Using Manual Osteopathy for Lower Back Pain Relief

It might be dull or sharp, but you’ve been feeling lower back pain for a while.

You might have wondered if it’s sciatica, and you’ve tried conventional methods to find relief.

Yet, the lower back pain always comes back (no pun, intended). Ugh. You want a treatment that will address the cause, so you stop having this pain for good. Is there a proven method for lower back pain relief?

According to recent studies, there is. Manual Osteopathy is a preventive treatment that will not only provide you pain relief in the moment but will help you get rid of your lower back pain for good.

Manual Osteopathy -alternative relief for back pain Calgary

What is Manual Osteopathy?

The practices of manual osteopathy date back to the mid-1800s, conceived from the philosophy that the human body naturally wants to heal itself.

Doctors practiced techniques to heal the body as a whole instead of treating individual symptoms. Eventually, manual osteopaths created their own school and specific distinction, D.O., doctor of osteopathy.

In its simplest form, manual osteopathy is preventive medicine that believes pain is a symptom of a bigger problem. Manual osteopaths also believe problems in the anatomy of the body can affect its function.

With this philosophy in mind, manual osteopaths try to help the body heal itself, by physically treating the root of the pain.

In practice, manual osteopathy is a type of hands-on therapy that keeps the entire body in constant focus. This means that while you might be having leg pain, a manual osteopath will first find the root of the pain, which could be a pinched nerve in your back. They’ll treat that, ultimately reducing or eliminating the pain and preventing it from happening in the future.

Unlike conventional medicine, manual osteopathy involves using a wide range of manual treatments to relieve and reduce physical stress and discomfort. These techniques include:

  • stretching
  • deep tactile pressure
  • soft tissue therapy
  • muscle energy techniques
  • mobilization

You might go home with homework from your manual osteopath as well. Don’t worry: it will only be simple exercises to strengthen your muscles, ultimately leading to your body solving the pain on its own.

What Traditional Methods are Used to Treat Lower Back Pain?

You might be wondering what your alternatives to manual osteopathy are. If you’ve had lower back pain for a while, you probably have already tried some of them.

Most doctors will treat lower back pain with pain medicine (prescription drugs). In some circumstances, you’ll go to a physical therapist, massage therapist, or chiropractor.

While these medications can provide temporary relief, they don’t treat what’s causing your pain. You’ll end up becoming lifelong patients when the discomfort inevitably returns.

If you’re struggling with chronic back pain, massage and pain medicine offer immediate help but do not address the underlying cause. They’re treating the symptoms, not the condition.

With manual osteopathy, you’ll be asked about your habits, daily life, and concerns before asking about your specific issue. They will give you tangible ways to improve what will ultimately help your body heal from the inside out. 

The manual osteopath assesses you as a whole person and creates a treatment plan that helps with current pain levels while preventing future pain from developing. We like to think of it as pre-habilitation.

Why Do I Get Lower Back Pain?

A person can experience lower back pain for several reasons: you could have a pinched nerve, an old injury, or pulled a muscle. Your manual osteopath will work with you to figure out the root of your problem.

For most of us, lower back pain is caused by a problem with our musculoskeletal system — a system your osteopath is an expert in.

Lower back pain might be caused by sciatica. Sciatica is a type of pain that can radiate from your low back all the way to your feet.

An actual bundle of nerves, the sciatic nerve, is one of the largest of its kind in the human body. When something’s wrong with the sciatic nerve, you might have low back pain, tingling in the legs, or aches in your bum and hamstring area.

The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated or slipped disk in your back, placing pressure on the nerve.

Common sciatica relief includes hot and cold treatment, stretches, and waiting it out, but you’ll likely only receive temporary relief from these.

Ideally, you want to prevent sciatica from happening, and when you do need sciatica relief, you’ll get it from treating the sciatic nerve — not just the pain.

How does Manual Osteopathy Help with Lower Back Pain and Sciatica Relief?

Luckily, you don’t have to live in pain. According to numerous studies, manual osteopathy can offer lower back and sciatica pain relief.

When you visit your osteopath, they’ll perform an evaluation of your back, hips, and legs to determine where your sciatica is located and what might be causing your sciatica pain. They’ll then often use soft tissue massage techniques to reduce the pressure around the sciatic nerve.

Manual osteopathy might include mobilization and manipulation techniques to help enhance the nerve’s mobility, your range of motion in your lower spine and hips. You’ll likely be assigned exercises to strengthen your core, helping reduce sciatic pain caused by opposing muscles. 

How many treatments you’ll need before seeing an improvement depends on your pain level and injury.

For one study, patients saw an improvement after 6 sessions. In other studies, osteopathy treatment significantly lowered chronic back pain.

You don’t need to live with chronic low back pain. 

Schedule a session with our manual osteopath today.