Daniel is a 42 year-old high tech employee who has made an appointment at my clinic for
acute low back pain following a period of long work hours.
He is obviously in a lot of pain, is struggling to stand up straight and has been finding it
difficult to be at ease.
During his intake interview he mentions that he has had a few similar episodes in the past,
usually brought on by long work hours, and that the pain usually lasts for a week or so. He
had another serious episode of back pain radiating to his left leg which lasted
for about 12 weeks and which his doctor told him was due to a ‘bulging disc’.
I examined Daniel with him standing and moving and also performed some basic
orthopedic testing. The tests didn not reveal anything sinister. I therefore explained
that in all likelihood he has just incurred a simple muscle strain or spasm. However, it is possible that he has had a previous low back disc injury and
that this in addition to his job which involves a lot pf sittingg in awkward conditions is pre-disposing him to repeated low back strains.
I is decided that today’s treatment will be ‘first aid’,and aimed at reducing the muscle
tension and making him more comfortable. I treated him with some
deep tissue massage to relieve trigger points, some gentle ligament release and some spinal manipulation.
I send him home with instructions to do some gentle stretches and do a little ice-packing.
Daniel comes back a week later and reports that he is much better and has already returned to work the day after the treatment. I treated him again and gave him some advice to try and prevent further episodes. I advised to stretch regularly and to try and change his working
position so that he doesn’t overwork his back muscles. He is also shown some
exercises to strengthen his core muscles.
Daniel is happy that, on this occasion, his problem wasn’t serious and responded
well to treatment. As he is a full time employee and so it is important to him to get back to
work quickly and the fact that he can be seen and treated within a couple of
days made the treatment very successful.