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What is Low Back Pain?
Low back pain is very common, just like how we may experience an episode of a headache or tension in our shoulders and neck after a long stressful day at work. Most people will experience an episode of low back pain at some point in their lifetime.
How does Physiotherapy help back pain?
Physiotherapists are experts in this field of musculoskeletal conditions and we can help you with not just your current symptoms but to help you better manage your back to prevent future episodes. Through a thorough individualised physiotherapy assessment we can help you to understand the source of your pain which can be from multiple structures including, joints, muscles, nerves and your psychosocial factors which are often underestimated.
Most back pain will resolve on its own but if the pain persists seek care. Don’t go online and search for generalised back exercises because it might not be the right exercise for your condition and always question the information source.
What causes low back pain?
- an increase in levels of stress,
- low mood,
- poor sleep,
- poor diet and
- lack of physical activity.
These factors increase the inflammatory markers in our body and make us more sensitive and prone to experiencing pain. For example, have you ever had a severe back spasm from putting your shoes on? There was no trauma involved and you haven’t done anything out of your daily routine like heavy lifting. However, the pain was excruciating and to the point that you couldn’t walk or stand up tall. Even with such a low impact, daily tasks like this can set off an acute back spasm when your whole body is very sensitised and vulnerable. More information on chronic low back pain.
Which exercises should I do to strengthen my back?
All types of physical activity are considered good for your back. Brisk walking for 30 minutes at a moderate pace, supervised clinical pilates, swimming and so on are all good examples. The most important thing is doing a type of exercise that you love so that you are keen to exercise at least 5 times a week.
Don’t be afraid of bending and lifting. Our back is strong and it is designed for us to bend and move. The more we avoid bending and lifting, the more fragile and deconditioned it will become. Hence, for example, the moment when you have to pick up your child, or lift the luggage out of the car, your back won’t have the capacity to do so and may result in back strain.
How can I prevent back pain?
Good advice is that we should listen to our body and our back. Don’t be frightened and pessimistic about possible disc bulges and sciatica. People commonly tend to think that referral pain down the leg is due to sciatica. Many people present with this misdiagnosis when there are other structures in our back that can also refer down the leg other than the sciatic nerve.
What should I do if I have a disc bulge?
How does it make you feel when you hear ‘disc bulge’? Does it make you cringe? Why? Disc bulges are like wrinkles on our faces. A normal feature of ageing. Disc bulges are present even in the population experiencing no pain. More interestingly, research shows that in the symptomatic population, the bigger the bulge the better the prognosis. Hence, don’t be frightened about a scan finding and make sure that a qualified expert assesses the scan findings and correlates them with your clinical presentation. Your physiotherapist can explain the scan and provide advice and a programme to help you manage it.
The physiotherapists at Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions are highly skilled in the area of musculoskeletal problems. If you have back pain visit your physiotherapist for an assessment and advice on how to manage this problem.