What is back pain?
Back Pain a main cause of people being off sick from work. Physiotherapy is extremely effective treating Back Pain. In one study, 80 per cent of people who had physiotherapy for their Back Pain were able to carry on working and did not have to go off sick.
Back pain has a wide variety of causes, from picking up a heavy parcel incorrectly to spending too long in one position. Feeling very anxious or stressed can make your pain worse. It is rarely due to a serious health problem.
How can Physiotherapy help?
Physiotherapy works well for managing back pain. If you see a physiotherapist quickly, this can not only speed up recovery but also prevent the problem happening again.
A Physio will first check out if you have a serious health problem that may be connected to your back pain. They will then find the reason for your back pain and look at ways to help prevent further problems.
Physios offer a range of treatments that have proven to be effective with back pain. These include manual treatments, and acupuncture. Your physio will also advise you on appropriate exercise and pain relief.
Physios are the third largest health profession after doctors and nurses. They work in the hospital system, in private practice, for charities and in the work-place.
What will happen when I see a physiotherapist?
When you see a Physio, they will assess your problem and give you advice. They may give you a physical treatment. Everything you tell the Physio will be completely confidential.
So that your Physio can have a good look at your back and possibly feel your spine, they may need you to remove some clothes. It’s a good idea to dress comfortably and wear suitable underwear.
How can I help myself?
There is a lot you can do to help yourself. Continuing with your usual work and activities, as much as possible, can help your back pain.
There are exercises that can reduce your back pain and help to prevent it returning. The right sort of exercise, as advised by a physiotherapist, can make a big difference.
Research has shown lower back pain may return if it is ignored. Lifestyle changes, such as being more active and improving your posture, are important.
Top tips for back pain
Exercise and activity are the most important ways of helping yourself if you have back pain
Keep moving and continue with activities such as walking or swimming
Tylenol or similar pain-killers, taken as advised by your GP or physio, can help you keep moving comfortably
Avoid sitting for too long when driving or at work
Gently stretch to prevent stiffness
Take care when lifting, bending your hips and knees to use the power in your legs
Check your posture when using computers/games or watching television
Check the mattress on your bed to ensure it supports you properly
Don’t smoke – it impairs your circulation, which affects how quickly your body can recover
Strengthen your trunk muscles as this may help to protect your back
Make sure your car seat and office chair are adjusted correctly and support your back
Eat a healthy diet and exercise, as being overweight can be a cause of back pain