A question I bet all of you have asked….. here are a few suggestions
Common reasons for experiencing back pain:
– Sleeping funny
– Lifting something heavy
– Twisting awkwardly
– Being very busy at work and sitting too much
– Picking up your young children
– No reason whatsoever
– Driving or sitting in a car for too long
– Moving house
… Seem like things you may have heard before?
Each day, we put our body through hundreds of different movements and loads, depending on what we are doing. Back pain can come on quite randomly or it can be due to an unexpected stress in our lives – for example moving house and lifting heavy boxes.
So you have back pain and it’s been lingering on for a little longer than you would like. The big questions we will often ask ourselves is WHY is it not getting better?
There may be a few reasons…
1) You have rested it completely, which may lead to a degree of deconditioning. In turn, this can continue to exacerbate symptoms
2) You visited the GP for a quick consultation who advises you rest and perhaps take painkillers. Return in a week or two if it isn’t better. However, you never get round to booking that next appointment
3) You have had some massages – they feel great but the next day you feel it’s back to square one
4) You have stopped your normal exercise due to fear that it may make the pain worse
5) You are wearing some form of back support (if you’re reading this and you are wearing one – take it off and throw it in the nearest bin!)
6) You’ve been to see someone who has clicked, cracked and stretched the back to ‘put the spine back in place’. But a few days later, that niggle begins to set in again…..
7) You googled or you tubed some videos for helping back pain but they didn’t help
8) You’re friends or family told you to stop moaning about your back pain – so you did
9) You have just woken up every day praying it may have just gone on it’s own
10) You have tried to manage it with pain relief
Maybe some of these sound familiar?
What I am not suggesting here is that any of the above are bad. Truth is, if you have done some of these things, you have tried to take an active approach to aid your recovery. Sometimes, back pain may resolve itself. However, if you are still experiencing a lot of pain after around 4-6 weeks, there may be more to it than a simple muscle strain.
At this point, it is important to seek professional help. Chronic pain (over 3 months) is unfortunately very common and it can lead to long lasting problems and changes to how how brain interprets pain. This means the pain can become more intense without the injury itself intensifying. If this continues long enough, people sometimes continue to experience pain long after the strain or injury has fully healed. This is thought to be due to a highly sensitised nervous system where our body begins to interpret non-painful stimuli as painful. This is a vicious circle that can be hard to break out of. Our role is to try and prevent this from happening.
Physiotherapists are focused around restoring movement and function to pre-injury level to the best of our ability.
This involves carefully looking at your painful movements, muscle length, control, balance and propriception (awareness of our body in space). Together, we work with you to advise you on the best course of action. Primarily, this will include specific exercises, tailored to your pain – not general back pain. Treatments will include:
– Movement re-education: teaching you ways to move which may help to reduce the pain
– Identifying triggers for your pain and working to resolve them
– A progressive exercise program, tailored to what YOU want to get back to
– Exercises you can complete at home to help the pain
– Postural, ergonomic and general advice on looking after our backs.
– Manual treatment (if needed) to help reduce pain and enable you to exercise more comfortably.
If you have back pain (or neck pain!) – that just doesn’t seem to be improving, call us today so we can get you back on track.
Thanks for reading.