Back pain

Back Pain

Our freedom of mobility is fundamental to living an energising and fulfilling life. Whether your back pain is due to bad postural habits, Sciatica, recovering from an injury or RSI, there are ways for you to increase your current level of health by improving your well being.

The back is like the centre of ones own universe. When the back is in trouble it is difficult to ignore. Whether you have a desk based job, you teach, cook or are a physical labourer, the daily grind of your repeated work patterns can trigger symptoms of back pain. For someone with occasional acute to constant chronic back troubles, a stiff neck, herniated disc or RSI, there is a combination of treatments that may work for you. Many conditions, if treated early enough can improve provided you also alter postural patterns that are worsening the condition, take appropriate regular exercise and maintain a good diet.

When should I see a doctor about my back pain?

You should see your doctor if your pain:

sh_holistic_physiotherapy•Is very severe or lasts for a long period of time

•Affects your everyday activities.

Very rarely, back pain can indicate a more serious problem.

See your doctor immediately if you:

•Have difficulty controlling or passing urine

•Lose control of your bowels

•Have numbness around your back passage or your genitals

•Have weakness in your legs or are unsteady on your feet

•Have very severe ongoing pain that gets worse over several weeks.

Undiagnosed Back Pain

Finding the cause of your discomfort and the correct treatment for it, can be an overwhelming task. Often a symptom may appear as a cause.

If you have yet to find the cause of your pain or perhaps a doctor has been unable to suitably diagnosis the source of the problem, we at Shine would initially suggest you see either a Physiotherapist or an Osteopath. One may refer you to the other depending upon the systemic cause of your condition, be it neurological, muscular or skeletal. However both practices have diagnostic capabilities and will be able to begin your programme of recovery with you.

How Physiotherapists work

Physiotherapy takes a physical approach to conditions affecting your function and movement. A series of questions and physical tests will be carried out to decipher what the imbalance is, how it manifests and what needs to be done to readjust your equilibrium. Whether you’ve been injured, or have an illness or disability, it aims to reduce your pain and restore your natural body mechanics.

How Osteopathy can help bad posture to improve back health.sh_holistic_a.doody

When we close ourselves up and slouch, it triggers a range of changes in our upper body. We round from the back, and elevate our shoulders to our ears, which in turn forces our necks and heads forwards.

This winter posture is not easy for the muscles around our neck, shoulders and upper back to adapt to: they can become fatigued and aches caused by this can cause discomfort. Tension headaches become more likely, exacerbated by the darker days and increased use of artificial lights.

The Many Benefits of Massage for Pain Management and Preventative Care

Massage can increase circulation, improve muscle tissue mobility and boost energy levels. RSI from computer work is one of the most common conditions treated by massage today. People with a desk based job can be in the habit of not considering their physicality in the work space as they are not exerting much energy. However a lot of neck, shoulder and arm muscles are constantly being used in a static pose and the muscle cells can lack circulation of fresh nutrients and oxygen needed to keep them supple. Which is why you are always advised to take regular breaks to get up and walk around. Smokers do this regularly, but of course we wouldn’t recommend that you start smoking, just take the break you deserve!!


With a multitude of conditions that can affect the back, comes the relief of there being medically supported and innovative treatments available to help alleviate, regulate or even prevent further discomfort.

Physiotherapy    Osteopathy   Acupuncture   Cranial Osteopathy   Massage   Cranio Sacral Therapy   Reflexology


 Common Back Conditions

Acute pain 

  • Acute pain starts suddenly and tends to be sharp in quality. It could be a momentary pain, or something that flares up repeatedly for several weeks or even remain for up to six months. Acute pain serves as a warning of disease or threat to the body. It can be relieved provided the underlying cause is dealt with properly, otherwise it may develop into a chronic condition.
  • For Acute back pain such as severe muscle spasms we may suggest you come and see an Acupuncturist. For assistance in recovering from a fall or shock, we may recommend a Cranial Osteopath or a Cranial Sacral Therapist. At this stage it may be too soon to see an Osteopath, but it all depends upon the cause of the pain and the nature of the discomfort.
  • It is imperative that you seek immediate medical help if you feel at risk of having seriously injured yourself. Recommended treatment depends upon the cause and the most problematic symptoms.
  • Acupuncture, Cranial Sacral Therapy, Massage, Osteopathy, Physiotherapy.


  • Arthritis in the Spine may be termed as Facet Joint Osteoarthritis, or Degenerative Arthritis. The deterioration of the cartilage between the joints leads to stiffened and painful mobility.
  • Acupuncture, Cranial Osteopathy, Cranial Sacral Therapy, Osteopathy, Phsyiotherapy.

Ankylosing spondylitis

  • Is a chronic inflammatory disease of the axial skeleton. The fusing together of vertebras in severe cases can lead to complete rigidity.
  • Acupuncture, CST, Massage, Osteopathy, Physiotherapy and Reflexology.

Chronic pain

  • Chronic back pain is defined by the condition that causes it, or if undiagnosed, the longevity of the pain experienced. Generally, back pain that continues past 3-6 months can be considered as Chronic. If you are experiencing pain long after the tissue damage of an injury has repaired then, it is possible that the nervous system has become so used to the pain pathway that it misfires and gives a pain indication long after the damage has been repaired. Chronic pain, at this stage, then becomes the problem as supposed to the symptom. It is not always easy to deal with such an exhausting condition, that it is quite common for people to lose faith that they will recover, they may become depressed and cut out many movements that cause discomfort. This in turn exacerbates the situation as the phrase, “Use it or lose it” is a fundamental notion with regard to maintaining healthy mobility.
  • Visit the Pain Clinic or go and see a Practitioner of Acupuncture, CST, Counselling, Massage, Osteopathy, Physiotherapy and Reflexology.


  • Chronic widespread pain, debilitating fatique and a heightened sensitivity to pressure. People with Fybromyalgia can also suffer with trouble sleeping, concentrating (Fibro – fog), headaches, morning stiffness and painful menstrual cycles. Depression and anxiety is often associated with Fybromyalgia.
  • Acupuncture, CST, Counselling, Massage, Naturopathy, Nutrition, Physiotherapy and Reflexology.

Slipped/Herniated/Prolapsed/Bulging disc

There are many names given to describe a slipped disc. Essentially when one of the discs that lay between each vertebrae of the spine is damaged, it may “slip” out of place, the outer case splits on a side which then secretes the inner gel that resides inside, giving it a bulging effect. The misalignment of the disc can cause pressure on the nerves, resulting in numbness, tingling, pain and can often lead to Sciatica.

  • Acupuncture, CST, Massage, Osteopathy, Physiotherapy and Reflexology.

Lower back pain

  • Lower back pain is extremely common in all ages, however the cause of the condition can vary greatly. The severity of pain may also range from a mild discomfort from disc degeneration to spasmodic muscles that can be agonising to deal with. The lower back is an intricate structure made up of many muscles, tendons, nerves and joints, all of which need their space and supply of nutrients to work well. Many conditions can refer pain to all different parts of the body, others may simply feel like lack of mobility, stiffness or dull pain. Identifying the cause of your discomfort is key to determining the appropriate treatment. Please refer to the link below Undiagnosed Back Pain.
  • Acupuncture, CST, Massage, Osteopathy, Physiotherapy and Reflexology.

Neck Pain

Neck Pain is most commonly caused by muscle strain, poor posture, desk work with the phone crooked between ear and shoulder or from a sudden jerking causing Whiplash. With gentle exercises, stretches, an improved range of postural habits and regular treatments ,this can usually irradiate the problem.

If your neck pain continues however and is accompanied by pain or numbness that leads down to the arm, there may be a specific condition that needs to be identified. It would be advisable to seek medical advice regarding Cervical Stenosis, Cervical Herniated Disc or Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease.

-Acupuncture, CST, Massage, Osteopathy, Physiotherapy and Reflexology.


  • From the Greek for “porous bones”, Osteoporosis is a progressive bone disease characterised by a loss in bone mineral density (BDM), which can lead to a higher risk of fracture and an increased chance to develop a Dowagers Hump.
  • Acupuncture, CST, Massage, Nutritional Therapy, Osteopathy and Physiotherapy. 


  • The Sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body, it begins at the back of the Pelvis, it runs through the buttocks and down both legs to the feet. Sciatica can feel like cramp, pins and needles or a shooting pain down the affected leg. It is a symptom of a few possible conditions resulting in a “pinched nerve” either inside or outside of the spinal canal as it leads to the leg.
  • A herniated or slipped disc that causes pressure on a nerve root is the most common cause.
  • Other causes include Piriformis Syndrome, the spasming of the small deep buttock muscle, Spinal Stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal which pressurises the nerves and Spondylothesis, which is the slipping out of alignment of a vertebrae above the next which narrows the exit through which the nerve wishes to pass.
  • Recommended treatment depends upon the cause and the most problematic symptoms. It is imperative that you seek immediate medical help if you feel at risk of having seriously injured yourself.
  • Acupuncture, CST, Massage, Osteopathy and Physiotherapy,


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