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Low back pain - some information

Is McTimoney chiropractic a possible solution to low back pain? The NICE Guidelines 2009 indicate that manual therapy (chiropractic) and acupuncture are indicated as appropriate treatments.

What is non-specific low back pain?

It is estimated that 95% of low back pain falls into this category. It simply means that the tension, soreness, stiffness or pain in your back has no specific, identifiable cause. Whilst we all like to know exactly what causes a problem, a diagnosis of non-specific low back pain is definitely preferable to knowing that you have a tumour, spinal infection, fracture or an inflammatory disorder.

The 'care pathway'

The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) have developed these guidelines for healthcare professionals to help treat and manage persistent low back pain that has lasted 6 weeks but not more than 12 weeks.
The principles of the care pathway are well embedded in chiropractic care. They include constantly reviewing the diagnosis; promoting self management and self awareness and, taking patient preference into choice, offering a course of manual therapy, which includes chiropractic, or a course of acupuncture.

Advice and education

This always forms a part of chiropractic care. Often patients and I engage in a little bit of detective work - 'the little grey cells' get to work and identify what might be causing the discomfort - this involves analysing some of the basic postures such as sitting, standing, sleeping and possibly any aggravating sport techniques. Obviously, if we can prevent reoccurrence so much the better. Generally staying active and carrying on normal activities is the best approach and I would encourage it.

Choice of treatments

The options that are suggested include a course of manual therapy which includes spinal mobilisation, up to 9 sessions. Or a course of acupuncture needling, up to 10 sessions. Both of these options are available with me at Essential Chiropractic and I have seen many positive results with my patients over the years.
NICE also suggest a structured exercise programme and/or drug treatment. The first drug option is paracetamol (taking into account individual preferences and risks). There is more detail about drug advice in the NICE paper - see the link at the end of the blog.

Helping you

The focus is to help people with non-specific low back manage their condition. You don't have to worry about low back pain if you can sort out your strategy for improving day-to-day life - don't be too stoical, get some help and advice.

Further information

You can download the full document: