5 Things You Need to Know about Back Pain

29 November 2017

5 Things You Need to Know about Back Pain

I have been in practice for more years than I care to mention and the lower back has to be the area of the body that I come across that has the most myths surrounding it .

I will no doubt delve into these areas to bring you the latest information as the resource expands, but for now I want to get a handy, quick guide to the key facts that can help you recover from your back symptoms in the shortest possible time and get you back (no pun intended!) doing all the things you love.

  1. Back Pain is a horrible experience whether you have a mild bout or a more severe one but it is something that most of us will experience. Up to 84% of adults experience back pain at some point in their lives (Walker et al, Journal of Spinal Disorders: June 2000). It is very common for an adult to experience back pain whether it is mild or severe, a short duration or long. It is exceptionally rare that there is anything seriously wrong with your back. 

  2. It can (and does) get better. Problems with the structure of the back that cause severe and disabling lower back pain are really, really rare and problems that require surgery are also very rare. With everything else you have a big opportunity to recover well and lead a full and active life with no ongoing weakness in the spine. Your body has a tremendous ability to heal and there is a lot you can do to improve the fitness of your back and prepare it for all of the challenges it will face so when you need your back to work well, it can.

  3. If you do experience symptoms the first thing you need to do is relax and breathe deeply (7secs in and 11secs out). It takes some practice but works really well. Remember also to breathe through movement. Breath holding when moving increases the work in muscles and can restrict your movement and make your symptoms worse. Simple painkillers available from any pharmacy and heat in the form of a hot bath/ hotpack can be really helpful in the early stages.

  4. Keep moving - It can be really difficult when you are in pain but a short, gentle walk or a few easy exercises can help the muscles, joints and other soft tissues to recover more quickly. It is hard when you are in the middle of an episode of pain to remember that the painful period is very short in comparison to the time you will spend moving freely and enjoying life. The old advice of bed rest, time off exercise and work leads to weaker muscles, stiffer joints and less capable connective tissue. This means when you feel better you are less able to complete your normal tasks than you were prior to your injury making it more likely that you experience a new injury.

  5. Get professional help with your recovery - Good assistance with recovery from any injury puts you in control of your recovery - it is your body after all. If you have the right guidance, right treatment, have the right work to do at home between sessions, understand your symptoms and have a clear plan for how to improve your back health going forward you should not require long term treatment and regular ongoing visits.

We have developed a free, simple exercise plan for you to download here to get you started with your recovery. A good Physio can speed up this process by refining these exercises to work best for you and your individual situation, setting them at a level that challenges you and progresses you as quickly as possible, dealing with any specific issues that could benefit from manual therapy and giving you the right information to help you look after your back in the future and keep it fit and healthy.

If you feel you could benefit from an assessment of your symptoms and a good plan to move forward, please contact us or book by phone or online. We look forward to helping you.

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