please ask your Osteopath for more information.
Neuralgia or nerve pain may occur anywhere throughout the body, such as arm pain or Sciatica/pain down the back of the leg, but as every structure has a nerve supply there is always the possibility that any pain may be referred from the spine. Where Osteopathic treatment is combined with practitioner prescribed self-help methods, along with the Do’s and Don’ts listed below then gradually, many patients notice a steady reduction in symptomatology.
Don’t lie on your front, arch your back, sit/slouch for long periods, lift/bend/twist, move rapidly/awkwardly, exercise, undertake housework/gardening, apply heat or have a hot bath/shower and DO NOT have a massage.
Do lie on your back with one pillow under your head and one to three pillows under your knees, lie on your side with two pillows under your neck and one pillow between your knees and ankles, sit for short periods in a supportive upright chair or for a longer duration in a recliner chair and regularly apply Ice packs/cold gel.
Further benefit may be achieved, especially for those suffering from chronic conditions, by introducing the right memory foam contour pillow and mattress which will help you achieve better spinal alignment throughout the night and therefore improve your comfort and sleep quality plus reduce the likelihood or morning pain and stiffness. Please see our Products page for more information.