In Today’s episode of Therapist Thursday Carolyn Zepf answers the question How can a “Osteopath help with Back Pain Relief”

First off What is Back Pain?

Low back pain is one of the most common problems people have. About 60 – 80% of adults

suffer from lower back pain.

Back pain can be felt when you have a mis-alignment in your spine, when an organ and its surrounding tissue are in lesion , when there is inflammation in the area, when pressure is placed on the nerves and discs of the spine, with muscle spasms, and degenerative changes in the spine.

How Osteopath’s help relieve back pain?

Through Assessment
-finding the root cause
-exercise prescription
-Lifestyle Modifications – Nutrition, Sleep, hydration, stress reduction


One of the common back pain treatment techniques is called “The Cradle technique”. This technique is used when rigidity or “stiffness” is assessed in the joints that attach to the ribs to the spine. For example you may be feeling a nagging pain in their upper back that you can not relieve with a change in your position or you may experience pain in the mid back with breathing. When your therapist uses a rocking motion with the cradle technique the therapist will feel the rigid areas with their hand placed either at the rib angle or beside the vertebra of the spine and an impulse is given to free the blocked area.


The next technique shown in the video is a sacrum technique. This technique is used when the sacrum is rigid or “locked” with the pelvis. some of the symptoms you might be feeling are
-your back hurts when you sit down or when you go from a sitting position to standing position
– you are unable to stand upright instead you hunched over
-you may feel discomfort in your back near where your belt line is.
-or you may feel like your hip’s locked

There are number of techniques for the sacrum that can be used to release the sacrum, your therapist will assess what treatment is needed.

This technique is a re- centering of the Mesentary. The mesentery is a bag like structure that surrounds the small intestines and when tense creates tension in the lower back. Some of the symptoms you might be feeling are;

– Constipation
-Water retention
– or general lower back pain

Re- centring of the mesentery helps to remove the strain in the mesentery and reduces the tension in the lower back.


The diaphragm technique is a technique used to treat the thoracic diaphragm. The diaphragm is a large and powerful muscle that separates the heart and lunges from the organs of digestion.

The diaphragm aids you in breathing and can become tight from a trauma, or from colds, flus and stress. It has attachments into the lower six ribs and also into the front part of the lower back vertebra. When unbalanced the diaphragm can create tension, dysfunction and pain in the mid and lower back.


If you have back pain and would like treatment e-mail me at or visit us at

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Carolyn Zepf
osteopathy (current study) & Certified Athletic Sports Therapist, Keynote & Professional Speaker