Updated: Jul 18
12 million people visit the doctors each year due back pain, £12.3 billion a year spent on lower back problems £1.6 billion per year is spent on treatments related on disability issues from back pain. (Sarner, M 2018)
About 8 in 10 people suffer from back pain which is very common and can get better over time, with the correct exercises and treatments, this is known as nonspecific back pain.
Most back pain is felt commonly along the spine from the neck to the hips.
Persistent (chronic back) pain will need further treatment.
The spine is made up of connective tissues, muscles that attach to and surrounds the spine.
The spine has many bones called vertebrae and in between each vertebra is a disc. The disc acts as shock absorbers, strong ligaments and muscles are attached to the adjacent vertebrae to provide extra support and strength to the spine to allow the spine to become flexible, bend and move.
The vertebrae protect the spinal cord, which contains the nerve pathways to and from the brain. The nerves come out from between the vertebrae to send and receive messages to various parts of the body.
Nonspecific lower back pain is the most common type of back pain. This causes a sudden onset of acute pain and usually unclear to what is causing the pain because there is not specific or underlying disease and issue.
The pain can vary from mild to severe back pain.
In some cases of back pain, the muscles and ligament can be over stretched causing a strain. In other cases, there could be minor problems in between then discs or the facet joints.
The lower back connects to parts of the bottom ribs cage and the top of your legs, indicating the pain can spread from around the lower back to one or both buttocks or thighs.
Forms of lower back pain can be the cause of Sciatica, this is when the nerve in the spinal column is pinched.
If the pain persists for several month or longer this is known as chronic back pain.
Upper back pain varies depending on the underlying problem, the pain can become bad enough that it can affect normal daily activities.
The upper thoracic spine can compress the nerve roots, which effects the sensations and motor functions sending symptoms of pain, tingling, numbness and/or weakness that radiates in different directions depending on the compressed nerve.
· T1 and T2: if one of the nerve root becomes irritated that radiates symptoms into the arms and possibly the chest.
· T3, T4 and T5: These nerve root radiate symptoms into the chest
· T6, T7 and T8: These nerve root radiates symptoms into the chest or down into the abdomen or both.
· T9, T10, T11 and T12: These nerve root at the bottom of the thoracic spine can radiate symptoms into the abdomen or lower back.
You should seek medical attention if the conditions and symptoms of the pain is accompanied by:
· Problems with walking and balance
· Severe headache
· Fever or chills
· Trouble breathing
· Pins and needles, tingling, weakness and numbness anywhere in the upper back, chest, stomach, buttock or down the legs
Cause of back pain?
The cause of the back pain and how to treat the pain, all depends on the underlying cause of the condition such as a fall or injury resulting in muscular irritation or joint dysfunction.
· Poor posture
· Improper lifting techniques
· Accident or collision
Other causes of back pain include:
· Herniated disc
· Compression fracture
· Infused disc’s
· Spinal deformity
There can be health factors that can increase the chances of back pain:
· Age: 30 year +
· Being out of shape
How To Relieve Back Pain?
It is important that you stay active as much as possible and continue with your daily activities.
Hot and cold therapy can be applied to reduce swelling, it is important to limit the application to 20 minutes to avoid skin damage
To determine the potential cause of the underlying problems, will help us narrow down the best treatment for you
Massage can reduce and provide a great relief from pain. Massage can help reduce tight muscles and increase blood flow to the painful area.
Exercises and stretching helps maintain good posture and balance to keep the spine strong and flexible to help reduce pain.
If you feel tiredness and pain in the morning, you should check your pillow and mattress to see if this is the cause of your pain.
How can massage help with your pain?
Massage can help reduce pain. Massage cannot cure years’ worth of trauma in one session. Treatments can take weeks and months, depending on your lifestyle and constant repetitive lifestyles such as work and activities can cause further injury to the injury itself.
Having good and knowledgeable advice can help reduce recovery time.
Chronic pain is often more complex and difficult to treat, as there could be underlying problems that are stored up within the body.
Studies have shown that having a massage can reduce the significant reduction in pain levels, but also aids the body to relax, sleep, deal with emotion, reduce recovery period and best of all allows the body’s natural healing process to happen and repair.
Can hypnotherapy help with my pain?
The method of a standalone treatment of massage may not be sufficient. It is important to us that your treatment will help you recover and ease the pain to have a balanced outcome.
Massage is about relieving and reducing the pain itself. But hypnotherapy can provide the possible support to cope with the emotional implications that come alongside with the pain conditions, giving you the aid to help manage the perception of the physical sensations.
Stress, anxiety and depression are common links to exacerbating the pain.
By changing the thought patterns relating to pain through hypnosis, it can help reduce stress, fears and anxiety relating to the pain, which enables you to focus on relaxing and letting go.
Through the power of hypnotic suggestions which helps you address the link between the body and mind. Hypnotic suggestions that will encourage the pain relief.
Hypnosis for pain can take up to 4-10 session depending on your circumstances.
At Dharma Massage Clinic, we would like to help you, ensure you talk and communicate to your therapist about your condition and symptoms to be able to provide you with the correct tailored treatment program to improve your symptoms and not aggravate them. If you are concerned about receiving a massage please consult your medical practitioner or doctor for some advice. Our staff experiences to help you with your concerns.
Martin, L. (2016) Why Does my Middle and Upper Back Hurt?. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/why-does-my-middle-and-upper-back-hurt : [Accessed on 15th August 2018]
Tidy, C. (2016) Lower back Pain. Available from: https://patient.info/health/back-and-spine-pain/lower-back-pain : [Access on 12th August 2018]
Sellers, J (2017) All About Upper Back Pain. Available from: https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/upper-back-pain/all-about-upper-back-pain : [Accessed on 15th August 2018]