Chronic Low Back Pain

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Most of us at some time have suffered from low back pain. If you are lucky this will be a temporary, mild discomfort easily relieved through massage or over-the-counter medications like aspirin, paracetamol (acetaminophen) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs).

In these cases your low back pain will have been theresult of  a muscle strain or a simple joint strain. Chronic Low Back Pain is more complicated

When the symptoms don’t go away with these methods we must investigate further to find out what is going on. Then we can deal with the problem.

Let’s look at some possible causes of persistent low back pain:

  1. A trauma or accident has damaged the lumbar vertebrae or discs.
  2. Gradual degeneration of the lumbar vertebrae and discs has occurred.
  3. Postural problems have led to misalignment of the lumbar vertebrae.
  4. Occupational stresses such as Repeated Strain Injury (RSI), which may cause strain and inflammation in the spine and other joints.
  5. Systemic illness leading to a general state of debilitation, e.g.,   rheumatoid arthritis or other auto-immune type conditions.
  6. Osteoarthritis with its wear and tear effect on the lumbar spine and hips.


Where there has been an accident, either recently or some time ago, then there is usually a strategy to address and correct the problem.

Often in these situations everything else is relatively healthy which means that quite vigorous remedies can be used such as spinal manipulation, deep tissue massage and hydrotherapy.

However, the situation may be more complicated when there are underlying chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis.

In my experience – covering 30 years – most low back problems come on gradually and have no apparent cause. Even when the condition appears suddenly most people can’t understand why.

The trigger can be something as simple as a cough, a sneeze or just slightly bending to clean one’s teeth. These everyday tasks are not in themselves enough to cause the ensuing agonies – usually there are several causes that lead to the final outcome.

These are the sort of things that can come together to bring about a herniated or ruptured disc. (By the way discs don’t slip a “slipped disc” is either a herniated or prolapsed disc.)

  1. Being overweight
  2. Being underweight
  3. A sedentary lifestyle – working at a computer for much of the day, relaxing in soft chairs.
  4. Bad eating habits that have led to malnutrition.
  5. Overindulgence in alcohol consumption and other drugs.
  6. Smoking tobacco.
  7. Too little exercise. The joints and ligaments need to be stretched and muscles strengthened.
  8. Having one leg longer than the other which can cause postural problems such as scoliosis.
  9. Heredity factors such as conditions than run in families.
  10. Poor posture. Remember, one’s posture is the result of how we have dealt with all the events in our life… which leads to
  11. Stress, whether physical or mental.


We tend to take our spines for granted – until there is a problem! On this site we look at what we can do to help ourselves when problems occur.

I discuss treatments that I have carried out in my practice and explain how these can be translated into procedures that you can carry out at home. It’s vital to remember that you are not a passive victim; you can overcome problems.

As part of my training the most important principle taught was that ‘only nature heals’. Pain tells us that something is wrong.

The body has a fantastic ability to heal itself but we must give it the right conditions to do so.

Most therapeutic interventions, whether by a third party or self, should be temporary. Establishing the optimum conditions for spinal health should be ongoing and enjoyable though.

The old maxim that prevention is better than cure holds true. At this site we look at how to get pain relief but also how we can improve our general health and well-being

An important part of the healing process is having someone there who understands your problem. So, even if you can’t visit my clinic please do contact me (see below) and I will be happy to answer your queries.

The material on this site is for information purposes and is not designed to take the place of professional medical treatment.




3 thoughts on “Chronic Low Back Pain”

  1. I am a 58 year old obese male in a secoundary job.
    Where I live we have only on Doctors surgery, but with multiple doctors & a visit on Thursday 17/09 got me a lecture about having time off work, so I don’t have much time for them.
    I have suffered most of my life,but have only had to have medical advise once before some fifty years ago. I occasionally use a body stress release practishinor that I know which helps.
    What self help excercises can I do?

    1. Hi Phil, can you tell me a little more about your condition. Where is the pain? have you had any x-rays. you say you are obese, what is your weight. If you get back to me I can recommend some exercise that may help.

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