How We Treat Back Pain At Featherston Street Pain Clinic

Our service is for people who want to be truly free from chronic pain & injuries. This involves healing the real causes of pain and injury susceptibility, deep in the body and nervous system.  It also means moving beyond outdated ‘symptom based’ approaches to pain.

We combine cutting edge technology, hands on methods, tailored rehab programs and stress management. This enables us to manage everything from fresh ankle sprains; to the chronic pains associated with conditions like osteoarthritis, disc bulges and PTSD.

We provide transformative healthcare in a welcoming and friendly environment. For us, genuine care and authentic communication are not bonus features. They are healthcare fundamentals.

Our 3 Step Treatment Process

Successful management and relief of stubborn back pain can be surprisingly straight forward. Yet in other instances a systematic, focused, and persistent approach may be required to get your back pain under control. 

We specialise in providing flexible ‘multidisciplinary’ pain relief – using a wide range of tools and techniques. This ensures we have the best possible chance to help everyone: from the most easy straightforward cases right through to the most treatment resistant forms of back pain. 

Step One

Find The Cause

Step Two

Hands On Pain Relief

Step Three

Rehabilitation And Prevention

Step One - Find the Cause

Getting to the bottom of your back pain means finding out where exactly the pain is coming from – and exactly what is causing it.

Back pain can come from muscle, tendons, discs,  joints, ligaments, nerves, bones, fascia (connective tissue) or even an internal organ. Establishing clearly which tissue is creating the pain is the first step towards relief. But we don’t stop there because we want to know WHY you are suffering.

Some back pains are caused by damaged or degenerated tissue. Some back pains are caused by weakness deep in the core and hip. Some back pains are caused by psychological stress. Some back pains are caused by scar tissue from old injuries. Some back pains are caused by the nature of a person’s job. Some back pains can even be caused by having flat feet or a rotated pelvis. 

Finding out why you have back pain is essential if you want longer term relief from pain. Which is why we place great importance on this step.  We have a wide range of technologies and tests at our disposal, in order to identify the source of back pain. If you need an X Ray or MRI to diagnose your pain we’ll organise a referral for the relevant imaging for you on the spot.

Step Two - Hands On Pain Relief

In most cases of back pain, it’s necessary to work with a team who combine a variety of technologies and hands-on methods to ease your back pain. So that’s exactly what we do.

Most people who require treatment for stubborn back pain don’t respond particularly well to just being given home exercises. Much in the same way that most people with toothache don’t respond too well to just being sent home with some dental floss. When toothache is bad you need a filling, when back pain is bad you need treatments and technologies that ease your pain.

If you have chronic back pain you almost certainly need hands on treatments with professionals who are trained to physically relieve pain. We use some of the most advanced pain technology available anywhere, combined with a wide range of skill based manual techniques.

Step Three - Rehabilitation And Prevention

Successful prevention of back pain in the longer term often requires more than just the right ‘treatments’. 

For many patients, back pain treatments that bring some blessed relief are often just the start point. Core exercises, custom orthotics, glute strengthening, stress management, postural correction, lifestyle tweaks, workstation tweaks and even dietary tweaks are often necessary. Muscle weakness deep in the core is often thekey issue.

Most cases of back pain are either caused by something that we are doing wrong or something that the body needs help with like core strength or alignment. Making necessary  adjustments to your lifestyle and the wellbeing of your body may be necessary for longer term success. Coaching for these important changes in those who wish to make them is a part of what we do


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Treatments And Technologies We Use To Treat Back Pain

There are many different ways to treat back pain, and it’s just as well because we don’t all respond to the same stuff. 

The ultimate key to successful treatment of back pain is working with a team who are willing to take a sufficiently flexible approach, and trial a number of different therapies to see what works best on your specific case.

Low Energy Laser Therapy is the application of specific deeply penetrating light waves to a painful area. Light with a wavelength in the red to near infrared region of the spectrum (660nm–905nm) is generally employed because these wavelengths have the ability to penetrate skin, and soft/hard tissues. Lasers like these are known to trigger the release of a substance called ATP within cells, this suggests that they boost tissue metabolism in painful areas.

A great many clinical trials have shown this type of treatment has a meaningful effect on back pain, inflammation and tissue repair. In our experience people with back pain often experience immediate improvements in their pain after laser sessions.

Shockwave Therapy is a non-surgical – non-drug-based – scientifically approved therapy that is widely used as a pain treatment. There have been literally hundreds of studies that support the use of shockwave therapy for a very wide range of pain complaints.

Shockwave Therapy was originally developed for its application as a non-invasive treatment of kidney stones. We use a gentler form of the same technology to break up deep muscle knots and tracts of scar tissue in the neck. For more information on shockwave therapy visit our shockwave homepage here.

Gait Analysis & Stride Analysis tools are for people who are interested in long term prevention of pain. When the root cause of your pain has been uncovered it takes all the guess-work out of treatment and rehabilitation of pain. Deep insights into our movement patterns are now possible: with the use of cloud based AI machine learning; and complex sensors that go in your shoes while you perform movement tests.This data opens the door to tailored forms of rehabilitation

We believe that all pains have a story to tell and that there are genuine underlying physical issues behind all stubborn pain.  In other words, you don’t get sore overnight, and you certainly don’t get chronic pain overnight, unless you have had a real physical issue. Gait Analysis & Stride Analysis are designed to identify these issues.

Orthotics are a tool that have helped millions of people move past exactly the type of stubborn pains that tend to chip away at the fun, freedom, and choice that make life enjoyable.

An averagely active person takes in excess of 3 million steps per year. Modern humans do all this on extremely flat, hard surfaces like concrete, tarmac and paving stones. Hard, flat surfaces are as stressful to our joints and connective tissues as sugar is to our teeth. This is a major part of why we live in an epidemic of lower body pain and degeneration.

Orthotics are a way of protecting us from the lifelong strain concrete and tarmac inflict on our tissues.. The Increased support for the foot that orthotics provide often brings greater ease and freedom to our movements in the long term. The benefits are often felt not only in the feet, ankles, and knees but even in the back and hips.

If you suffer with stubborn back pain that you want to get rid of permanently its likely that you will need to address some underlying weaknesses and imbalances.  This ‘rehabilitation’ step is important for those who want to attempt to resolve their back pain in the longer term. 

The key to effective strengthening exercises for chronic back pain is learning to isolate your core muscles. Effective strength training for back pain is not planking and sit-ups. Planks and sit-ups are strength based exercises for the superficial layers of the trunk and the hip flexors, they do not target the deeper layers of the core. The muscles that have been shown to have an impact on back pain are the very deepest layer of stabiliser muscles.

 At our clinic we take great care to teach people how to isolate and control their deepest core muscles.

Most backs with persistent or recurring pain are full of ‘pressure points’ or myofascial trigger points (the sore spots you feel in muscles when you get a deep massage). At Featherston St. Pain Clinic we consider ourselves experts at finding and releasing the most stubborn trigger points. It’s not always fun to have done (we know that ourselves) but boy can it help with persistent back pain; when it’s done properly!

Acupuncture can be extremely helpful in the management of many back pain cases. We don’t approach acupuncture in the traditional way where needles are placed in a wide no.of locations, we  focus directly on the area of pain. 

Acupuncture aims to promote blood flow, release pressure points in muscle and reduce pain signals. Needles are placed  around the area of pain and we generally leave them in for around 10 minutes, depending on your body’s tolerance to them. If acupuncture works for your back pain, you will usually start to feel the benefits within the first 2-3 sessions.

Your spinal column is made up of a series of bones, these bones are able to move and flex because of the discs and small joints that connect them. There is actually only a small amount of movement at each ‘segment’ of the spine but when you add all those little units up you have a reasonably mobile column. 

The facet joints (think small knuckle sized weight bearing joints) in your spine are a prime suspect for generating back pain. It’s these facet joints that have locked when you can’t turn your head. It’s these little joints that get injured and you get a whiplash. The majority of back pain sufferers have one or more locked up, facet joints in their spine. Spinal mobilisation or spinal manipulations mobilise the facet joints and restore movement to your spine and can bring great relief.

A large number of people suffer with stubborn back pains caused in part by old unhealed injuries. These injuries can come from almost any historical back injury, or even hip, knee and ankle injuries. Naturally, one of the long term repercussions of unresolved trauma to the back and spine is scar tissue. 

Scraping gently in and around the connective tissues and muscle using a blunt scraping tool is the basic method behind how we manage scar tissue in the back. Guasha is the old Chinese name for this technique but there are many others from different cultures and there are more modern techniques like Graston Technique. The idea with all of them is to break up and assist with remodeling of microscopic scar tissue adhesions, which are a major cause of back pain.

Muscle tension Is a major contributor to many cases of back pain. By using specific stretch techniques for the muscles in the back you can often release a great deal of tension. Post Isometric stretches are a specific style of stretching that utilises your muscle’s tendency to relax after it has contracted strongly.

Cupping massage or cupping therapy has been used for thousands of years by multiple global cultures and not only is it still around for good reason, it is currently undergoing a powerful resurgence. 

Using suction cups for the treatment for back pain increases blood flow in the area, stretches the fascia, can bring massive amounts of relief; and yes leaves funny marks that your friends and family will assume are bruises. The most common myth around cupping is that it releases toxins, the actual cause of the marks in cupping leaves is deoxygenated blood that has been drawn to the surface.

Percussive movements have been an established component of soft tissue release, massage and even respiratory healthcare for thousands of years, and it is no less effective today. Percussion massage as treatment for back pain generally involves the use of mechanical massage devices. It is designed to reduce muscle tension and promote blood flow within the soft tissues. Percussion is generally at its best when used in combination with the other treatments for back pain like those in this list.

Heaps of people find the application of ice packs for the treatment of their back pain can prove to be very beneficial. Ice works by interrupting pain signals within the nerve, stimulates the activity of blood vessels, and reduces both inflammatory and pain chemistry in the soft tissues. 

One of the most common questions we get asked is whether heat or ice is better. Nine times out of ten ice is a better option than heat when you have pain. Heat can be a bit of a tricky one because it does often feel soothing at the time. Sometime after heat application however you may have more pain than you might otherwise have had..

Our 5 Pain Treatment Fundamentals

Hands On Treatments

We are in the business of helping you get out of pain. The heart of our clinical process is a committed and very hands on approach to getting you out of pain as quickly, painlessly and safely as possible. We are willing to use a wide range of tools and also to work tirelessly in our efforts to get you out of pain.

Flexible Treatment Approach

Even among professionals there is little agreement on the best ways to treat pain. If there is one thing that we know for certain about pain management though, it’s that a flexible multidisciplinary treatment approach to back pain is best. This is why we take such great care to provide the most diverse range of pain relief tools possible under one roof.

Get To The Bottom Of It

The human body seldom if ever generates pain for no reason. Pain is a highly organised and intelligent form of feedback that we have evolved over millions of years. In other words if you have pain it will be for a good reason. We always strive to find the deepest possible explanation for your pain so that you have the best possible chance of preventing it in the longer term.

Excellent Communication

Unlike a one-off filling at the dentist, successfully managing back pain is a process. A process that often requires commitment, trust and clear communication. We believe that clear and open communication combined with genuine rapport are fundamental within our arsenal of pain management tools.

Assume Nothing 

Just because a treatment has worked for us a thousand times before; doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to work on you! Pain management is not a ‘1 size fits all’ moment in life. We monitor our patients’ response to treatment very closely. This approach enables us to make agile treatment protocols that can be altered in real time should we find that you aren’t responding to the methods that we expect to work for you.

Appointment Request Form

If you are in a lot of pain and need an urgent appointment please call us. If you need a regular appointment just fill out the form below and we will be in touch.