Before we can talk about whether or not osteopathy is effective for treating back pain, you should know a little more about it. Osteopathy is a holistic treatment used for back pain as well as a host of other joint problems.
In this form of treatment, a practitioner of osteopathy will use massage, spinal manipulation, myofascial release, and a variety of other muscle/joint therapies to relieve your back pain. It is believed that these therapies can actually encourage the body to heal itself.
Many individuals prefer to use osteopathy because it is considered to be a more natural approach and does not require the use of medications to treat pain, unlike traditional medicine. It is vital that you use an osteopath that is licensed and you very carefully follow their recommendations on posture, stretching, and other activities so that you will be able to receive the full benefits of osteopathy.
Following are some tips on using osteopathy to treat back pain
First of all, you must allow yourself two to three days to recover at home after injuring your back. Most of the time, back pain is due strains in muscles and/or tendons and can be treated with bed rest, ice, anti-inflammatories and slow walking for approximately 72 hours. After three days, you can begin to increase the amount of exercise and stretching you’re doing.
If you’re experiencing numbness or shooting pains in your hips, arms, or legs, you should definitely make an appointment with your physician. This could be an indication that there is some nerve damage. He/she will most likely recommend an MRI in order to diagnose the problem before recommending a specific treatment.
Individuals who are already having chronic back pain should speak with their physician before considering using osteopathy to treat their pain, especially if they have been using other methods to treat their pain such as physical therapy, injections, or pain medications. You should let your doctor know and ask him/her for recommendations before going forward with using osteopathy to treat your back pain.
Do some research on practitioners of osteopathy in your area within the first few weeks of injuring your back. It is recommended that you seek treatment through osteopathy within the first month. Look for online reviews or ask friends and/or family members if they have any recommendations.
Make sure that the osteopath that you choose is licensed. All fifty states in the USA require that osteopaths pass an exam in order to become licensed. Check out their other credentials on a state licensure website or by calling the office an inquiring.
Once you’ve decided on an osteopath to use, make an appointment for an initial evaluation and physical exam. Once he/she has reviewed your condition, he/she will recommend a treatment plan specific for your condition. You should be prepared to visit monthly or weekly in order for osteopathy to be effective for treating your back pain.
Begin your osteopathic manipulation treatments. There are several methods of treatment that may be used. The most common is the HVLA thrust, or the high-velocity low-amplitude thrust.
This will help to correct any asymmetry that may be present in a facet joint. Often, there will be a cracking sound during this movement and is often the most uncomfortable part of the treatment, but very rarely results in an increase in pain.
Another method of treatment is massage, which is when the osteopath uses his/her hands to apply pressure to the soft muscles near the facet joints in the back.
Often, the osteopath will use traction, where your head or feet will be slightly lifted and pulled in order to relieve nay stress on the nerves and discs. This portion of the treatment will provide a pleasant feeling in the muscles and back.
When the osteopath applies pressure against a muscle, this is known as counter force technique. This pressure is meant to help the pain to release. Often, the osteopath will ask the patient to move their muscles against the pressure.
Talk about your daily activities with your osteopath so that he/she can make some back-friendly recommendations for changes. In some cases, the best way to relieve your back pain is to change the way you lift, sit, or stand. Your osteopath may suggest that you make a few changes.
Typically, he/she will definitely recommend that you maintain an active lifestyle, including low-impact exercises, weight loss, and physical activity. He/she may recommend that you make some changes in your diet to facilitate weight loss, which will ensure less stress on muscles, discs, and nerves in the back, which will help to relieve pain over time.
Additionally, your osteopath will try to correct your posture at most of the appointments. He/she will make sure that your spine is in proper alignment from your hips to your shoulders to your neck. Of course, changing poor posture can be quite difficult. You can consider this to be your “homework” and in the end, know that it will result in relieving your back pain.
Talk about ways to manage your stress with your osteopath. Not all of the methods used in osteopathy are medical. He/she may recommend that you use techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, relaxing baths, yoga, and other ways to relax, which will help to relieve muscle tension and therefore, pain.
You will more than likely need to keep using osteopathy for a few months before determining whether or not it is right for your condition. If you begin to feel an increase in pain, you should stop. However, it is important to note that you will probably feel a bit of muscle soreness for a few days after an appointment.