Non-specific low back pain can interfere with your day-to-day activities and make life challenging.
In this article, we’re going to discover more about non-specific low back pain, osteopathy, and how it can help bring relief.
What’s the difference between specific and non-specific low back pain?
Non-specific low back pain makes up the majority of cases of back pain. In fact, it’s so common that a study (1) said that over a lifetime, there’s a 60-85% chance of experiencing it.
Quite simply, the name means that no cause is ever identified for the issues.
In contrast, specific back pain can be traced to causes like degenerative or inflammatory conditions, trauma, or bone disease.
More about non-specific low back pain
This type of back pain can range from mild to severe and can radiate to one or both buttocks or legs. It can also vary according to your posture or what you are doing — for example, it may go away when you lie down flat but return when you get up.
Many cases of non-specific low back pain go away after a period of time, though you may experience it again in the future.
To ease your pain, your doctor may advise you to:
- Keep active with gentle exercise or tasks as far as you can
- Sleep in the most comfortable position for you
- Take anti-inflammatory medication
- Have a warm bath or use a heat pack in the area of the pain
How can manual osteopathy help?
If you suffer from non-specific low back pain, osteopathy can also bring relief. A manual osteopath will use a variety of hands-on techniques, such as massage and manipulation, to ease your pain and improve your mobility.
They may also use additional therapies known as adjunctive modalities, which trigger the body’s own healing processes. These include shockwave therapy, which uses acoustic waves to stimulate collagen and blood vessel formation and reduce inflammation, and ultrasound therapy, which can reduce pain and muscle spasms.
Be assured that osteopathy is a safe and non-invasive treatment that’s very effective for all types of back pain — in fact, a study (2) found that “OMT (osteopathic manipulative treatment) significantly reduces back pain. The level of pain reduction…persists for at least three months.”
An effective treatment for non-specific low back pain
Approved by Indira Ravaeva. Manual Osteopath. Member of National Manual Osteopathic Society and Osteopathy Australia.
1. Krismer M, van Tulder M, The Low Back Pain Group of the Bone and Joint Health Strategies for Europe Project. ‘Low back pain (non-specific)’, Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.berh.2006.08.004.
2. Licciardone J, Brimhall A, King L. ‘Osteopathic manipulative treatment for low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials’, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, published online 2005 Aug 4. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-6-43.
Other references used but not quoted in the article
1. Patient website. ‘Lower Back Pain’, October 16, 2020.