8 out of 10 of us will suffer back pain at least once in our lives, but 90% of cases will recover within 6 weeks irrespective of what we do.
Lower back pain isn’t pleasant and can be very distressing but the good news is, it is unlikely to be caused by anything serious.
MRI scans and CT scans don’t always correlate well with back pain symptoms. The truth is, changes on your scan like disc bulges and disc degeneration are as common in people without pain as they are in those who have pain.
A scan is useful for surgeons if they think you might need an operation, or if you have had trauma to your back.
Your brain’s ability to sense and express pain seems to be amplified in some people and this can relate to many other factors including your:
– sleep quality
– anxiety levels
– stress levels
– what you think and feel about your back
– how much you load your back within your everyday activities
– other health problems you may be experiencing.
Bed rest is likely to make your back pain worse.
Staying active and getting back to your normal activities is key: KEEP MOVING!
There are lots of different ways to get moving. Choose an activity that you enjoy like:
– some light gardening.
Find out what works for you and don’t worry if it’s uncomfortable to begin with. Try and be consistent and stick with it.
Taking painkillers can be helpful in the short term to allow you to move and exercise in the early stages to prevent your back seizing up, but do this under the guidance of your GP or a pharmacist.
Learning relaxation techniques like mindfulness and meditation can help you manage your pain both short and long term.
Did you know that if you have a positive outlook, you are likely to do better and recover more quickly? Try and remain positive. Remember in most cases, it is very unlikely to be anything serious.
Try and continue working; your work place will be able to help with practical support. Research shows that the longer you stay off work, the less likely you are to return.
If you are struggling to cope with a persistent back problem, there is help available. With the right information and advice, you may soon be on the road to recovery.
Please do contact us if you would like some advice on managing your back pain.