In the past low back pain has been treated in many different ways, initially it was bed rest, then anti-inflammatories and pain killers, then more to manual therapies such as physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic and then more interventionally with pain management injections, or perhaps even surgery.
Historically many of these modalities have been used individually leading to each profession claiming that they had the sole rights to the solution to the problem. How often do we hear ‘you need to see my osteopath and get your back manipulated’ or ‘my massage therapist really helped my stiff neck’. Of course each modality does have its benefits and especially if you have an acute problem a single intervention can be helpful.
At the other end of the spectrum which is the more chronic end of low back pain a much more team orientated approach is needed. This means that rather than just using one modality it is necessary to weave different modalities together each serving a purpose to create the right whole strategy for the individual. We now know through recently published meta analysis that the two most important modialities for recovery from low back pain are appropriately prescribed exercise and psychological well being. Along side this manual therapy, and medical treatments can be helpful but most importantly when used alongside learning coping strategies, understanding the way we perceive pain, how to stay active and how to perform the right exercises in the right way over time to improve flexibility, strength, balance and resilience.
Taking a whole system approach to resolving pain is also really a learning process for the individual. Hands on treatment and medical treatment may be needed in the initial stages but coaching is really the key element that should be focused on to provide a full recovery for the future. Just like you might have had a coach for rugby or tennis our low back pain coaching is about supporting you in the process. It is about helping you to understand what you are doing right, what you need to avoid and what you need to improve to allow your body to heal and recover. We are in the game with you.