Lower back pain is a very common complaint, and unfortunately something that most of us will experience at some point in our lives.
The good news is that in most cases, back pain will get better on its own within a few weeks, provided there isn’t a more serious underlying condition or ongoing environmental factor causing it. For some however, back pain can become a longer or recurring issue.
As mentioned, in most cases back pain will usually resolve on its own and will not need much (if any) treatment, however here are some quick and easy tips to help should you experience it:
- Continue Normal Activities
Try to continue with your normal everyday activities as best and as soon as you can. Bed rest and avoiding activity can delay your recovery and prolong the episode of back pain even further.
You may need to modify your activities initially, but this is a much better approach than stopping everything completely.
- Keep Moving
Avoiding or fearing movement due to pain can delay your recovery. Generally gentle movements are very safe and are indeed encouraged for low back pain.
Try to keep active in short bouts throughout the day, start with walking and gradually increase your activity with time.
- Limited Amount of Painkillers
Feeling some discomfort when you first start to move is normal so if needed and taking painkillers for a few days will help you to remain active and mobile. Whilst painkillers can be a valuable tool to get you moving again in the initial stages, it is recommended that you take these for the shortest possible time and do not rely on them.
If you are unsure what medication to take, we recommend you speak to one of our pharmacy team who will be happy to help and advise you on the best course of action.
- Remain Positive
Back pain is not usually a sign of something serious (less than 1%) and if you remain positive and don’t panic you are more likely to keep active and see an improvement in your symptoms.
- Apply Heat
Heat therapy can be a powerful ally in your pain relief and healing journey when it comes to lower back pain. As well as improving circulation to muscles and potentially speeding up the healing process, it can also help ease any muscle spasm or stiffness; providing relief and enabling you to get mobile again.
Try using a heat pack or hot water bottle (wrapped in a towel to prevent any burns to the skin) and apply this to the problem area.
When should you get help?
- If your back pain is persisting for more than a couple of weeks
- If your symptoms are worsening
- If you feel you require some extra support in relieving your symptoms
- If you are concerned about your symptoms
Our expert team of physiotherapists are on hand to answer any questions that you may have and help you on your journey to a healthier, happier life. Join us for an initial assessment and get a bespoke treatment plan to improve your lower back pain.
Click on the button below to book an assessment with our physiotherapy team who will be happy to assess you and help you to get back to the things you need to do.
In a very small percentage of people (less than 1%) back pain could be a sign of something serious:
If you have back pain and a high temperature or had a recent infection or you have lost weight without trying or have pain / tingling / numbness in both legs, we advise you arrange an urgent GP appointment.
You should go to A&E if you have back pain and associated pain in your legs and:
- Numbness and tingling around your buttocks and genital area
- Difficulty urinating
- You can’t control your bladder or bowels