Back Pain, Diagnosis and Intervention




Written by Elliott Reid, Osteopath and Personal Trainer at The Revitalize Health and Fitness Clinic, Gravesend. Follow Elliott on Twitter


The Revitalize Health and Fitness Clinic has been providing first class Osteopathic Treatment for injuries and sports related pain since September 2013 and has enjoyed tremendously fast growth. We think this is due to our effective and quick approach to injuries as well as our empathy for injured athletes as well as the general public. For enquiries please call 01474 247 629 or contact us via email: We’re located in Gravesend, Kent.


Back pain is great inconvenience to even the most sedentary of individuals, so when it comes to the regularly active it isn’t just painful; back pain is a torment. The faster you can get an accurate diagnosis, the quicker you can receive effective management. Here is advice straight from the Revitalize Health and Fitness Clinic.

Number 1: what’s causing the pain. We’d recommend going straight to an osteopath, chiropractor or private physiotherapist for an accurate diagnosis, however we can make a good guess based on the nature of your pain and this is outlined in the table below.


Symptoms Area
Pain on sittingTakes longer than 20 seconds for the pain to shift on standingPain touching your toes

Feel side shifted

Spinal disc injuryTake around 6 weeks to recover
Pain on standingPain bending backwardsPain disappears quickly when you change position

Pain laying on your back

Spinal facet (small joint) injuryCan take 1-2 weeks to recover
Symptoms in the legs:Pins and needlesWeakness


Nerve impingement or referred painNB: If there is also a change to your bowel or bladder habits (difficulty starting or stopping) this is a medical emergency


Number 2: What to do about the pain

First thing’s first; ice straight away. Ice reduces inflammation by causing the retraction of blood from the area, where as heat brings blood to the area and can exacerbate inflammation. Ice the area for around 20mins per hour for 3 hours.

Number 3: Get moving. As long as your movement isn’t producing pain above a 6/10 threshold, you’re probably not doing any damage. In fact the movement will help shift the inflammation and reduce the sensitivity of the area. I particularly like to prescribe this very gentle exercise in the acute stage of an injury for this purpose.

Continue this approach for 1 week and if the pain still hasn’t cleared up, once again, visit your local osteopath.


Our Approach

I have completed a 4 year Masters in Osteopathy and we’re fundamentally trained to diagnose injury and analyse movement. I.e. which tissue (ligament, bone or muscle) is causing your pain and how is your movement helping this or harming this tissue?

As an example; when treating runners with back pain we frequently see patients with underdeveloped gluteal muscles. A YouTube video of myself explaining this can be seen here


The gluteal (hip) muscles have a secondary role of supporting the spine as well as their primary role pushing the feet backwards. We can now see how a patient’s facet (small joint) back injury may be related to their habitual inability to drive their feet backwards when they run. This is an example of linking an injury to poor movement patterns. We provide massage, stretching and manipulation to provide pain relief and set the patient up for a good recovery whilst completing their exercises to restore better movement.

And the great thing is that this approach can be applied to multiple injuries i.e. shoulder pain. How is the patient using their shoulder on a regular basis? What is the site of pain and how are they related?



This is the realm that the Osteopath thrives in. We’re great problem solvers and pay attention the fine details you miss. Want to book your first treatment? If local to Gravesend, phone the details below to book a free consultation.

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