So, the appointment with the GP went pretty much how I'd anticipated. She said yes, she could see that all the muscles in my back were in spasm and it was obviously very painful. Then she told me to put ice on it, take painkillers and keep moving, and come back if it wasn't better in six weeks. Yes, that's right - I said SIX WEEKS.
She said she wasn't worried that it had happened four times in three years, and she wasn't worried that I had been unable to walk when I got up, "because you can obviously walk now". She didn't think any further investigation was needed, and recommended that I do core strength exercises to strengthen my back once this episode is over.
The osteopath, on the other hand, gave me a good massage to start loosening things up, did some acupuncture on the damaged ligaments (yes, apparently there are now two) and told me that as well as the muscles being in spasm, she could feel the cause of that spasm, which was a huge swelling around one ligament in particular.
She was interested to hear about the first episode, when I was putting my niece in her car seat, and said that from what I was doing and the angle I would have been bending at, she was pretty certain that the ligament I would have damaged that time is the same one I've damaged this week.
She then covered me in strapping to support and protect my back while it heals, and booked another appointment for Monday.
And I'm happy to say that although I was limping and in pain when I got up this morning, I was able to stand upright and walk, and having iced my back, taken painkillers and walked around for half an hour or so, I'm now able to walk reasonably well and without too much pain.
And that's why I never usually bother going to the GP, but love my osteopath! And hopefully I'll stop whinging about my back and resume normal blogging tomorrow.