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Introduction to Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment for Lower Back Pain

Back pain is most often caused by strains or spasms in muscles and ligaments, but can also be the result of more serious problems such as osteoarthritis. An osteopath will work to relieve this type of back pain and improve mobility. Over time, an osteopath can help people with back pain get back their mobility. The treatment that osteopaths provide consists of a wide range of techniques such as massage and joint-movement therapy. An osteopath may use more than one of these doctors during an appointment.

What to expect

The osteopath may begin by examining you. The main concerns are whether you have any back problems, which muscles are strained or injured and if any bones or joints are contributing to the issue. The osteopath will then advise on your treatment options and which treatment is best suited to your case.

Movement tests

You may start your treatment with a simple movement test. This can be as simple as walking up and down stairs slowly. The osteopath will watch your movements carefully. Your body may give you some clues about which joints are causing trouble. The osteopath will also check to see if you have any abnormal movements, such as a limp or muscle twitches.

Manipulation treatment

The treatment then progresses with the patient lying on a treatment table or bed. Some osteopathic treatments include movement of joints, and in many cases no manipulation is necessary. Manipulation is where the osteopath holds parts of the body such as a limb and extends it fully in one direction in a sharp, fast movement. This can help to release pressure and to increase the range of movement.

Massage therapy

Many osteopaths use another form of treatment for back pain — massage therapy — as an adjunct to their work. Massage is often used to reduce pain and improve mobility. It is also intended to help prevent injury and increase the body's range of motion.

The osteopath's treatment plan will depend on the type of pain you have and its cause. Some types of back pain can be eased after a few treatments, but in other cases, it may take longer. For many people, though, osteopathic manipulative treatment can result in long-term improvements.

To find out more about treating low back pain with osteopathic manipulative treatment, talk to an osteopath today. They will be happy to book you in for your first consultation.