The purpose of this information guide from Physiostation is to give you an insight into back pain, what you can do to help it, and where to get further support from if required.
A brief introduction to Back pain
Feeling pain in your lower back is very common. Nearly everyone will be affected by it at some time in their lives. For most people the problem is short lived and doesn’t drastically affect normal activities. For a small number, however, the problems can last longer and can result in us not being able to do our normal daily activities. This can have a significant impact on many aspects of our lives including work, family life, and socialising. Many of these effects can be prevented or minimised by following the advice given here and seeking the early opinion of a Chartered Physiotherapist, if necessary.
What causes Back pain?
The spine is a very strong and adaptable structure. Like many other areas of the body, it is made up of bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and nerves. Back pain can develop for many reasons, and its likely to be different with each person. As a result its worth seeking the opinion of your GP or a Chartered Physiotherapist if you need to find out more about your individual problem. Reassuringly though, in 99% of all cases of low back pain, there is nothing serious wrong.
If, however, you have any of the following symptoms as well as low back pain, we would recommend you see your GP as soon as possible: muscle weakness in your legs; reduced feeling in your legs, buttocks or genital area; problems with bladder or bowel function; feeling generally unwell.
How to improve Back pain
It used to be recommended that we should rest if we have back pain. This has now been shown to be detrimental to our backs, as it can cause muscles to get weak and joints to get stiff, which in turn results in more problems. The most beneficial thing you can do is keep as active as you can. Obviously you might not be able to do everything you could do normally but it’s important to still do as much as you feel able.
A short course of painkillers or anti-inflammatories can be helpful but it’s worth discussing this with a pharmacist at your local chemist, or your doctor, especially if you are on other medications or have other health problems.
Try to continue with all your normal routines, including work, as this will help your recovery. You may need to modify things slightly but try not to stop your normal things altogether. If you’re struggling to do this it would be advisable to seek the opinion of your GP or a Chartered Physiotherapist.
To help reduce your back pain and enhance your recovery, we have designed some exercises for you to try. If you find your pain is increasing with these exercises then please stop them and get in touch with us or your GP. We would normally advise you to do these 2-3 times per day until your problem settles.
Please note: if your pain is severe and significantly affecting your daily function, we recommend you see your GP or a Chartered Physiotherapist as soon as is convenient.
Recommended Treatment for Back pain
If you do seek help/guidance from a Health Professional such as Physiotherapy, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has included the following recommended treatment approaches for back pain:
At Physiostation, we can provide the above recommended treatments. Please get in touch if you would like any more information on this.