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Finding Relief: The Best Osteopath Services for Lower Back Pain in Auckland

Updated: Feb 29

Chronic back pain is a prevalent issue affecting a significant portion of the population in Auckland. Osteopathy, with its holistic approach, has emerged as a compelling option for many seeking relief. In this blog post, we delve into the effectiveness of Osteopath Auckland services in treating chronic back pain, exploring various aspects of osteopathic treatment and its benefits over conventional methods.

Understanding the common causes of chronic lower back pain is crucial in addressing this condition effectively. Factors such as poor posture, sedentary lifestyle, and repetitive strain can contribute to the development of chronic back pain. Osteopathic treatment not only addresses the pain but also the underlying causes, providing a more comprehensive approach to treatment (Hartvigsen et al., 2018).

Lower back pain treatment Auckland

Common causes of Chronic Back Pain in Auckland?

Anatomical and Physiological Causes

  • Muscle or Ligament Strain: Repeated heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement can strain back muscles and spinal ligaments.

  • Bulging or Ruptured Disks: Disks act as cushions between the bones (vertebrae) in the spine. The soft material inside a disk can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve.

  • Arthritis: Osteoarthritis can affect the lower back. In some cases, arthritis in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis.

  • Osteoporosis: Bones, including the vertebrae of the spine, can become brittle and porous, making compression fractures more likely.

Treatment for Back pain disc

Lifestyle Factors

  • Sedentary Lifestyle: Lack of regular exercise leads to the weakening of the back muscles and can contribute to increased pain.

  • Obesity: Excess body weight puts extra stress on the back, especially the lower back.

  • Improper Lifting: Using the back instead of the legs can lead to back pain.

Back pain lifting

Psychological Factors

  • Stress and Anxiety: Chronic stress can cause muscle tension and exacerbate pain in the lower back.

  • Depression: Back pain can result in decreased physical activity, which may lead to depression and vice versa.

Back pain stress

Can Osteopathy Treat Chronic Back Pain in Auckland?

Osteopathy is recognised for its ability to treat various musculoskeletal issues, including chronic back pain. Osteopathic treatment Auckland methods, such as spinal manipulation, can be highly effective in alleviating back pain. Research has shown that osteopathic manipulative treatment can significantly reduce lower back pain, improving patients' quality of life (Licciardone, Brimhall, & King, 2005).

A holistic approach in osteopathy involves looking beyond the symptoms of back pain and considering the entire body and lifestyle of the patient. Osteopath Auckland professionals focus on how different body parts are interconnected and how lifestyle factors such as diet, stress, and physical activity contribute to the patient's overall health.

Understanding Spinal Manipulation

Spinal manipulation is a technique where trained professionals, like osteopaths, apply controlled force to the spine's joints. This method is used to improve spinal motion and enhance the body's physical functioning. Osteopath Auckland professionals utilise this technique to address various musculoskeletal issues, especially lower back pain.

Evidence Supporting Spinal Manipulation in Lower Back Pain

Several research studies have highlighted the effectiveness of spinal manipulation in treating lower back pain. For example, a study by Licciardone, Buchanan, Hensel, King, Fulda, & Stoll (2010) found that osteopathic spinal manipulation significantly reduced lower back pain and improved functional outcomes in patients compared to those receiving placebo treatment or no treatment. This study underscores the potential of spinal manipulation as a valuable treatment modality.

Comparing Spinal Manipulation to Conventional Treatments

When compared to conventional treatments for lower back pain, such as medication or physical therapy, spinal manipulation often shows equal or superior results. A research comparison conducted by Chou, Qaseem, Snow, Casey, Cross Jr, Shekelle, & Owens (2007) concluded that spinal manipulation was as effective as other standard treatments for lower back pain, with some patients reporting quicker pain relief and functional improvement.

Research has shown that a holistic approach can be effective in treating chronic back pain. For example, a study by Licciardone, Minotti, Gatchel, Kearns, and Singh (2013) demonstrated that osteopathic manipulative treatment, combined with a comprehensive approach to address lifestyle and ergonomic factors, significantly reduced pain and improved functionality in patients with lower back pain.

Long-term Benefits and Safety of Spinal Manipulation

The long-term benefits of spinal manipulation in managing lower back pain are also supported by research. In terms of safety, spinal manipulation is generally considered safe when performed by a trained and licensed professional. Minor discomfort or temporary soreness post-treatment is the most commonly reported side effect.

Osteopathic treatment back pain

Benefits of Osteopathic Treatment Over Conventional Treatment

Osteopathic treatment offers several advantages over traditional medical treatments for chronic back pain. It focuses not only on relieving pain but also on restoring overall body function and balance. Unlike many conventional treatments that may rely heavily on medication and surgery, osteopathy provides a non-invasive alternative that can reduce the need for these interventions (Andersson et al., 1999).

Education and empowerment are key components of a holistic osteopathic approach. Osteopaths in Auckland often spend time educating patients about their condition and how various aspects of their lifestyle affect their back pain. By empowering patients with this knowledge, they can take an active role in managing their condition. A study by Green, Buchbinder, and Hetrick (2005) underscores the importance of patient education in effectively managing chronic back pain.

Benefits of osteopathy for back pain

EMS Dolorclast Radial Shockwave Therapy

A relatively new addition to osteopathic treatment is the EMS Dolorclast Radial Shockwave Therapy. This non-invasive treatment uses shock waves to stimulate healing in the soft tissues and bones. Studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in treating chronic musculoskeletal pain, offering a promising option for those suffering from chronic back pain (Thiel, 2001).

Clinical Evidence Supporting Shockwave Therapy for Back Pain

Several studies have highlighted the effectiveness of shockwave therapy in treating chronic back pain. A notable study by Wang (2012) demonstrated that patients with lower back pain who received shockwave therapy showed significant improvements in pain and functionality compared to those who did not receive the therapy. This evidence suggests that shockwave therapy can be a valuable tool in the management of chronic back pain.

Comparing Shockwave Therapy with Conventional Treatments

Shockwave therapy offers several advantages over traditional treatments for back pain. Unlike some conventional treatments, shockwave therapy is non-invasive, does not require medication, and has minimal side effects. A comparison study by Maier et al. (2003) found that shockwave therapy was as effective as conventional treatment methods in reducing pain and improving quality of life for patients with chronic back pain.

Long-term Benefits and Safety of Shockwave Therapy

The long-term benefits of shockwave therapy in managing chronic back pain are supported by clinical research. The treatment has been found to provide lasting relief from pain and improvement in mobility. In terms of safety, shockwave therapy is generally considered safe, with few reported side effects. Most patients experience only minor discomfort during the treatment.

Shockwave therapy back pain


Osteopathy offers a promising and effective approach to treating chronic back pain in Auckland. With techniques like spinal manipulation and innovative treatments like EMS Dolorclast Radial Shockwave Therapy, Osteopath Auckland services provide a holistic and non-invasive alternative to conventional treatments.

If you’ve experienced relief from chronic back pain through osteopathic treatment, or if you have questions about these methods, we’d love to hear from you. Share your experiences or queries in the comments below and join the conversation about finding relief from back pain through osteopathy.


Jonathan Hall M.Ost, BAppSci (HB), PGCertHSc (Acupuncture) & GradDipHeal

Jonathan Hall is the founder and principle Osteopath at Movement Mechanics Osteopathy and specialises in Shockwave Therapy. A fully qualified Osteopath currently studying Western Medical Acupuncture out of AUT New Zealand, Jonathan founded Auckland Shockwave Therapy to help bring evidence-based Shockwave treatment to New Zealand using the industry-leading EMS Radial Shock Wave device.


Andersson, G. B., Lucente, T., Davis, A. M., Kappler, R. E., Lipton, J. A., & Leurgans, S. (1999). A comparison of osteopathic spinal manipulation with standard care for patients with low back pain. The New England Journal of Medicine, 341(19), 1426-1431.

Chou, R., Qaseem, A., Snow, V., Casey, D., Cross Jr, J. T., Shekelle, P., & Owens, D. K. (2007). Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: A joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. Annals of Internal Medicine, 147(7), 478-491.

Franke, A., Franke, K., & Fryer, G. (2014). Osteopathic manipulative treatment for nonspecific low back pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 15, 286.

Green, S., Buchbinder, R., & Hetrick, S. (2005). Acupuncture for shoulder pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (2), CD005319.

Hartvigsen, J., Hancock, M. J., Kongsted, A., Louw, Q., Ferreira, M. L., Genevay, S., ... & Woolf, A. (2018). What low back pain is and why we need to pay attention. The Lancet, 391(10137), 2356-2367.

Licciardone, J. C., Brimhall, A. K., & King, L. N. (2005). Osteopathic manipulative treatment for low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 6(1), 43.

Licciardone, J. C., Buchanan, S., Hensel, K. L., King, H. H., Fulda, K. G., & Stoll, S. T. (2010). Osteopathic manipulative treatment for chronic low back pain: A randomized controlled trial. Spine, 35(13), 1355-1362.

Licciardone, J. C., Minotti, D. E., Gatchel, R. J., Kearns, C. M., & Singh, K. P. (2013). Osteopathic manipulative treatment and its relationship to autonomic nervous system activity as demonstrated by heart rate variability: A repeated measures study. The Osteopathic Journal of Australia, 16(2), 92-99.

Maier, M., Averbeck, B., Milz, S., Refior, H. J., & Schmitz, C. (2003). Shockwave therapy for patients with chronic back pain: A prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, 8(4), 455-460.

Thiel, M. (2001). The effectiveness of extracorporeal shock wave therapy on soft tissue. Journal of Orthopaedic Science, 6(6), 666-673.

Wang, C. J. (2012). Radial shockwave therapy in the treatment of chronic back pain: A prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Spine, 37(11), E687-E692.

Disclaimer: This content is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

© Movement Mechanics Osteopathy Auckland 2023. All rights reserved.

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