So, you’ve come in because you have back pain..
but you are wondering why we didn’t massage the site of the pain, read below to find out why!
Osteopaths appreciate how massaging a sore back helps, but there are times when it can make things worse. Although massaging tight or contracted muscles makes sense, if the area is sore and inflamed, should it be massaged? Well… not necessarily.
Sometimes one of the best things that we can do is to leave that area alone. Instead we treat adjacent areas, or areas that are regarded as biomechanically connected.
And guess what? This principle doesn’t only apply to sore muscles or back pain, but also to disc prolapses – aka “slipped disc”. If a disc is bulging, “prolapsing”, or “sequestered” (terms that indicate that the disc is in some way squashed) one of the best things an Osteopath can do is to take the strain OFF that disc or those muscles by relaxing other muscles or soft tissues in different parts of the body.
Sometimes we will work on an area that is quite a long away from the site of pain – like correcting a problem in the upper back in order to give the lower back a more balanced load. As Osteopaths, we are trained to identify areas that are biomechanically related to problem discs. So in order to provide effective treatment, a key part of the Osteopathic assessment is to appraise the big picture (biomechanically speaking).
If you have lower back pain, you shouldn’t always expect us to massage your lower back – it might be the worst thing that we can do. But if we don’t seem to rub the site of pain, we will give you a very clear explanation as to why not, and tell you exactly how our treatment should help.