Lower back pain - a common complaint!

Posted: 11th September 2013

Lower Back Pain Management Tips

Just because lower back pain is one of the most common complaints to GP's in the UK does not mean that you have to grin and bear it. There is always something that can be done to help, but it does require some commitment from you to make it better. The complex structure of the lumbar spine unfortunately means that even the slightest over stretch or awkward movement can cause excruciating pain. It affects even the simplest every day tasks such as putting your socks on or plumping up the sofa cushions. You instinctively want to rest and move around as little as possible because the pain is unbearable but the latest advice from medical practitioners is to keep active. However, this does not mean you have to continue your daily 5km run! You need to take it easy but keep moving - if you are sitting at a desk at work all day, get up and have a walk around the office every 45 mins - 1 hour. Being inactive will stiffen the joints even more, reducing your flexibility and ultimately delaying recovery.

Exercise Does Help...

Regular gentle exercise such as swimming or walking or cycling are good low impact activities which are unlikely to worsen the pain. If you pick a type of activity that you enjoy then you are much more likely to stick with it, or if you are easily bored, why not vary your exercise? For example go on one jog, one swim and one cycle per week.

A good way to keep your back moving is to do some specific exercises a couple of times a day. These are particularly beneficial if you do them in the morning as they will loosen the muscles after being dormant all night. The idea of exercises is also to strengthen the muscles around the spine which will help support your back. The NHS Direct website has some good examples of exercises. Follow the link: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Backpain/Pages/Backexercises.aspx

Other Factors to be Aware of...

  • Your posture: make sure that when standing and sitting you have a good posture.

  • Your sleeping position: Sleeping on your side relieves the pressure on your back as opposed to sleeping on your back or front.

  • Your lifting technique: If you lift heavy objects, ensure that you are bending your knees fully and keeping your back straight to avoid straining it.

  • Your weight: If you are overweight, this puts a lot of extra strain on your whole body, especially your lower back.

And remember pain killers can be used but not relied upon.

Manual therapy such as osteopathy, physiotherapy and chiropractics can help you by using manipulation techniques, acupuncture, mobilisation and soft tissue massage. They can provide you with a personalised rehabilitation programme, aiming to reduce pain and discomfort allowing a more fulfilling and active lifestyle. Our practitioners can offer treatments and further advice on exercises, posture and managing pain.

Call the clinic on 01963 251 860.