To Help You Understand Causes of Back Pain

It is easiest to consider two different aspects to back pain.

Firstly - the underlying problem that most of us will have from an early age.

Poor posture can be part of the problem but the most significant long-term feature is stiffness to the spine.

A healthy spine is one of the strongest parts of your body. It is made of bony blocks joined by discs to give it strength and flexibility and is reinforced by the facet joints and strong ligaments. A healthy spine can absorb a great deal of stress through this flexibility but when these joints stiffen, and no longer allow flexible movement, stress will travel along the spine to its two extremities. The overstressing caused by this lack of flexible movement leaves us prone to the sudden onset of acute pain, most commonly to the low back or neck. This acute pain will often start for no apparent reason and if left untreated can lead to long lasting chronic pain.

"The majority of people in this country will have a “bad back” by the time they leave school."

When this underlying stiffness is not causing pain or discomfort people are largely unaware they have a  problem. Lucky people can reach a significant age without any pain. A very lucky few may never suffer any pain to their backs. The unlucky majority will suffer intermittent episodes of pain from a young age. These episodes can range from minor aches to the most debilitating pain.

The effectiveness of treatment is much improved, whatever is directly causing your pain or other uncomfortable symptoms, if we deal with this underlying problem by mobilising the whole of the spine.

Secondly; back pain. (When we use the term “back pain” we should include any pain to the back, neck and shoulders. In addition, peripheral pain felt in the arms and legs, such as sciatica; paraesthesia, commonly called pins and needles and numbness to the arms and legs.)

More Information

There are only about 1% of back pain disorders that are caused by really serious problems such as a spinal cord compression, malignancy, fracture or inflammatory condition.

Probably only around 5% of back pain is linked to nerve compression through a disc prolapse “slipped disc” or herniation.

The vast majority of back pain is caused by specific joint hypo mobility. Where one or more joints are held in an unnaturally fixed position through muscle “guarding” or “spasm”.

If you take any individual joint to the end of its range of movement it will become painful. For example; bend any finger backwards as far as it will move. When you reach the “end range” the joint will become painful. Equally if you bend the same finger as far forward as possible it will also become painful.

The stiffer, or less mobile, the finger joint the less movement that occurs before you reach the “end range” and the sooner you reach the point of pain. Also the less time you can spend in that position before it becomes unbearable. Now if you imagine your finger joint in a fixed position, then there is little or no movement available, in any direction, before you reach the point of pain.

You will of course realize that there is nothing physically wrong with your finger joint. Pain arises purely through mechanical means and lack of movement.
Apply that same principal to your spine. If you have any joint, or group of joints, held in an unnaturally fixed position it will cause pain. If the position the joint is held in causes compression of a spinal nerve then the pain can be felt anywhere the nerve goes to. In these cases radicular or referred pain can give you similar pain, in the cases of the lumbar spine this will be a sciatic pain, than the pain caused by a disc bulge or prolapse.

So what causes the sudden onset of joint immobility? Put simply, it is muscle “guarding” or “spasm”. Where there is a sudden onset of muscle tension that prevents the joint from moving as it is designed to.


With very few exceptions, any individual leaving school will have an underlying back problem. This underlying stiffness to the spine will precede acute pain by focusing stress to the more vulnerable areas. Usually the low back or neck and shoulders. Then, often for no apparent reason, a muscle or group of muscles will go into spasm in order to “guard” or protect the vulnerable joint. This muscle guarding or spasm causes immobility of the affected joint and pain.

If the underlying stiffness of the spine is left untreated then this underlying problem can itself progress to causing the more gradual onset of chronic pain and discomfort.


The treatment available at the BackCare Clinic, with the use of Theraflex, MET and CranialSacral Therapy has the ability to not only relieve acute pain but also address the long-term underlying stiffness, which precedes the onset of acute pain. Or, if left untreated, can develop into long-term chronic pain.

What our Clients Say…

"Very simple and non invasive treatment and haven’t had a twinge since!"

– Alice S (Age 27)

"I have been to Osteopaths and Chiropractors since the age of 19"

“I have been to Osteopaths and Chiropractors since the age of 19 with very little success. If only I had come across Nic then it would have been a different story.

Flexibility and straightness are key to my job, Decorating and Sports Dressage.

He has improved both of these more than I ever thought possible.”

– Cheryl G (Age 47)

"Pain removed after 3 visits."

“I am a 39 year old male that is on his feet all day at work, and had resigned myself to the fact that my back had clearly had its day and I was in for pain and discomfort for the rest of my life! How wrong I was.

I visited Nic 3 times, he treated me, taught me how to look after my back and how it works, it’s the best thing I have done in ages! Since seeing Nic I have not had any pain or discomfort and I actually feel 10 years younger…Read More

John H (age 39)

"At 36 my Doctor told me there was nothing more the NHS could do"

“At 36 my Doctor told me there was nothing more the NHS could do for my mobility issues and that I would just have to manage as best I could with Pain killers. I had suffered a Herniated Disc in my lower Back some six months before and had received various NHS treatments, none of which had worked. Nic at the Back Clinic gave me my life back, after only a few sessions, I could walk, bend and show dogs again, something I had been told by various people wouldn’t be possible in the future. I was actually pain free again for the first time in a year and I could do all that I wished with my life. Without Nic’s expert treatment my life would be a fraction of what it is today. Thanks for fixing me once again.”

John H (age 39)

"Finally I have found something that works!"

“Finally I have found something that works! After suffering with chronic acute exasperated back pain since I was 16, nerve damage and having two major trauma’s to my back I was in complete despair. I found myself on a large dosage of pain medications, anti inflammatory and muscle relaxers. I had lost my job and spent 4 months in bed unable to move. My massage therapist recommended to me the Back Clinic. so I thought why not give it a try. After just one session I was totally stunned at the results I not only felt but could see with my back and my posture. I can still remember to this day my utter amazement when I walked for the first time after my back had been gently manipulated. This is a miracle and I still say that today. The pain has gone, I can move more freely and I can be active again…Read More

Belinda F (age 46)

I felt I had grown a couple of inches

I am a 24 year old female Soldier and currently deployed in Afghanistan. Due to my work responsibilities I have to carry a lot of weight on my back, as you can imagine this causes a lot of stress to it. After visiting Nic in Eye I felt I had grown a couple of inches and the relief i felt afterwards was amazing. Highly recommended to anyone with back problems. Thank you.

Holly A

"I have been to Osteopaths and Chiropractors since the age of 19"

“I have been to Osteopaths and Chiropractors since the age of 19 with very little success. If only I had come across Nic then it would have been a different story.

Flexibility and straightness are key to my job, Decorating and Sports Dressage.

He has improved both of these more than I ever thought possible.”

– Cheryl G (Age 47)

As the result of a road accident

I was fortunate enough to find Nic Aldous when I moved to Suffolk. Having suffered acute neck and back pain as a result of a road accident I was desperate to find treatment to make my life bearable. How lucky was I! After only 4 sessions my movement was so much better and my pain reduced by 80%… Read More

Jackie Mason

I suffered for some time

I suffered for some time with neck and back pain which was causing me constant headaches, I now go for treatment when I feel it is needed to keep pain free.

Emma R

Nic really got me straightened out – literally!!

“After years of struggling with a lop sided posture with one hip visibly higher than the other and regular bouts of low back pain, four visits to Nic had me standing straight and tall and my back has given me no further problems. I will definitely be attending Nic’s back pain clinic for check up sessions to keep me pain free from now on.”

Lesley V

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Diss: 01379 434101
Norwich: 01603 383403

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Diss (Open Tues, Wed & Fri, 8:30am - 7pm):

The BackCare Clinic, Chancery House, Victoria Road, Diss, IP22 4HZ

Norwich (Open Mon & Thurs, 9am - 7pm):

The Backcare Clinic @ Capitol House, 4-6 Heigham Street, Norwich, Norfolk, NR2 4TE

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