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Osteo.. physio.. chiro?
who do I/you see for back pain?


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28 replies to this topic

#1 faithy

Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:05 PM

Hi all,

I've been experiencing pretty bad back pain since my LO was born - initially due to pregnancy, then breastfeeding, and now all the poor postural type things eg when changing her, bathing her, carrying her up and down the stairs to the car in the capsule etc etc. I've also recently had carpel tunnel, and my left knee has been flaring up from a previous injury 15 years ago. Fun times!

I'm confused as to who I see especially for my back and would appreciate some advice.. so many possible health professionals and I want to get it sorted asap before it becomes any worse.

Thanks for your help!

#2 HerringToMarmalade

Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:07 PM

Have you been to a GP? They can give you a referral to the right person.

#3 JuniPooks_

Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:13 PM

I agree, ask for a GP referral, you might even be able to subsidize some of the visits through medicare with a referral. I'd be thinking physio, though.

#4 TenOfSwords

Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:20 PM

Out of the 3 I'd choose chiro. I had a fantastic chiro who worked wonders on my body. I felt so amazing when I was seeing him, he completely fixed the horrendous and paralysing SPD that I experienced during my last pregnancy.

Edited by RunawayPrincess, 18 November 2012 - 09:22 PM.


#5 Old Grey Mare

Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:27 PM

I second the GP suggestion as a starting point. You really have been in the wars haven't you. Hopefully a solution is not too far away for you.

#6 Mumof1OneontheWay

Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:31 PM

Def recommend Chiro - and unlikely that a GP will refer you to one. Have been treated throughout pregnancy and after with chiro and found the treatment great. My children and husband also get treated monthly.

#7 Wahwah

Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:35 PM

Hard one, because everyone will advocate for the specialist that helped them the most.

See for me, after trying physio for a year, it was an osteo who fixed my problems, which were mainly to do with lower back and hip problems originating from pelvic misalignment from a decade old injury (fell down the stairs 10 years prior). Now they work wonders on my headaches and neck issues and this assists with sinus pain and congestion. What I liked was that they didn't just treat the site of the symptons, which I was finding with the physio, but looked for the originating problem.

So maybe it's a GP to first diagnose the core issues and then recommend where to get treatment.

#8 mollybot

Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:41 PM

Osteo is the gentlest, but do try Googling "Gentle Chiropractic" in your area - its a specific type of chiro that doesn't use as much manipulation.

A physio can also be good, especially if you have muscular as well as "bone" problems, but I've found that Physios can be quite rough. I had one fix up a locked up back muscle and I was screaming in pain at what he was doing. He fixed it, but my Chiro sucked his teeth when I told him about it.....

Ask around your friends and family - a good recommendation is a great place to start. If you're in Perth I have some good recommendations - I won't bore you with my history, but I was a wreck after having children !

I personally wouldn't bother with a GP. My Mum had sciatica and the GP put her on anti-inflammatories and painkillers while waiting three weeks for an ultrasound. She then got told to go to a Physio. The Physio went "That's sciatica" and fixed it in 5 minutes flat ! When I got sciatica I went to my Chiro and he went "That's sciatica" and fixed it in five minutes flat. The difference ? I didn't wait three weeks in agony and unable to move to be treated !

Given that you have knee problems as well, I'd start with a Physio or Osteo as they do more soft tissue work, and maybe see a Chiro after that for your back. If the Chiro says " We have to take x-rays and then you'll have to come in twice a week for the next two months" find another Chiro. Both of mine pride themselves on fixing something in two goes or less.

#9 yellowtulips74

Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:43 PM

Definitely Chiro.  Don't waste your time with the GP on this one.

You poor thing - hope you get some relief soon!

#10 imamumto3

Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:45 PM

osteo has worked wonders for various problems for me and my family.  I just go direct, not to the gp first.

#11 anasam

Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:14 AM

All a GP did for me was write a scrip for painkillers, they were particularly nasty and you could only take them at night due to the nausea they caused. I ended up at a chiro as that was all we have here and he has fixed my back pain as well as a hip problem i was having.

#12 MAGS24

Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:28 AM

I recommend going to a GP for a check up just in case. Some women develop Thyroid problems after their baby is born, called Postpartum Thyroiditis. One of the symptoms of a low thyroid is carpel tunnel syndrome. I had this problem myself after DS1 was born. It just requires a blood test from your GP. It's
always good to keep iodine levels up to help to reduce thyroid problems, like iodised salt instead of regular salt etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postpartum_thyroiditis
http://www.thyroid.com.au/thyroid-disorder...isorders-signs/
http://www.thyroid.org.au/ThySoc/ThySocPPTD.html

I saw a Chiropractor after my two boys were born and it was very helpful with relieving my hip and back pain. Chiropractors can also help Carpel Tunnel.

Edited by MAGS24, 19 November 2012 - 08:32 AM.


#13 rosiebird

Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:30 AM

QUOTE (mollybot @ 18/11/2012, 09:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Osteo is the gentlest, but do try Googling "Gentle Chiropractic" in your area - its a specific type of chiro that doesn't use as much manipulation.

A physio can also be good, especially if you have muscular as well as "bone" problems, but I've found that Physios can be quite rough. I had one fix up a locked up back muscle and I was screaming in pain at what he was doing. He fixed it, but my Chiro sucked his teeth when I told him about it.....

Ask around your friends and family - a good recommendation is a great place to start. If you're in Perth I have some good recommendations - I won't bore you with my history, but I was a wreck after having children !

I personally wouldn't bother with a GP. My Mum had sciatica and the GP put her on anti-inflammatories and painkillers while waiting three weeks for an ultrasound. She then got told to go to a Physio. The Physio went "That's sciatica" and fixed it in 5 minutes flat ! When I got sciatica I went to my Chiro and he went "That's sciatica" and fixed it in five minutes flat. The difference ? I didn't wait three weeks in agony and unable to move to be treated !

Given that you have knee problems as well, I'd start with a Physio or Osteo as they do more soft tissue work, and maybe see a Chiro after that for your back. If the Chiro says " We have to take x-rays and then you'll have to come in twice a week for the next two months" find another Chiro. Both of mine pride themselves on fixing something in two goes or less.


If it was fixed in 5min flat, chances are it wasn't sciatica. True nerve root compression from a prolapsed disc can't be instantly cured with a few pressure point spots and stretches.

In regards to the initial question, it depends on whether you have an underling structurally normal back. If you do, it doesn't really matter where you go, a little massage/ manipulation / exercise will probably fix it. If you don't, your GP is the best opinion for referral to an ortho or interventionalist radiologist.

Edited by rosiebird, 19 November 2012 - 08:31 AM.


#14 amabanana

Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:34 AM

Personally, I went to the GP who said, 'Take some Panadol.'  Then I went back and got X-rays and a CAT scan, saw a neurologist who dx'd classical migraine. I went to the chiro and had to keep going back week after week.  I would feel OK for a few days and then it would be back to the chiro. I then randomly went to an osteo after I couldn't get in with my chiro and they told me what needed to be fixed, worked on it every week for a few weeks, then every two weeks for a couple of months.  End result for me was FIXED!  After years of getting no where and suffering back pain, migraines and IBS I was finally feeling great.  Who knew that my tight ribs and back muscles could cause me so much distress?  Certainly not the GP or the chiro (IME).
Your post reminds me that I should probably go for a tune up.

#15 LovetheSun

Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:40 AM

I'd go to an Osteo or an Acupuncturist and have regular massages. I have all but your knee problems and do all of this. Especially the massages because I find I do develop big knots in my back from breastfeeding and carrying a massive baby around on my hip all day.
Unless you have a REALLY good GP, I wouldn't bother. They are more likely to write you a script for drugs than recommend a natural therapist.


#16 hayzee fantayzee

Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:50 AM

QUOTE (rosiebird @ 19/11/2012, 09:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If it was fixed in 5min flat, chances are it wasn't sciatica. True nerve root compression from a prolapsed disc can't be instantly cured with a few pressure point spots and stretches.

In regards to the initial question, it depends on whether you have an underling structurally normal back. If you do, it doesn't really matter where you go, a little massage/ manipulation / exercise will probably fix it. If you don't, your GP is the best opinion for referral to an ortho or interventionalist radiologist.


Absolutely. Good advice.




#17 Apageintime

Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:08 AM

A GP. but then I'd pick Physio. They have uni degrees and I trust that.

I'm one of those peopple that don't trust Chiros or Osteopaths.

#18 MAGS24

Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:45 AM

QUOTE (Apageintime @ 19/11/2012, 11:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A GP. but then I'd pick Physio. They have uni degrees and I trust that.

I'm one of those peopple that don't trust Chiros or Osteopaths.


Chiropractors have to go to university for five years or more. They have to have a Bachelor and Masters degree before they can work as a Chiropractor, same as a Physio.

#19 imamumto3

Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:52 AM

QUOTE (MAGS24 @ 19/11/2012, 11:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Chiropractors have to go to university for five years or more. They have to have a Bachelor and Masters degree before they can work as a Chiropractor, same as a Physio.

I thought it was the same for an Osteo too.  I will ask this afternoon when I go see mine

#20 Magnus

Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:55 AM

Like A Page in Time, I prefer physio. The physio has been absolutely amazing for my issues (soft tissue injuries and back pain) and has also referred me on when it wasn't in her area of expertise (to a podiatrist).

I think it depends how much you're into alternative medicine too. I'm also a bit suspicious of some of the theories behind chiropractic and osteopathy (which seem a bit more mystical than physio to me). I like that physio seems straightforward. So I think it'll partly depend on your beliefs regarding different forms of medicine too.

I'm not saying that alternative medicines aren't valid, I'm just saying they don't appeal to me as much.

#21 ILBB

Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:02 AM

QUOTE
See for me, after trying physio for a year, it was an osteo who fixed my problems, which were mainly to do with lower back and hip problems originating from pelvic misalignment from a decade old injury
Scarily close to my situation!! Although I also saw a Chiro for a period of time too.  Was the Osteo who really has done wonders for me! But if you just go the GP - they will only recommend a physio who only has a specific area of treatment.

#22 MrsLexiK

Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:03 AM

QUOTE (rosiebird @ 19/11/2012, 09:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If it was fixed in 5min flat, chances are it wasn't sciatica. True nerve root compression from a prolapsed disc can't be instantly cured with a few pressure point spots and stretches.

In regards to the initial question, it depends on whether you have an underling structurally normal back. If you do, it doesn't really matter where you go, a little massage/ manipulation / exercise will probably fix it. If you don't, your GP is the best opinion for referral to an ortho or interventionalist radiologist.


I agree, it took a number of visits to my physio when I had sciatica for it to actually be fixed, and you could tell on the scans they had to keep doing when it was fainlly fixed.  I do throw my back out every now and again and that is normally fixed after only 1 session.

I have done physio for my knee and my neck.  My DH has done physio for his knee through TAC (so rehab based more so) My knee was "fixed" (will never be 100%) but my neck wasn't.  What helps my neck/back and shoulders is going to the osteo for massages before it gets bad (sometimes this is weekly, sometimes monthly, sometimes every 3 - 6 months if all is going fine)  The Osteo's I have seen have a focus in not wanting to see you again.  All have worked on making it so I don't have to come in weekly or monthly and are happy if they never have to see you again.

QUOTE (Apageintime @ 19/11/2012, 11:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A GP. but then I'd pick Physio. They have uni degrees and I trust that.

I'm one of those peopple that don't trust Chiros or Osteopaths.

Osteos and Chiros both have degrees.

#23 Apageintime

Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:48 AM

QUOTE (MAGS24 @ 19/11/2012, 11:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Chiropractors have to go to university for five years or more. They have to have a Bachelor and Masters degree before they can work as a Chiropractor, same as a Physio.


I stand corrected.

I do feel as though I've learnt something today - thanks EB!

#24 Stinkermouse

Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:03 PM

I saw a chiro for a long time and it was a full on schedule 5 times a week for two weeks then three times a week for 4 weeks....this kept on going.  And like a pp mentioned I would feel ok for a day and then it was back.

I moved interstate and saw a local osteo who uses massage as well as manipulation and after the first appointment I was feeling better.  I saw him weekly for 3/4 weeks and that was it.

Cost wise the osteo was much cheaper and worked better for me.

I tried physio many years ago when I was pregnant with my first and it didn't do much for me again I ended up seeing a osteopath.

#25 twinboys

Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:10 PM

Osteo all the way!

Have tried chiros and physios in the past and because they only concentrate on one area they don't fix the whole problem.

Many chiros lock you into a treatment course that takes months and costs $$$$ plus each visit takes 10 mins max - click clack and thats it!

Physios hook you up to all these pressure and heat machines and then keep rotating themselves between treatment rooms - so treating several people at the same time. ( this is what happened to me)

Osteos stay with you and work on you for 30-45 mins.
They will massage, stretch and manipulate the areas. You will not have to go back for numerous visits.
After 3 to 4 visits the underlying issues should be resolved and if not they will suggest you see a specialist.




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