Back Pain

Back pain is so common in the western world that the majority of the population has had some experience with it either personally or with a close loved one. The most common type is lower back pain but many desk workers and those of us in this sedentary culture often experience upper or mid back pain as well. As with any condition finding the true cause of the back pain is paramount to proper care, management and prevention of reoccurrence.

Low back pain specifically is globally one of the biggest health burdens, reasons for missing work and disability along with being the 6th in overall burden to health care out of the 291 conditions studied by the WHO in 2010 (1). Mechanical back pain is so often treated by the mainstream medical system with drugs and rest and although this may offer some pain relief or provide some benefit it does not address the underlying causes.

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Chiropractors and our therapists at Live Free are uniquely trained to seek out the root cause of mechanical back pain weather it be from the joints, muscles, discs, nerves or from other more sinister causes. Our chiropractors start with a full history where we investigate red flags, sinister causes and try to get a picture of your back pain, then follow that with a thorough examination including orthopaedic testing to hone in on the cause and finally offer a plan of care for you if appropriate. They can refer you for further imaging (xrays, ultrasound or MRI) if necessary or will refer you to the appropriate specialist should you be outside our scope of care. Finally, once the cause is determined our chiropractors can use a variety of techniques to address your back pain including but not limited to:

  1. Spinal Manipulation / Mobilisation – in this case we use either a quick high velocity thrust to create motion in the spine or gentle rocking movements to mobilise the joint. In both cases it is done to create motion along the spine where we find tension, stiffness or fixation (lack of proper motion).
  2. Extremity Adjusting – our chiropractors also can manipulate and mobilise the joints of the limbs such as the knees, ankles, wrists and elbows when necessary to create the same motion as with spinal manipulation.
  3. Acupuncture & Dry Needling – using needles inserted into muscles and specific areas can relieve tension, relax tight muscles, reduce swelling/inflammation and provide pain relief.
  4. Soft Tissue therapy – our chiropractors are all trained in various soft tissue techniques including but not limited to: functional range release®, active release techniques®, Graston® or instrument assisted soft tissue therapy, trigger point therapy and general massage. All can help relieve and treat back pain.
  5. Exercise Prescription / Mobility Training – all of our chiropractors can provide specific exercises to improve your back pain and 2 of our chiropractors are mobility specialists trained in functional range conditioning® a system of training that focuses on finding the root cause of any mobility restrictions and provides a way to gaining back lost motion and improving one’s mobility.
  6. Supplements and Nutritional Advice – some of our chiropractors may recommend some supplements and nutrition advice. All chiropractors have some training in nutrition in their chiropractic degree’s and specifically Nicole has a masters in Functional Medicine and Human Nutrition so can provide more bespoke care. Nicole’s nutrition website is if your interested in this service.

So if you suffer from back pain on and off or have for some time maybe its time to find out the real cause, treat that root cause. Call reception on 0208 780 0898 or email to book your initial exam and treatment today. We also offer a FREE 15 min back check/posture check where you can come in and speak to one of our chiropractors to see if it is right for you. Finally check out this recent blog for 5 simple exercise for low back pain.


Hoy D, March L, Brooks P, et al. The global burden of low back pain: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 2014;73:968-974.