Back pain

back pain and craniosacral therapy


The way we feel pain is through our nerves so when it comes to back pain it makes sense to think about why your nerves are sending you pain. There can be a number of reasons, one is pressure on the nerves.

Put simply, if nerves are squeezed they hurt. You can see this for yourself if you press the middle of your eyebrow. You might need to poke around to find the spot but when you do you’ll know because it hurts and it keeps hurting even after you stop pressing. What you are pressing on is a nerve – the ophthalmic branch of your trigeminal nerve to be exact.

All the nerves that supply your back pass between your vertebrae. Your vertebrae are the boney building blocks of your spine and if you’ve ever watched a child make a tower from building blocks you will know how vulnerable it is.back pain and craniosacral therapy

There are spacers between each vertebrae keeping them apart and stopping them from squeezing the nerves. These spacers are called discs.

The problems begin if there is any trauma to this vulnerable setup. Car accidents, falls, surgeries, strains, etc. all leave their mark. Your body is designed to repair itself but if it can’t, because the trauma is too overwhelming, it can leave patterns of restriction which include pressure on nerves and so lead to pain.

Dural Tube

Your spinal cord runs through the center of your vertebral column. It is a very delicate structure and so is protected by a tough layer of membrane called dura.

If you think of your vertebrae as beads in a necklace then this tube of dura would be the string.

If the dura is tight in one part of your spine it will pull the vertebrae together, squeeze the nerves and cause pain.

Root Cause

People can have chronic back pain that responds to some form of treatment but only for a short time. Or you can be locked into regular treatment programs for that relief to be maintained.

The challenge with back pain is finding the root of the problem. If the problem lies in the membranes underlying the vertebrae and an exclusively bone-oriented treatment is applied, the problem will only be resolved temporarily.

The root cause of pain in one part of the back may originate far from where the pain is. For example, falling down stairs and landing hard on the coccyx, can manifest years later as chronic neck pain. This is because of the reciprocal nature of the craniosacral system – a restriction in one part of the system affects the whole system.


The neck is particularly sensitive to physical trauma, acting like a shock absorber for head injuries and whiplash.

Whiplash is a classic example of multiple patterns of restriction in the membranes.

The neck is also an area where people accumulate stress which can lead to headaches. It can also lead to digestive disturbances because the vagus nerve is vulnerable as it passes through the neck.

Restrictions in the neck can also manifest as strange sensations in the arms and hands. Patterns of restriction in the neck and shoulders can develop into frozen shoulder.

Scoliosis and other curvatures

Uneven growth of the membranes surrounding the spinal cord, particularly in teenagers, can result in spinal curvatures such as scoliosis. Spinal curvatures can also result from trauma to the back and legs.

Past Traumas

Many back problems are caused by restriction patterns that were formed years beforehand. These restriction patterns have slowly contracted the surrounding tissue eventually putting pressure on nerves and causing pain.

The back is also a prime location for storing emotion and trauma.


Unresolved back pain is very stressful to live with and many people have surgical intervention to remedy the problem. From a craniosacral perspective, this complicates the problem by layering one trauma on another.  Any invasion of the membrane surrounding the brain or spinal cord like surgery, or even lumbar punctures, and epidurals, can all leave patterns of restriction.


If the sacrum is compressed up into the spine it can cause sciatica. This can be the result of a fall but can also happen because of damage to the legs. This affects walking and over the years affects the sacrum.

“I can give John the highest possible reccommendation.
Absolutely brilliant Craniosacral therapist!
John has been an amazing help.

I had a lot of back pain and I could not walk properly.
After 2 sessions, I had already seen massive improvements.
After 8 weeks I can live again pain-free.

I truly couldn’t recommend his services highly enough
I will certainly return if I ever have a problem again.Thank you John for your help,

We all can be lucky to have you in Kenmare!”

Angela Kienmoser,
Tuosist, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

If you are interested in getting treatment with me for back pain call me on 0862272751 or email me to arrange an appointment.