Nillumbik Osteopathic Health Centre

Back pain

Many people will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain can result from a wide range of causes, including injury, pregnancy (105, 110), heavy lifting, poor lifting posture, extensive periods of standing or sitting, muscle weakness, decreased flexibility, constipation and bowel problems, endometriosis (96) and menstrual pain (95), as well as dysfunction in the pelvis, thorax (148) and legs.

Our osteopaths are trained to be able to distinguish between uncomplicated back pain and that which is arising from a more serious cause.

The more serious and complex causes of back pain (such as fracture, disc injury, infection and tumour) can be noted by our trained osteopaths and will be referred to specialist medical care or imaging.

When treating back problems, our osteopaths may assist with not just reducing the duration of back pain, but may also reduce muscular tension, inflammation and nerve irritation, whilst improving joint mobility and blood supply (46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 148). Regular osteopathic treatment may reduce the severity and frequency of back pain (47, 48, 49, 51, 53, 54, 55). Our osteopaths will give instruction on posture (103), exercises and stretching which may aid your recovery. They will also give advice on diet, hydration, lifting techniques and ways to improve your ergonomic environment (including the use of pillows and bedding).

Our osteopaths may liaise with a patient’s doctor to give a higher level of holistic care, particularly for those with more complex health needs.


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47. Licciardone J.C., Kearns C.M. & Minotti D.E. (2013). “Musculoskeletal Outcomes of osteopathic manual treatment for chronic low back pain according to baseline pain severity: Results from the OSTEOPATHIC Trial”. Science and Practice. Vol 18(6); 533-40.
48. Licciardone J.C., Kearns C.M. & Crow W.T. (2014). “Changes in biomechanical dysfunction and low back pain reduction with osteopathic manual treatment: Results from the OSTEOPATHIC Trial”. Manual Therapy, Vol 19 (4); 324-330.
49. Licciardone J.C. and Aryal S. (2014). “Clinical response and relapse in patients with chronic low back pain following osteopathic manual treatment: Results from the OSTEOPATHIC Trial”. Manual Therapy. Vol 19 (6); 541-548.
50. Angmo P., Mohanty P. and Pattnaik M. (2016). “Effects of unilateral posteroanterior mobilization in subjects with sacralized lumbosacral transitional vertebrae.” Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies. Vol 20(1); 19-25.
51. Hanson G.C., Jones B., Bacon C.J., & Moran R.W. (2016). “Exploration of clinical changes following a novel mobilisation technique for treatment of chronic low back pain: A single cohort design. Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies. Vol 20(3); 571-578.
52. Malanga G.A. & Cruz Colon E.J. (2010). “Myofascial Low Back Pain: A Review.” Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America. Vol 21(4); 711-724.
53. Orrock P.J. and Myers S.P. (2013). “Osteopathic intervention in chronic non-specific low back pain: a systematic review.” BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders.14:129.
54. Licciardone J.C., Minotti D.E., Gatchel R.J., Kearns C.M. & Singh K.P. (2013). “Osteopathic Manual Treatment and UltrasoundTherapy for Chronic Low Back Pain: A RandomizedControlled Trial.”Annals of Family Medicine. Vol 11(2); 122-129.
55. Ajimsha M.S., Daniel B. & Chithra S. (2014). “Effectiveness of Myofascial release in the management of chronic low back pain in nursing professionals.”  Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, Vol 18(2): 273-281.
95. Schwerla F., Wirthwein P., Rütz M. & Resch K-L. (2014). “Osteopathic treatment in patients with primary dysmenorrhoea: A randomised controlled trial”. International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, Vol 17(4), 222-231.
96. Sillem M., Juhasz-Böss I., Klausmeier I., Mechsner S., Siedentopf F., & Solomayer E. (2016). “Osteopathy for Endometriosis and Chronic Pelvic Pain – a Pilot Study.” Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd. Sep; 76(9): 960–963.
103. Laessoe U., Barth L., Skeie S. & McGirr K. (2017). “Manipulation of the body schema – Unilateral manual stimulation of lower extremity influences weight distribution in standing position.” Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, Vol 21(3): 612-617.
105. Franke H., Franke J.D., Belz S. & Fryer G. (2017). “Osteopathic manipulative treatment for low back and pelvic girdle pain during and after pregnancy: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies. Article in Press.
110. Hall H1, Cramer H, Sundberg T, Ward L, Adams J, Moore C, Sibbritt D. Lauche R. (2016). “The effectiveness of complementary manual therapies for pregnancy-related back and pelvic pain: A systematic review with meta-analysis.” Medicine (Baltimore), Vol 95(38), e4723.
120. Petrides S. (2014). “Non-inflammatory sacroiliac joint disorders.” Indian Journal of Rheumatology, Vol 9, S54-S63.
121. Visser LH, Woudenberg NP, de Bont J, van Eijs F, Verwer K, Jenniskens H, Den Oudsten BL. (2013). “Treatment of the sacroiliac joint in patients with leg pain: a randomized-controlled trial.” Eur Spine J. Oct; 22(10):2310-7.
122. Kamali F. & Shokri E. (2012). “The effect of two manipulative therapy techniques and their outcome in patients with sacroiliac joint syndrome.” Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, Vol 16(1), 29-35.
123. Bell J. (2008). “Massage therapy helps to increase range of motion, decrease pain and assist in healing a client with low back pain and sciatica symptoms.” Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, Vol 12(3): 281-289.
124. Boote J., Newsome R., Reddington M., Cole A. & Dimairo M. (2017). “Physiotherapy for Patients with Sciatica Awaiting Lumbar Micro-discectomy Surgery: A Nested, Qualitative Study of Patients’ Views and Experiences.” Physiother Res Int Jul; 22(3).
148. Roncad G. (2016). “Effects of osteopathic treatment on pulmonary function and chronic thoracic pain after coronary artery bypass graft surgery (OstinCaRe): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial.” BMC Complement Altern Med. 16: 482.