So, you’ve hurt your back.
Gotten up weird and felt a pinch?
Woke up feeling stiff?
Felt a little tender after a squat?
No worries. It’s probably nothing to panic over, and I’m here to help!
Back Pain, especially in the lower back is very common. Sooner or later we all, at some point in our lives, experience a degree of back pain.
It’s what we do AFTER that counts, and ultimately is the sole factor in our road to recovery and how to prevent it happening again.
Now, lower back pain can have a multitude of causes, mechanisms of injury and different presentations. That list goes on and on and on. However, there are a few tips that can be transferrable to most, if not all, types of back pain in the acute stage (short term).
So, let’s get started with the good stuff, hey?!
- Temperature assistance: Right, so the common conception is HEAT helps acute lower back pain. While the heat helps relax the muscles and subside some of the muscle spasm, it often prolongs and intensifies the inflammatory process. Now inflammation is good, it’s your bodies mechanism to help heal the body. But any inflammation post 48 hours becomes debilitating and more painful. Therefore, its preferable to switch to Ice for the first 48 hours. After that, you can switch to heat for pain reduction.
- Don’t be scared of pain: Often after an acute back pain, the pain is very intense. It often effects our daily life for the first couple of days, and anxiety about whether the pain will subside and you’ll return back to normal are completely expected. Your body is smarter than you think. Once inflammation takes over pain does subside to a degree, allowing you more freedom, however we are still scared of the pain being reproduced. I always say, we must let pain guide us, not dictate us. Which brings me to my next tip.
- Keep moving: Your back might feel stiff and painful. But It’s an incredibly resilient structure. Very hard to break. The segments within your lower back are the size of a grown man’s fist. It likes to keep moving and be mobile. Of course, there are painful movements that you want to avoid, but eventually you want to return to those movements, and avoiding movement altogether is not ideal. Keep doing your daily stuff with limits of pain. It may be a slow process, but don’t let it hinder you!
- Pills aren’t always the answer: I hear a lot that most patients have lower back pain, and get prescribed over the counter medication to help ease it, and it doesn’t work. That’s because most likely after a couple of days the pain is mechanical and not inflammatory. This means that inflammation is no longer the source of the pain, so why would anti inflammatories help?
- Seek Help: This is the most important tip. Like I said before, back pain often reduces to a degree by itself. But that’s the pain not the mechanism of injury, and therefore not the cause. That’s where we come in – to FIX the cause and prevent you from getting relapse. As specialists, we are able to determine the cause of the pain and how to fix it. Whether it’s a stability issue, a postural issue down to the way you sit at work. A weakness issue or even a tightness issue. Everyone is different and it’s our responsibility to get you back up to your normal self.
Here’s some information on what you could expect from your first appointment with me, Leo – READ MORE!