Help! I have back pain! by Harry Hampson M.Ost
You are probably reading this post as you now have what 84% of the population have at some point in their life – lower back pain. This can be quite a rubbish and frustrating time – especially when it stops you doing what you want to do in the day!
Below is a quick guide about lower back pain and some tips to help you get moving again.
1) DON’T PANIC
95% of the cases of back pain are non-serious (meaning they are not due to fractures, cancer, or other serious causes). This means you are unlikely to have damaged anything, slipped a disc (see “I’ve slipped a disc!” post), or require any surgery. Your back is extremely strong and is capable of many movements.
2) KEEP MOVING!
Although your body is telling you to stop and lie in bed, this is often not useful to help get over the pain in the long term. Instead, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommend that you keep as active as possible during this time. Physical activity keeps the back muscles strong and teaches the brain that movement is safe.
3) USE ICE! (OR HEAT)
Often there is polarising advice on whether to use ice or heat or even both! The simple advice I can offer is use what makes you feel best! Research has shown that ice is a powerful pain modulator (meaning it overrides the pain signals to the brain making the pain feel better). Heat however is soothing and often capable of relaxing the muscles that are irritated, helping you get moving again.
4) IT MAY TAKE SOME TIME!
Most cases of low back pain tend to resolve themselves within two weeks of the original trigger. This may feel like a long time, but the body needs opportunity to fully recover and get back to before! However, if this pain continues longer than this period then we have one more recommendation…
5) SEE YOUR OSTEOPATH!
If your pain persists longer than the expected two weeks, then there may be some other factors at play. Pain can be influenced by sleeping habits, activity levels, stress, previous experiences, and friends & family! Osteopaths believe that the body is a whole and are trained to help identify any musculoskeletal contributions to your pain, advise on activity adaptations, and provide specific exercises & stretches. This may also include hands-on treatment aimed at helping the recovery process.
Harry is available at the clinic on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Call or book online to make an appointment.