James asked the Guru about his Lower Back Pain and our slogan Don’t treat, cure

August 26, 2014

Hi There!

I walked past your building earlier and am intrigued by your ‘don’t treat, cure’ slogan – as treatment seems to be all I’ve been offered so far through the NHS.

I’ve had a pain at the bottom of my back for around 18 months now. It’s comes on intermittently, but I generally feel it more if I’ve been sat in the same place for a prolonged period of time (i.e. my desk!) or if I’m standing without walking for a while, like a gig.

Movement such as a brisk walk or stretches does ease the pain, but often it’s too painful to do it in the first place!

I’ve received physio treatment previously but the affects were only short term, with the pain returning later that day or the following.

I’d really appreciate any advice you could offer and will hope to book a preliminary appointment with Six in the near future.


August 26, 2014

Hi James.


Luckily (or unluckily) for you this is really common, and that’s a real shame.

Far too much Physio intervention is about making you feel better (or making the Physio feel better) and too little time and effort is spent getting you better, and keeping you like that.

You’ve had the treatment bit, but you’ve haven’t been given the management bit – the cure.

At a guess you’ve been told to stretch your hammies, back and quads. This’ll make you feel better for a while BUT unless you can work out why you’ve got tight hammies etc you treatment is going in a big circle. After all you didn’t just wake up with tight muscles, they happened because of something – and this is the key to successful intervention.

You need to have the cause dealt with and not just the symptoms.

What’s really common is having a stiff thoracic spine (due to posture, sitting at work, laptop etc) which forces your lumbar spine to compensate and move more than it really wants to. If you’ve lost control of that extra movement in your lumbar spine then you’ll start to get back ache. You muscles will stiffen up to try to protect and limit the movement in your lumbar spine – these are your symptoms.

The cause of your symptoms is your stiff thoracic spine.

Try this stretch in the morning and night. Roll up a towel, as if your off to the beach and put it on the floor. Put a pillow at the top – the pillow should be higher than the towel (so maybe a big pillow or 2 of them) and should look like a “T” shape. Now lie on the towel. Head on the pillow, shoulders off the pillow and the towel runs from the nape of your neck down to just below your bra strap. Bend your knees up so your feet are flat on the floor – and hang out for 10 minutes. It must be pain free – or your doing it wrong!

This gives you a chance to move your thoracic spine – so make sure you keep it moving with good posture etc.

Maybe see you soon….


The Guru

Six Physio


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