GET RID OF BACK PAIN FOR GOOD?
Almost everyone has had some form of back pain at one point or another in their lives, for sure. Back pain is very common, although most people would immediately think “lower back” when referring to back pain. The truth however is that it can be felt anywhere along the spine, including your thoracic region i.e upper back. It’s important to remind you not to panic because most cases of back pain will resolve on their own. However, more than likely, they will keep coming back if you have not seen a physio about it. Seeing a physiotherapist will help you diagnose and treat the primary problem fully, so as to avoid any further secondary complications.
IS BACK PAIN SERIOUS?
Not always but it can be. Pain is a signal in itself and should not be ignored. Pain should not always be seen as “something is gone wrong already”, rather, it might be a warning sign that something isn’t right and it might go wrong soon. Here are a few things that might go wrong with your back. Some of these are age, occupation, past medical history and activity dependent.
- Postural pain
- Osteoporotic fracture
- Degenerative discs
- Slipped disc
HOW DO I RELIEVE BACK PAIN?
If your back pain has persisted for over one week, definitely book a consultation with a physiotherapist, even if it’s starting to resolve. Our bodies do this amazing thing where you think you are getting better but actually, it’s simply finding new ways to cope aka compensate. In the meantime, here are some of the things you can do to manage the pain.
- Be aware of your posture. When you slump, you bend your body in such a way that some muscles become shorter and tighter whilst others get longer and weaker. You force these muscles to then function from rather unnatural positions. Over time, this makes them unnecessarily fatigued, causing them to not support your back as efficiently as they would have done, leaving you susceptible to injuries. |Avoid all these by simply sitting up.
- Move as much as possible. Walk, swim, yoga, dance, any physical activity yo enjoy doing that gets you up and going is perfect! Don’t be afraid to move. your back is such a dynamic structure – it LOVES movement!
- Do back specific exercises. I have in the video below
- Take some inflammation and/or pain relief tablets (Ibuprofen, paracetamol etc) to ease the pain, whilst you sort out the real issue, with the help of your physio. If you’re asthmatic, you may not be suitable for anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen so ask your pharmacist
- Use heat and cold for pain relief. I will discuss the difference between these two in another post but certainly use the one that helps you better. A hot water bottle or a frozen bag of peas wrapped up in a damp towel will do!
WHEN TO GET URGENT HELP FROM A PHYSIO:
- If you’re getting pain from your back radiating into your legs
- When the pain wakes you up at night
- When the pain gets worse rather than better
- When the pain is constant and pain medication does not help at all
- When you’re struggling to cope at work or with your daily activities due to the pain
CALL 911/ VISIT A&E IMMEDIATELY:
- If the pain is in both legs at the same time
- If you have difficulty peeing or
- If you notice pins and needles or numbness in your genitals
- If you have loss of bladder or bowel control e.g. accidents or not being able to feel when you’re going
- If you have unexplained rapid weight loss
- If you notice any deformity or raised swelling in your back
- If your temperature is over 38 degrees celsius
- If you develop chest pain