ISOMATIC Integrative Health Centre

Greektown Danforth

Upper Back Pain

Many individuals seeking effective treatments for back pain and joint issues are turning to osteopathic medicine. Osteopathy offers several benefits, including the absence of medication or surgical procedures, setting it apart from conventional medical approaches. This guide defines osteopathy and explores how it can be utilized to effectively address back pain.

What is Osteopathy and How Can It Help? Osteopathy, as defined by the NHS, is a healthcare approach that focuses on detecting, treating, and preventing health issues through methods like joint mobilization, stretching, and massage. In the UK, it falls under the category of complementary or alternative medicine. Unlike conventional Western medicine, osteopathy emphasizes the treatment of the entire body, including the skeleton, joints, muscles, and soft tissues, rather than targeting a specific ailment.

Osteopathy views the musculoskeletal system as a crucial element of overall health and well-being. The fundamental principle behind manual therapy and alternative treatments is that a properly aligned musculoskeletal structure enables the body to heal itself following injury. It centers around the interconnection between the structure and function of the human body.

Osteopathic medicine offers drug-free, non-invasive manual treatment with a focus on strengthening the musculoskeletal framework to:

  • Increase or restore joint mobility.
  • Alleviate muscle tension.
  • Reduce pain and stiffness in muscles and joints.
  • Improve blood circulation.
  • Enhance tissue elasticity.

Holistic Treatment Osteopathy provides a holistic approach to treating back pain through a variety of techniques aimed at relieving pain and addressing various problems. These techniques include:

  • Massage: This method involves releasing restrictions within joints and muscles to address the entire body, restoring vitality. Osteopaths also use traction, gently lifting and pulling the head, feet, and hands to relieve stress.

  • Spinal Manipulation: This technique aims to restore joint movement or correct asymmetry in a facet joint.

  • Muscle Energy Technique: Patients use their muscles in a specific direction and position against an opposing force applied by the osteopath.

  • Counterstrain Technique: Patients are moved from a restricted position to a more comfortable one.

  • Cranial Osteopathy: A gentle bodywork approach addressing the bones of the head and spinal column. Therapeutic touch is used to alleviate pain and stress.

Osteopathy for Back Pain Many osteopaths specialize in the treatment of back pain. Here’s how an osteopath can help you benefit from such treatment:

  1. Thorough Diagnosis: Osteopaths are highly trained specialists who perform a comprehensive assessment by taking a detailed case history, conducting an examination, and analyzing X-rays, scans, and other tests.

  2. Manual Treatments: Depending on the patient’s diagnosis, age, and overall fitness, osteopaths employ a wide range of manual treatments. These may include gently massaging soft tissues in the back, as well as mobilizing and manipulating the spine to achieve relief.

  3. Guidance and Advice: Osteopaths not only provide manual treatment but also offer guidance on posture, stretching, rehabilitation, and other activities to alleviate pain.

Osteopathic Medicine and Back Pain Back pain can manifest in various forms, including stiffness and severe pain in different areas, from the upper back to the pelvis. It may also cause numbness in the arms and legs due to pressure on nerves or a sensation of pins and needles. The onset of pain can be sudden or gradual and can occur anywhere along the spine.

Whether it’s lower back pain, middle back pain, or upper back pain, there is strong evidence that osteopathic medicine is effective in its treatment. Since the causes of pain can vary from person to person, the approach may involve addressing other areas of the body, such as the neck, hips, or knees. Osteopathic medicine offers a holistic and versatile solution for managing and alleviating back pain.

Greektown (Danforth) in Toronto

Andrew Chan, R.H.N., DOMP, B.Sc., DO (Euro)

Andrew Chan, R.H.N., DOMP, B.Sc., DO (Euro)

Heena Vora,

Heena Vora,

Amir Kazemi, BSC,DOMP, DO(E), PhD

Amir Kazemi, BSC,DOMP, DO(E), PhD

Joey Dao, RMT Registered Massage Therapist

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