Low back pain is very common in fact In the UK it is estimated that around 8 in 10 people are affected by back pain at some point in their lives. The lower back also known as the lumbar spine, it starts just below the ribcage and extends as far as the pelvis.  Low back pain is one of the top causes for sick days off work because pain in this area of the spine can be debilitating and intense.

Luckily a lot of low back problems are self-limiting and resolve on their own accord. Symptoms may range from a generalised dull ache across the low back to a localised sharp stabbing pain or a shooting pain that radiates down the buttocks and leg.  If symptoms persist for more than a day or so, consult your osteopath. If you experience numbness in your saddle area or bowel and bladder incontinence, this is a medical emergency and you should seek immediate advice from your GP.

We tend to see patients with low back pain whose occupations require them to stand for long periods of time such as teachers, lectures, bar tenders and waitresses. These occupations may also require bending forwards to attend to students or tables, or require lifting and carrying.

2000px-Lumbar_region_in_human_skeleton.svgPeople who suffer with back pain worry about how this will affect their work, and that the pain has been caused by their work. This anxiety can have a direct effect on mood and ability to cope with the condition making it seem worse. It is important therefore to find ways to manage your back pain in relation to your work place.

A course of treatments with one of our osteopaths will provide pain relief as well as improve the general function of your spine. Engaging in our Pilates program will help strengthen the core muscles groups that provide support to the low back while our yoga teacher will work to increase your flexibility.

Making small changes can go a long way, when standing; distribute your weight evenly through both feet. Stand with your feet hip width apart and think about the alignment of your shoulders and head in relation to your spine. Engage your deep abdominal muscles and pelvic floor muscles to provide your spine with support. Employ good bending techniques, bend with your knees and avoid pivoting from your hips, hold your tummy in and bring your pelvic floor up.

Talk to your employer and access the occupational health department to see what support is available for you.

Isabel Diaz

Osteopath and Midwife at www.fulhamosteopathiccare.co.uk