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Do you suffer from back pain? Don't forget to consider osteopathy.

Back pain come in many shapes and sizes and therefore it has different possible causes. Therefore, as an osteopath, I tend to not only look at the local area of pain, but also at the structures around it. Where could the pain possibly be coming from. In some cases this means that I treat the abdomen or the feet. In other cases I will give advice on different postures or movements/sports to try. There is no specific way to treat back issues, and that is why this is slightly different for every person that comes in. However, I will briefly try to explain what back pain can often be related to.

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Herniated disc / slipped disc

A herniated disc often occurs between the ages of 20 to 50 years. Usually this happens due to an unexpected or unfortunate twisting movement. Often with weight that is carried. It can also occur in combination with built-up tension in the back due to, among other things, prolonged or heavy strain on the back.

What happens next is that the intervertebral disc collapses or bulges out. A herniated disc can be completely painless. If the intervertebral disc protrudes to such an extent that it then touches a nerve, pain will occur. Usually this is pain in the back itself and radiation in one or both legs. If you experience this in both legs and it is more difficult to go to the toilet, definitely visit your doctor, this can indicate a serious problem!

An osteopath can perform a number of neurological tests to determine whether it could be a hernia. However, to fully establish the diagnosis, an MRI must be made by a neurologist.

In the case of a herniated disc, the osteopath looks above or below the impacted disc to see where the most tension is present. Here the osteopath tries to improve the function and structure, so that as a result there is less pressure on the disc. If there is still inflammation in the back, the osteopath will also see if it can be reduced without irritating the disc too much. They also look at any other additional issues that could affect it. In most cases, a disc improves within 12 weeks, but osteopathic treatment can speed up the process.

SI joint

The sacroiliac (SI) joint connects the lower back to the pelvis on both the left and right sides of the back. It is only a small joint with little movement, but if it malfunctions it can cause a lot of problems. This often manifests itself in pain in the lower back, groin and/or buttock with an occasional radiation that reaches up to the knee.

Often there is no obvious cause for a problem with the SI joint. In general, we often see that there has been pressure on this joint for a long time due to a previously occurring problem in the pelvis or in the lower back. After some time this affects the muscles and membranes around the SI joint. Even with a small movement, a strain or inflammation can occur, which then causes the SI issue.

The osteopath looks for the origin of the problem, where does the pressure and tension on the SI joint come from? This is not the same for everyone and will therefore be checked personally during the osteopath's examination.

3D foto waar rugklachten en SI gewrichten te zien zijn
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Pelvic pain

Pelvic pain is quite common, especially during or after pregnancy. There is usually pain around the hip, groin, upper legs or low in the lower back / buttocks. Pelvic complaints are often caused by a loosening of certain muscles and/or ligaments, causing an asymmetry or instability in the pelvic joints. Some organs can also affect the pelvis.

In this case, the osteopath will look at how the balance can best be found, and then how this balance can best be maintained.

Spit / Lumbago / Low Back Pain

Lumbago is something you hear often and happens quickly. You can suddenly ‘throw your back out’ with a simple movement or sometimes even when standing up. But what exactly is lumbago?

Lumbago is a collective term for acute back pain. It can therefore be due to various factors, but we often see that the cooperation of the muscles and joints in the low back chain are reduced. Therefore, many muscles tense up as a defence mechanism. This can cause significant back pain, stiffness, a limitation of movement and sometimes even radiation in the leg.

Often lumbago is caused by a strain in the back, a long-term incorrect posture or stress. This often in combination with other anatomical issues that were already present. It can take several days to weeks for lumbago to get better. Afterwards, movement is especially important and of course balance in the lower back needs to return. An osteopath can help with this.

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Arthritis or better known as 'wear and tear' mainly occurs when people get older. However, it can also occur in younger people due to a genetic predisposition, an injury or surgery. Once osteoarthritis is present, it cannot be treated. But what can an osteopath do?

When arthritis occurs, there are often several muscles that contract as a protective mechanism for the joint. This can sometimes be too much, causing a painful stimulus when doing simple movements. This can also disrupt the balance of other joints and chains in the body, causing pain in other places as well.

Although the osteopath cannot ‘cure’ the osteoarthritis itself, we can look at how we can keep the body as healthy and functioning as possible with as little pain as possible.

Interested in whether an osteopath can help you? Feel free to Contact us or book an appointment!

Scientific articles on osteopathy and low back pain