Why is my low back not getting better?

With the relatively limited public awareness of Osteopathy in Australia i’ve often had patients (from various areas such as Diamond Creek, Greensborough, Hurstbridge etc) coming in to try Osteopathy after they have tried other modalities with limited success.  Commonly I’ve heard of too many stories of patients being dissatisfied with their current healing (not just low backs but a range of conditions) and have come to me to try Osteopathy to see how they can better manage an injury. Often, dissatisfaction comes from short treatment times, no real diagnosis and no real idea on what the injury is or how to fix it.

Over the years i’ve seen a lot of different conditions in a range of different age groups. Treating babies to the elderly the one thing that stands out is that everybody is different. Some respond best to direct trigger point therapy and manipulation, some stretching, some indirect and craniosacral therapies. My choice of techniques is dependent on my clinical experience, reasoning and patient preference. Another part of what makes everyone different is that everyone recovers from an injury /condition at differing rates.

Every injury is different. What takes one person two days to recover may take another person months. Some injuries like low back disc injuries and sciatic pains can take some months to recover whilst others may never fully recover fully.

Some factors in recovery are controllable, such as:

  • compliance to appropriate stretches or exercises
  • ability to minimise aggravation at work or home
  • getting sufficient treatment to enable recovery
  • a persons perception of their pain (psychological)

Some factors at not

  • the bodies ability to heal (physiological)
  • the degree of damage to the body

When thinking about why an injury isn’t healing it is important to look at those controllable factors. Getting the right diagnosis, the right treatment, the right education, and the right exercises to take control of an injury and enable full recovery is vital. These require a thorough history, assessment and for somebody to completely understand your pain. Here at Good Health Osteopathy we try to achieve that for each and every patient.


Dr. Luke Richter (Osteopath)

Good Health Osteopathy

5B 329-347 Diamond Creek Rd, Diamond Creek

Commonly servicing: Diamond Creek, Greensborough, Eltham, Hurstbridge


What should I tell my Osteopath?

I’ve noticed over the years that many patients have layers of information they will share with me as their treating osteopath.  These layers come in many different forms.  Sometimes I get told the basics but nothing more due to a lack of trust, or a feeling that it may be boring, or that it is unrelated to my patients current problem.  Sometimes they don’t mention it because they’ve asked their General Practitioner (GP) and not gotten an answer so have just given up on getting it fixed.

I personally believe that more information is better.  The more I get told, the more likely I am to be able to help with any given problem.

For example:

Recently I’ve had a patient with ongoing back pain which had been helped with previous treatment but never 100% fixed.  I admit that I had seen her a few times myself with similar results.  One treatment It was revealed that this patient had a bloating sensation for as long as the back pain had lasted.  Using that information I was able to ease the tension through the abdomen with visceral techniques and now this patient is better.  No more back pain, no more bloating.

I admit it doesn’t always work out that way, bloating and most abdominal symptoms can be as a result of allergies, intolerances and conditions that aren’t fixable by hands-on work.  But sometimes they are caused by tightness in the structures of the stomach and are relieved with treatment.  This is just an example, there are many things i see on a weekly basis that patients are suprised I can assist with.

Osteopaths are put through 5 years of university training which includes a great deal of anatomy, physiology, pathology, clinical diagnosis and much more.  You are often able to spend more time with your osteopath than you are with your General Practitioner.  Please feel free to mention any concerns you may have even if you don’t feel it relates to your headache/back pain/knee pain.  You might not get the answer you need every time but I have found in the past I can often explain and help patients better understand what is going on in their bodies.

Dr. Luke Richter (osteopath)

Good Health Osteopathy

5B 329 – 347 Diamond Creek Road

Diamond Creek