Treating back pain with osteopathy |

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Written By Kampretz Bianca

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The forms and causes are diverse and often no satisfactory reason can be found. Osteopathy can often help here. With her holistic approach, she discovers connections that conventional medicine often does not look for and can thus help alleviate or eliminate pain. Our spine is a fascinating structure. Your vertebrae wrap around your spinal cord like links in a rope. As the axis of our body, it supports the head, arms and torso and allows us to maintain an upright posture. Their double S-shaped structure makes them flexible enough to allow movements such as turning or bending and to compensate for large loads. The intervertebral discs, which are located between the vertebrae, protect them from shocks and vibrations.

As the central structure of our body, the spine is connected to all other areas of the body through muscles, ligaments, tendons and spinal nerves. Complaints can have a correspondingly far-reaching impact. For example, if the nerves in the spinal region are compressed, the pain can radiate to the arms or legs, like sciatica. A herniated disc in the cervical spine can even affect bladder and bowel function.

However, the connection between the spine and other areas of the body is not a one-way street. For example, internal organs can cause back pain simply by pulling. The sigmoid, a part of the large intestine, is connected to the intervertebral disc between the fourth and fifth vertebrae through a network of tissue. If the intestine is constantly overloaded or irritated, its mobility decreases. This creates a traction effect on the intervertebral disc, which can cause it to bulge and, in the worst case, constrict the sciatic nerve. Depending on its size and position, the uterus can also place tension on the spine. This is why many women suffer from back pain during pregnancy, but also during menstruation, when the surrounding tissue becomes loose due to hormonal changes. If the uterus is removed, prolapse of the remaining abdominal organs or surgical scarring can also cause back pain.

If you treat pain solely based on symptoms and not causes, back pain will keep coming back. It’s different in osteopathy, because symptoms don’t play a role here. What may at first seem irritating to the patient is a great advantage of gentle manual medicine. Osteopathy looks for the causes of complaints and, as the examples listed show, these can be far from the spine. This is why the osteopath always examines the patient’s entire body, even if he or she has back pain. This is the only way to determine possible causes and their interactions.

Osteopathy has proven to be very successful, especially for chronic back pain. Conventional medicine cannot find clear causes for 90% of chronic cases. Complaints are generally attributed to lack of exercise, congenital or acquired posture problems, obesity, weak muscles, unilateral or incorrect tension, age-related wear and tear, and psychological factors.

Such general findings are not sufficient for the osteopath. If the history, imaging procedures and laboratory values ​​do not give clear indications, he examines the posture, movement and mobility of the spine and all adjacent structures. Due to his years of training, he is very familiar with the structure and functioning of the human organism and knows the possible links between back pain and functional disorders in other parts of the body. Then he sets out to find the individual causes of back pain, which may lie elsewhere for each patient. The osteopath uses only his hands for examination and treatment. They can be used to track tension in tissue and target the causes of pain. These are often functional disorders that he can experience as movement restrictions. To treat this, the osteopath attempts to restore restricted movement so that the affected structure can function again. It is not uncommon for the associated back pain to go away on its own.

Despite these successes, osteopathy is not a panacea. Serious illnesses such as vertebral fractures, slipped vertebrae, herniated discs, rheumatic and serious internal diseases must first be treated by a doctor. Here, osteopathy can at best alleviate pain and thus usefully complement conventional medical treatment.

However, it is often worth seeing an osteopath, especially if you have chronic back pain. Relieving them is also economically important. After all, back pain is one of the most common causes of doctor visits and every second request for early retirement is made because of back problems.

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