It is National Back Care Awareness Week (2nd – 6th October 2017) and over the course of the week our team of experienced therapists will be sharing tips and advice on some of the causes, prevention and treatment of back pain.
Today Osteopath Will shares some advice on what to do should you begin suffering from pain in your lower back;
Low back pain is an all too common ailment that affects millions of people of all ages, backgrounds and professions. It can have many causes, from muscle, ligamentous or joint strains, to repetitive wear of the spinal joints and discs, and may occur as a one-off episode or recur periodically, often triggered by lifting or certain movements/ activities. But never fear, usually episodes of back pain are self-limiting, and there are things that you can do to help yourself if you are suffering.
Firstly, keep moving! Taking to your bed won’t do you any favours; while standing may be painful, keeping to as many of your normal activities as possible will keep your muscles working; rest can lead to stiffness and a build-up of inflammation and hence pain.
Try to modify any movements that aggravate your pain. For example, if bending to pick up the pen you’ve just dropped is too painful, bend from your knees to keep your back straight. Ice is a cheap painkiller and may help ease inflammation: use an ice pack, or bag of frozen peas wrapped in a cloth held on the painful area for five to ten minutes per hour.
Some simple stretches may help loosen tight muscles in your back and gently stretch your spine. Try lying on your back and gently pulling your knees into your chest until you feel a stretch through the muscles either side of your spine. Hold for 30 seconds then with your knees bent and feet on the floor, let your knees slowly rock from one side to the other.
Remember, don’t panic! Low back pain is incredibly common and the vast majority of cases will resolve of their own accord, given time. If you are worried about the severity of the pain you are in, either contact your GP, who may be able to help by prescribing some suitable painkillers, or make an appointment with us at the clinic.
Our Osteopath, Physiotherapists and Sports Therapists have extensive training in diagnosing and treating low back pain to help speed up your recovery. Contact us on 0191 2330500 for further information and to book an appointment with our therapists.