West Suffolk Physio

Back care Awareness

THIS WEEK IS #BACKCARE AWARENESS WEEK, SO WE THOUGHT WE WOULD TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO TALK A LITTLE ABOUT SOME OF THE FACTS AND WHAT YOU CAN DO TO CARE FOR YOUR BACK.

Approximately 80% of us will experience back pain at some point during our lives. Back pain can vary from a slight twinge or ache to severe pain, and on many occasions you may not be able to pin point the activity that caused your symptoms. While this can be distressing, between 90-98% of these will recover within 6 weeks, often without treatment.

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO…?

Watch out for these rare symptoms:

  • Feeling unwell (fever or sweating relating with back pain)

  • Difficulty going to the toilet

  • Impaired sexual function

  • Numbness or tingling in your genitals

  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

  • Loss of power to your legs

If you have these symptoms then you need to seek medical attention with your GP.

Try to stay active.

There is significant research that prolonged rest and avoidance of activity can lead to poorer recovery and higher levels of pain. You can avoid some of your aggravating activities may help to relieve pain but try to do little pieces of activity and then build up.

Try not to fear movement.

Bending and lifting are often depicted as causes of back pain, while an injury can occur it is important to practice these movements with different loads to prepare your body for the tasks it has to do.

Live a healthy lifestyle

Exercise, in whatever form you choose, is good for you. It has been shown to reduce and prevent back pain. If you are just starting out then start slowly and gradually increase what you do. I have had some friends do the ‘couch to 5k’ with some good success.

Click on this link from NHS choices Couch to 5k guide

Sleep well

Sleep has also been shown to be important in managing back pain, by reducing stress and improving the feeling of wellbeing. This means our body may be less susceptible to the triggers of pain in the first place. Aim for between 7.5-8 hours sleep each night.

Pain relief

Use pain relief as instructed as an adjunct to try and keep active. Pain relief alone is not likely to speed up recovery.

Pain does not equal harm

Not all pain is result of damage. There are many factors involved in our pain experiences including;

  • Physical factors (protecting your back)

  • psychological factors (fear of injury, damage, low mood or stress)

  • General health and lifestyle (being rundown, overweight or not physically active enough)

  • Social factors (difficult relationships at home or work or stressful events)

It is important to understand that pain is 100% real and never ‘in your head’. Each of these factors can act like volume switches turning the volume up or down.

THINGS HAVEN’T GOT BETTER…WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If things don’t improve as you would expect then seek advice either from your GP or a member of the team here. Click Here to see our services.

 

Thanks for reading and take care.

 

Tom

Useful resources

http://www.csp.org.uk/your-health/conditions/back-pain#top-tips-back_pain

http://www.csp.org.uk/your-health/healthy-living/public-information-leaflets/back-pain-myth-busters

http://www.csp.org.uk/publications/10-things-you-need-know-about-your-back  

http://www.backcare.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/BackCare-40-tips-to-healthy-back.pdf

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