By Hannah Whitcombe
Low back pain can vary in cause and thus treatment approach and management will depend on the individual. We’ve put together a list of some things that we think you need to know.
1. LOW BACK PAIN IS COMMON
Although low back pain can be worrying, it is very common and rarely dangerous. 84% of people worldwide will experience back pain at some point, involving all age groups.
2. SCANS FOR LOW BACK PAIN ARE RARELY NEEDED AND CAN BE HARMFUL
Scans are only needed when a serious condition is suspected, but they represent only 1% of all low back pain worldwide. Scans will almost always show something, such as disc protrusion or herniation, and many of these findings are common in people without pain.
3. THE LOWER BACK IS NOT THAT VULNERABLE TO DAMAGE
Most people think the spine needs to be protected. Scientific research has shown that back structures do not go “out of place” or “slip”. This is incorrect and leads to fear, protective guarding, avoidance and disability which are often likely to aggravate the low back pain.
4. THE LOWER BACK IS DESIGNED FOR BENDING AND LIFTING
In the same way that a person can get a sore knee after doing an unaccustomed activity, people can get low back pain when they lift something awkwardly or something that they aren’t used to. The best way to prevent it is practice and letting your body get used to different loads and weights.
5. YOU CAN HAVE LOW BACK PAIN WITHOUT DAMAGE OR INJURY
Pain can be turned up by many factors: physical, psychological and social. This means that you may feel more pain in certain moments, even though you are not damaging your lower back.
6. DON’T TAKE LOW BACK PAIN LYING DOWN AND DON’T RUSH FOR SURGERY
There is very strong evidence that returning to all usual activities gradually is important in aiding recovery. Surgery is rarely an option for low back pain and a non-surgical option, which includes manual therapy and physical activity, should always come first.
7. EXERCISES IS GOOD FOR LOW BACK PAIN
Exercise is helpful for low back pain, and the best is the type you enjoy! More than 30 minutes per day has the greatest health benefits, but any amount you can manage will result in benefit.
8. STRONG MEDS DO NOT HAVE STRONG BENEFITS FOR LOW BACK PAIN
Scientific research has shown that strong painkillers do not provide greater pain relief over simpler options, and actually have greater potential for harm. In additions to this, they only heal the symptom and not its cause!
9. BUYER BEWARE: INTERNET, FADS, FASHIONS AND BANDWAHONS
A lot of things have not yet been tested so you are potentially just wasting your money, and when they have been tested the results are very unimpressive. Ask for a professional consultation with a health practitioner: he will be able to give you the best advice.
10. LOW BACK PAIN CAN GET BETTER
Of course, you can damage your lower back, but be confident that it will get better with the appropriate support! Osteopathy has been proven to be highly effective in the treatment and management of low back pain.
If you are currently experiencing low back pain and you’d like to speak to a member of our team and get FREE CONSULTATION, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 0208 088 0614 or, alternatively, you can book online at osteopathywestlondon.com/booknow