Is it Really Lower Back Pain or a Problem With the Pelvis?
One of the most common problems that we come across are those associated with the pelvis.
Usually a patient will present with lower back pain and have difficulty turning over in bed, going up and down stairs or getting out of a chair.
In a lot of cases this is caused by a problem with the mechanics of the pelvis (not the hip joint). The pelvis has two joints at the back which articulate with the sacrum. These joints move every so slightly and allows a degree of flexibility of the pelvis. The joint(s) can become stuck in a neutral, forward or backward position which can be very uncomfortable. It can also lead to what is known as a functional long or short leg!
Osteopathy can help put the joint(s) back into their correct positions and recover mobility in the joint(s), thus removing the underlying cause of pain.
Problems with the Hip
There are many issues that can arise from the hip which can also have knock-on effects for the knee.
The hip is inherently a very stable and secure ball and socket joint which is weight baring. The most common problem with the joint is wear and tear and degeneration. Wear and tear is caused by not only over use, but from overloading the joint by excessive weight. If you are very flexible or have a history of dance, then you may have developed hyper-flexibility in the hip joint. This hyper-flexibility may lead to an unstable hip joint which in turn will lead to uneven wear and tear of the joint.
Osteopathy cannot repair damaged joint surfaces (wear and tear or degeneration), but it can help relieve some of the pain by allowing the surfaces to be better lubricated by the internal fluids.
The knee is a very complex joint and is held together by a number of ligaments and muscles. Unlike the hip which is a ball and socket joint, the knee is basically a hinge joint and is vulnerable to external forces, whether from a football tackle or a simple trip on the pavement.
Excessive kneeling can also inflame the knee as can altered mechanics from the hip (as mentioned earlier) and also from dropped arches in the feet! The knee cap itself can cause problems known as maltracking which can be caused by weakness in the inner thigh muscles.
Again, osteopathy can help with resolving the causes of the pain (ie. hip or feet) as well as other joints around the knee and ankle.
Advice on the use of orthotics and exercise will be given when required.