Low Back Pain

It is a fact that 2 out of 3 of us will experience low back pain in our life time. The important thing to remember is that the majority of back pain is self limiting and does resolve. Many people have central or one sided low back pain, and in some cases it may refer into and down the leg as far as the foot.

Factors that contribute to low back pain are:

  • Sedantry life styles
  • Poor sitting posture at work or in the home
  • Repeated movements in the same direction, i.e. gardening, lifting
  • Poor abdominal muscle strength
  • Poor posture

General Back Facts:

  • There are many structures in the back that can be the source of pain apart from the discs, such as ligaments and muscles.
  • Discs do not slip in and out.
  • Sitting puts the greatest amount of weight through the spine.
  • Our backs are designed to be moved, and it is better to get a painful back moving as soon as possible.

What to do if you experience back pain:

  • If you have a very acute onset of back pain, rest can be useful for the first 48 hours and then it is better to start moving.
  • Medication is helpful in this stage and SHOULD BE TAKEN as prescribed.
  • Prolonged bed rest is detrimental to your recovery.
  • Once you are over the very acute stage, it is advisable to be either up and about walking or lying down. When lying, try putting 3 pillows under your knees. Try to avoid sitting for all but essential needs.
  • Walking helps to loosen up the back.
  • If you get repeated episodes of back pain it is often helpful to seek professional advice from a medical practitioner, like a physiotherapist, to advise you on a specific exercise routine that is suitable for your back.
  • Backs need to be looked after every day not just when they are painful, as episodes of back pain are usually due to a build up of poor habits.