Common structures causing pain:
- Muscles: A variety of muscular systems support the spine. Weakness to any part of the ‘core’ musculature may cause instability and be a predisposition to injury. Also, like with any muscle in the body, trauma or over exertion may cause strains, tears, or damage to the tissue of the muscles in the back.
- Ligaments: There are many ligaments attaching to and from the spine. Occasionally, due to overloading and/or an excess of movement, ligaments may become sprained and damaged, causing tenderness and pain.
- Joints: Most commonly the facet (or zygoapophaseal) joints cause pain by either becoming irritated from overuse or overloading, thus causing chemical irritation in the area from expelled toxins as a result of an immune response.
- Disc: Sometimes, due to un-natural or extreme force, the intervertebral disc may weaken and protrude. The discs in your spine are weakest whilst flexing and rotating, an action that is usually done by those with a manual labouring or office occupation.
According to the HSE, back pain affects 80% of us at some point in our lives. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued guidelines stating that Osteopathy is a beneficial method of treatment for lower back pain.