by Alan Jordan
Lower back pain is the most common condition seen by the chiropractors at the Broadgate Spine Centre. The majority of our patients work in financial services in our neighbouring area including Moorgate, Bank, Cannon Street, and Liverpool Street Station. Others come from different parts of the City of London. Most chiropractor patients with low back pain patients walk to our clinic, and appointments are usually available on the same day.
Arriving at a working diagnosis involves a careful case history, a thorough examination, and if necessary we can refer to our in-house colleagues for diagnostic imaging and blood tests. The truth of the matter is that arriving at a tissue specific diagnosis is a really challenging task and most often impossible, even though we have all manner of diagnostic aids at hand. This is due to the fact that the spine is a very complicated structure and that determining precisely which tissue (joint, muscle, disc, capsule, ligament etc) is responsible for the patient’s symptoms renders this almost impossible. Furthermore, injuries to one tissue type are more than likely to involve several structures. Oftentimes, the patient will be told that they are experiencing mechanical back pain or non-specific back pain.
Mechanical Back Pain
AS the term implies the condition is due to injuries sustained by the mechanical structures of the spine as opposed to infections, disease, arthritis, birth defects and so forth. Patients normally want as specific a diagnosis as possible and explaining why this can be difficult requires time, visual aids and good communicative skills. The overwhelming majority of patients presenting with lower back pain do in fact fall under this diagnostic category.
Mechanical low back pain is usually managed with manipulative treatment from a chiropractor, advice, medication as required and onward referral if required. Preventative care usually focuses around supervised exercise carried out in our newly equipped gym, led by our physiotherapists who the chiropractors work together with. Patients experiencing long standing low back pain may be asked to return for maintenance manipulative therapy, if this deemed appropriate.
There are some great gyms to continue prescribed exercise for low back pain throughout the City of London in Moorgate, Liverpool Street, Bank, Broadgate, Cannon Street, other EC2 areas and Liverpool Street Station as well as around St Pauls and Barbican. Our chiropractors can recommend somewhere if necessary.
One of the advantages of chiropractic manipulative therapy is that patients respond quickly. A few visits will normally provide meaningful relief, although additional treatments are often required to complete the treatment. Patients that do not experience relief after a few treatments are unlikely to do well with this type of treatment in the long run. We therefore constantly monitor progress and reassess patients at each and every visit. If sufficient progress is not being made then alternative solutions will be recommended or the patient will be referred to another specialist at our clinic.
Patients should always have a good understanding about their condition, the suggested treatment and treatment expectations. This enhances patient compliance and therefore results.
Dr Alan Jordan, Chiropractor, Phd