Phone: 045 874682

Back Pain

back pain, spine and vertebral treatment at Naas Physio & Chiropractor Clinic

Back Pain Specialist: Ross Allen is Ireland’s only dual qualified Chartered Physiotherapist & Chiropractor.

Ross Allen

B.Sc. (Hons) Physiotherapy; M.I.S.C.P.
B.Sc. (Hons) Chiropractic; D.C.; M.C.A.I.
Dip. Sports Injury Therapist

Back Pain Specialist:

  • Ross has been treating back pain since 2002 & has extensive experience working in some of the top pain clinics in Ireland.
  • Ross’s initial interest in back pain rehabilitation came about through personal experience of suffering from ongoing pain. The frustration of receiving different opinions from different practitioners until finally obtaining a solution provided many lessons which Ross has taken with him into his own practice.
  • Ross’s educational background has facilitated a considerable research focus on chronic back pain management & rehabilitation.

To book an appointment call Naas Physio Clinic on:
(045) 874 682

or email us at [email protected]

What is back pain?

Back pain is a ‘musculoskeletal disorder’ involving the spine which effects most individuals at some stage in their lives. Musculoskeletal drivers of back pain include disc herniations, ligament, muscle or joint injury. Some recover in a short period of time but others can remain in constant or intermittent pain for weeks, months, or even years. This gives rise to chronic pain which can be hugely problematic & difficult to address.

What is the difference between acute & chronic low back pain?

Acute pain lasts for a short period of time, normally days to weeks, prior to recovery. Chronic low back pain on the other hand, is a pain that lasts for a longer period of time (from months to years). Much like other chronic (long-term) conditions such as heart disease or obesity, the longer it is present the more challenging the clinical picture & the more difficult it is to recover fully. I specialise in the management of chronic low back pain & have helped many people recover from long-term pain in cases where no prior intervention has been successful.

Back pain – Personal Experience

My own personal experience of back pain has strongly guided my practice philosophy. Back pain, perhaps more so than other joint condition creates a degree of worry and concern in the minds of the sufferer. These concerns can readily become all-consuming and affect every aspect of life.

I recall seeing several different therapists for treatment and still being unclear as to what was wrong and who the best therapist was to help me. I received varying diagnosis from muscle spasm to sciatica and a ‘slipped disc’. Finally, an MRI scan confirmed the presence of a herniated disc. This experience has led to a career devoted to helping people who find themselves in similar circumstances.

How Long Does it take for Back Pain to Resolve?

Research by Croft et al. (1998) reported that, contrary to popular belief, low back pain does not naturally resolve over a short period of time. His research was ‘consistent with the interpretation that 90% of patients with low back pain in primary care will have stopped consulting with symptoms within three months.’ However most will still be experiencing pain and related disability one year later. Of those interviewed at 3 and 12 months follow up, only 39/188 (21%) and 42/170 (25%) respectively had completely recovered in terms of pain and disability. Therefore, it is very important to intervene early & identify the causes early to prevent recurrence.

Sciatica

When pain is present at the base of the spine, the presence of a disc herniation can give rise to symptoms commonly referred to as sciatica. Many patients attend the clinic reporting that a friend or physiotherapist have told them they have sciatica. The problem with this diagnosis is that it does not identify the source of the pain.
Sciatica simply means a pain in the distribution of the sciatic nerve, which runs along the back of the thigh. Like pain in any other part of the body, the important thing is to identify whether the source of these symptoms are from the low back as would be the case with a disc herniation (mistakenly referred to as a ‘slipped disc’), or whether the origin is the buttock or the leg itself, as may occur with a hamstring strain.

How can a Chiropractor Help with Back Pain?

A Chiropractor specialises in the management of back & neck pain. The education of a Chiropractor is focussed primarily on the spine & Chiropractors are educated to one of the highest standards of any of the health professions. The ‘Sweden Report’ demonstrated that the 4-5 year university training programme for a Chiropractor was the equivalent of Swedish medical education.

One of the largest scientific analysis of low back pain called ‘The Manga Report’ reported that spinal manipulation such as utilised by a chiropractor was more effective than alternative treatments for the condition. It also found that manipulation used by chiropractors was safer than other medical interventions utilised.

How can a Physiotherapist help my Back Pain?

The initial goal of your physio is to rule out a serious cause for your back pain. The physio will then perform specific test to identify the potential presence of a disc bulge which may be causing pain. The literature clearly shows that the earlier the intervention, the better the long-term outcome. Once back pain becomes chronic (long-term) then it is progressively more challenging to address & can become severely debilitating.
Physiotherapy is very effective with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). In one study reported on the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy website, 80 per cent of people who had physiotherapy for their MSD were able to carry on working and did not have to go off sick.
See: http://www.csp.org.uk/your-health/conditions/back-pain#how-can-physiotherapy-help-back_pain

What do the N.I.C.E Guidelines for Low Back Pain Recommend?

Orthotics

1.2.3 Do not offer belts or corsets for managing low back pain with or without sciatica.

1.2.4 Do not offer foot orthotics for managing low back pain with or without sciatica.

1.2.5 Do not offer rocker sole shoes for managing low back pain with or without sciatica.

Spinal injections

1.3.1 Do not offer spinal injections for managing low back pain.

Pharmacological interventions

1.2.17 Consider oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for managing low back pain, taking into account potential differences in gastrointestinal, liver and cardio-renal toxicity

1.2.19 Prescribe oral NSAIDs for low back pain at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible period of time.

1.2.20 Consider weak opioids (with or without paracetamol) for managing acute low back pain only if an NSAID is contraindicated, not tolerated or has been ineffective.

1.2.21 Do not offer paracetamol alone for managing low back pain.

Imaging

1.1.4 Do not routinely offer imaging in a non-specialist setting for people with low back pain with or without sciatica.

We are here to help you achieve an accurate diagnosis and to provide a tailored treatment plan for your back pain. A component of home exercise is generally required to optimise results and to achieve lasting relief from your symptoms.

To find out more, contact Naas Physio Clinic on:
(045) 874 682

or email us at [email protected]

For further information on conditions treated go to:
www.physioclinic.ie/conditions

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References:

1. Crodt et al. (1998). Outcome of low back pain in general practice: a prospective study. British Medical Journal, 1998. May 2;316(7141):1356-9.
Ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9563990
2. The Effectiveness and Cost Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low-Back Pain (The Manga Report). Pran Manga and Associates (1993) – University of Ottawa, Canada.
Ref: http://www.chiro.org/LINKS/GUIDELINES/Manga_93.shtml
3
https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/NG59/chapter/Recommendations#non-invasive-treatments-for-low-back-pain-and-sciatica
4
BMJ. 1998 May 2;316(7141):1356-9. Outcome of low back pain in general practice: a prospective study. Croft et al. (1998). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9563990

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