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Chiropractor or Physio for lower back pain?

(22 Posts)
Bovneydazzlers Sun 03-Dec-17 20:53:46

I’ve had 3 episodes of lower back pain in the last year (comes on suddenly after a certain movement, lasts for days/weeks of general achyness with some acute episodes).
Clearly it’s a weak area for me, it’s only been since second child (c-section) last year it’s been an issue.

I know the key fix is for me to do regular core strength exercises so I’m going to get strict about them.

I also think seeing a professional may be useful too, I’m happy to throw a bit of money at it for the sake of long term benefit. I’ve googled and still not sure whether a chiropractor or physio would be the most sensible option to go for- can anyone advise?

ShoesJerry Mon 04-Dec-17 16:50:24

I'd suggest either physio or osteopath. I've had various back issues and have seen physio, Osteo and chiro at various times. In my experience, osteopaths are most gentle and most hands on. It varies greatly between individual though.

MonumentalAlabaster Mon 04-Dec-17 17:18:35

I agree with ShoesJerry that there is a huge difference between individual practitioners. I have tried both chiropractor and physiotherapy before finally finding a truly excellent physiotherapist. Ask around and take recommendations - I found mine through someone in my Pilates class.

Fekko Mon 04-Dec-17 17:20:24

I swear by a good osteopath. I've tried the others (my back is terrible) and she is a miracle worker.

ShowMeTheElf Mon 04-Dec-17 17:23:16

The definition of Alternative medical treatment is one which has not been proved to work or has h=been proved not to work.
I know that many people feel the benefit of these treatments and make no judgements myself, but osteopathy and chiropracty are alternative treatments.
Last year I had 4 sessions with a physiotherapist after years with trouble on and off with my back. It was life changing.

MonumentalAlabaster Mon 04-Dec-17 17:29:23

It was life changing

Exactly this!

GingerbreadMa Mon 04-Dec-17 17:32:28

Theres a difference between Alternative therapists and complimentary therapists.

See an "alternative" therapist may tell you to stop taking your gp prescribed meds cold turkey and live on vibes and magic dust instead. They will discourage you from seeing anyone else.

Complimentary therapists with inter-refer with mainstream HCPs. A good osteopath or chiropractor will often inter-refer between each other and also physiotherapists, massage therapists, CBT practitioners and back to your GP if necessary.

There are some "alternative" chiropractors and osteopaths, but most are "complimentary" and its not hard to spot the former

Fekko Mon 04-Dec-17 17:33:07

I had physiological at the hospital and it did absolutely nothing for my back. I've popped/torn a few discs and get a lot of back ache and found chiro hurts like hell and takes ages to heal but osteopathy is a lot quicker and painless. It's a bit like a massage and I have exercises to strengthen the muscles.

There's 'alternative' and there's 'alternative'.

GingerbreadMa Mon 04-Dec-17 17:35:01

Hospital physio and private physio is uncomparable!

Private physio is totally totally different from being herded through a NHS pathway

Fekko Mon 04-Dec-17 17:36:33

I'm a therapist and if anyone tells you to not see your GP if you haven't already, or tries to encourage you to stop taking prescribed mess without working with your doctor - run a mile!

Is her kicked out the brownies for that (so not be insured and not able to be registered with the NHS/Bupa)

GingerbreadMa Mon 04-Dec-17 17:41:06

There isnt actually much difference in the hands on techniques used by chiropractors and osteopaths. They attend the same CPD courses and seminars post grad so they do a lot of the same things to your body.

Osteopath appointments are longer and will often go into lifestyle and emotional/mindset stuff and do some massage and lots more talking. Some people like this and find it more holistic. I find it tedious so prefer private physios or chiropractors who just get on with it so I can be in and out. My osteopath appointments were a fricken HOUR long!

Fekko Mon 04-Dec-17 17:44:26

Are you kidding - no crunching with an osteo! Ouch!

Mine doesn't go into that sort of thing - she mainly works with sports injuries and there's no way you'd get me to sit still for an hour.

GingerbreadMa Mon 04-Dec-17 17:47:16

Ive been to clinics that had physios and chiropractors so you could be switched between then depending on your condition/needs.

Please dont be put off by your experience of physio on the NHS. NHS physios are wonderful if you have a specialised problem, but their hands are tied with the "ordinary" stuff. Private physios get to do more actual physiotherapy if you have a non urgent/specialist issue and arent under pressure to discharge you with a crappy advics sheet.

Fekko Mon 04-Dec-17 17:49:04

I was in hospital at one point with my poor back - not quite sure what they thought I'd done to myself but it was the worst pain I'd ever had in my life. Osteopathy really did help through.

sparechange Mon 04-Dec-17 18:14:59

A good physio will be a lot more holistic

I've had lower back problems for years and have seen everyone under the sun, and had buckets of surgery

Osteos and chiropractors will always focus on the painful area

Physios will as well and they'll do some manipulation if you need it, but a good physio will take a step back and look at the whole body - muscle imbalances and weaknesses in other bits of your body, bad walking patterns, tight joints and muscles in other bits of the body etc

The breakthrough for me came from working on strengthening my hip on one side, and stretching my too-tight calves plus doing weight training work under their supervision - an osteo would ever do that sort of thing

GingerbreadMa Mon 04-Dec-17 18:24:08

Ive been to chiropractors with their own in house gyms for supervised strength exercises. And Ive had gait analysis too. Its not just physios who treat that way.

Im a nurse so between my colleages and myself we've seen a LOT of back pain practitioners!

The main thing is finding a good match. I dont want to waste time with the types who tell me to meditate 2 hours a day in between pilates and yoga sessions and stop drinking coffee. Fuck that mate I have 13 hour night shifts to do and then I have to wake myself up enough to do the school run! Just patch me up and send me back out there in the shortest time possible!

Generally a good/bad match is more personal than chiro vs osteo vs physio.

Shop around and communicate your aims and preferences

Ollivander84 Tue 05-Dec-17 00:35:32

Physio for me. She treated me for 5 sessions, session 6 took one look and said "not touching you, you need an MRI now"
That was maybe march? By May I was having emergency spinal surgery thanks to her spotting a problem

PetiteMarseillaise Tue 05-Dec-17 00:47:55

I go to Mctimoney chiropractors. Very gentle and effective way to re-align the body, no crunching sounds as they manipulate you!

I've yet to find a new one that I like since my chiropractor retired sad

Bluemoon1 Sun 10-Dec-17 17:20:15

I have extremely severe back pain which seems to have gotten worse in the last 5 years. Last year I had to go to out of hours at the hospital because I was crying in agony and the consultant said that another disc had prolapsed.
I think there is one at lumbar 5 (bra strap region) and the recent one lower back just above my bum.
I cant work out which is worse....although the upper comes and goes and is more bearable whilst when the lower back pain is at its worst it is absolutely horrendous. It almost feels like soneone sticking a very large needle in your back.
It makes me so depressed and when it is at its worst I can hardly move.
I am on a lot of medication which I take regularly, the GP has just increased the Gapapentin to 600mg per day, I also take Naproxen 1000mg per day and I top up with paracetamol.
When it 'goes' which means it gets very, very severe which happens approx 3 or 4x every year and lasts anything up to 5 weeks but seem to be increasing in frequency, I also get sharp shooting pain up and down my legs and back and it is usually the lower back that is the most painful.
Anyone have any idea what the heck is going on with my body? (I also have a slight prolapse of uterus which is not at the operable stage?)
I am so fed up.... does anyone have any tips or advice please. I need to go to the walk in physio that my GP has given me details of, but the pain is so bad that I can not tolerate any worse and I am so scared.
The pain today has me in floods of tears. What a year.

Bluemoon1 Sun 10-Dec-17 17:22:25

Sorry OP..... did not want to de-rail your thread. I thought that I was posting my own/new thread. I am such a damn drip.

allypally999 Mon 11-Dec-17 09:13:56

I also vote physio but have seen some useless ones. I would always pay and go private when possible.

alexgrin Thu 21-Dec-17 14:30:16

Physiotherapy can be an efficient remedy to the back pain problems. Last time I had severe back pain my doctor advised me to try physiotherapy. When we moved to New Zealand I started attending local rehabilitation program here and I must say after a few sessions my pain disappeared. It's absolutely natural treatment and I feel much more better now.

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