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Derek Golightly - Massage Therapist

Remedial & Sports Massage

Backache Relief

Backache, like any ongoing pain, can be very debilitating. It can lay you up for days or even weeks. And even if it is not as extreme as that, it can make life rather grim and you will feel very unhappy and tired.

There are a lot of different cause of backache, too numerous to discuss here. This page covers  some of my thoughts on the subject. If you have any other situations you'd like to discuss, don't hesitate to contact me.

The most common form of backache is lower back pain. However the whole of the back can be affected.  It may be that some accident has happened to trigger the backache. However it is also common that there is an underlying problem, and that some minor incident was the last straw.

The immediate problem is generally that the muscles of the back have gone into spasm. I use various massage and stretching techniques to release the spasm and hence relieve the pain. At this stage many people are happy and other priorities in their lives take over. However many people have been plagued by back pain for years. All of these people have an underlying problem that causes the back pain to recur. This can either be something that they do, or it can be a problem with their posture. In either case I can often help.

Strangely, most of us have no idea what good posture looks like. I think the millitary have a lot to answer for. They drill servicemen to stand to attention in a classic "Sargeant Major pose". If someone asks you to stand up straight, most people will stick their chest out and adopt this pose. This is a terrible posture! It leads to terrible back pain.

The fact is that most of us need individual training in how to recognise and adopt a good posture. I can help with this by doing a detailed postural analysis and devising a simple and easy exercise regime for you. This latter will help you improve your posture.

Alternatively, pilates is very good, and yoga will also often help. These are very good exercise regimes to do. However they will generally not be tailed to your particular needs, and so may not correct any underlying problem you may have in your posture.

In Case of Accident

It may also be that you've had an accident and have had some damage to spine, such as a compression fracture. In this case, it is important to see a doctor or relevant specialist. This is so that you have a good understanding of what has actually happened. After this, I can often help by improving the condition of the soft tissues (muscles and tendons), and hence reducing the pain. I can also help by helping you to achieve improved posture. This will also reduce the strain on your back muscles and so reduce the pain.

In The Long Term

After a significant injury to (say) the lumbar spine, it is common for the thoracic spine (at the level of the ribcage) to become more and more bent over. This is due partly to the pain in the lower back leading to you feeling debilitated and 'down'. It is also partly due to the normal human response where we change our posture to try to relieve the pain.

The bending over of the thoracic spine leads in turn to the cervical spine (neck) becoming more and more bent backwards to compensate. This can lead to frequent headaches.

All of this, if left unchecked, will often get worst over time, and can lead to very serious problems in the long term. For example, it can lead to sciatica, or you can become permanently hunched over. This in turn can lead to continual pain, frequent headaches and problems with some activities, swimming for example.

It is important to address these postural problems early. If left too long (years), it can be virtually impossible to correct the posture.

If you would like to discuss any of this or similar problems, please feel free to email or call me.

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