Back Pain - It's The Small Things That Can Cause You Pain
Did you know that one in six Australians suffer from back pain every day? It is estimated that 70-90% of people will suffer from back pain at some stage in their lives. There are a few common reasons why people develop back pain or continue to suffer with back pain in the long term.
Not all causes of back pain are obvious
I see a lot of patients present with lower back pain and usually the cause is not what you might think. When I ask how their pain started, it's uncommon for them to say that they lifted something heavy and felt a twinge in their back. Most of the time, my patients will indicate that they "didn't do anything heavy" or "don't remember any specific incident" to cause the excruciating pain.
Usually it is simply caused by the various (often repetitive) activities we perform each day and lack of what I like to call "recovery". Think of our daily tasks like a low intensity workout no different to working out and exercise. If you are went to the gym, what would you normally do following your workout? If you answered with "stretch", you are half correct 😅
Stretching is effective in reducing tension build up in the muscles and speeds up recovery however it is important to perform self directed massage as well. How do I massage my back? I can't reach 😱
By using a foam roller and massage ball you can essentially target all the major muscle groups in your body. Massage your body first then complete your cool down/recovery with stretches. There is a correct way and an incorrect way to massage yourself with these great tools so if you are not confident, BOOK in with our highly skilled physiotherapist at Physio Physique.
I Went To My Doctor and was told I had...
Most people tend to consult their doctor when they experience back pain instead of consult a professional (physiotherapist) trained to help with lower back pain. Doctors typically prescribe medications without any particular diagnosis and refer people for unnecessary scans. Don't believe me? Have a look at the fascinating graph below 👇 👇
What this graph shows is that disc bulges and degeneration are NOT AN ACCURATE MEASURE OF PAIN. So next time you visit your doctor and are referred for xrays/scans unnecessarily, make sure you ask if it is necessary in your management. Chances are, it's not!!
I Suffer From Back Pain...What Should I Do?
If you are suffering from back pain you can try the following management ideas.
1. Keep active and change your position regularly - Motion is lotion!
When suffering from an acute back injury it is important to keep your spine moving to allow for better circulation and to prevent joint and muscle stiffness. Better blood flow means better healing. Movement can act like a pump and assists with reducing inflammation and delivering essential nutrients required for faster healing.
2. Try a hot pack
Heat is very useful in reducing muscle spasm, reducing joint stiffness and promoting blood flow. Before you rush for a painkiller or anti-inflammatory (these are not good for you!! 😳 ), try using a heat pack first. You might be surprised just how well it can help reduce your pain.
3. Stretch your muscles
Try to keep the muscles in your back and hips loose by performing gentle stretches throughout the day. If you have lower back pain, it is more than likely your glutes will tighten to try and protect your spine. In addition to gentle lower back stretches, try the glute stretch shown below.
I've Tried Everything and Nothing Seems to Help...
If you have tried some of the above suggestions and still unsure how to help fix your back, have no fear. You may just need some manual therapy/physiotherapy to set your straight. Or maybe a few dry needles will spring you back into action. Whatever the issue, Physio Physique can assess and treat your problem quickly and provide long term solutions so you can fix your back for good!!