Lower Back Pain
If you’ve had lower back pain before, you’ve probably thought to yourself ‘When I wake up in the morning my back is tight and sore. Once I’m able to get up and start walking around the pain settles down. It hurts again when I stand up after sitting at my desk all day. I don’t know what’s going on and I’m very concerned that it won’t ever go away…’
Sound familiar right?
Don’t panic! Lower back pain is a condition that impacts roughly 80% of people at some point during their life. It can vary greatly from a niggle, to something very debilitating. Most people will recover in the first 6-12 weeks. Once we have experienced one episode of back pain, it is common to experience multiple recurrences across our lives.
What causes lower back pain?
There are a variety of structures in our back that may be the source of your discomfort. In 90-95% of cases, the structure is not of major concern. It is a common belief that posture is the root cause of back pain however this is not entirely accurate. Other things like lack of sleep, stress, being overweight and/or anxiety may be the trigger for your current episode of discomfort.
Should I get a scan?
Have a discussion with your physiotherapist first! Research shows that people that don’t have any pain or discomfort may still have pathological changes present on imaging. This suggests that scans are not always helpful at determining the source of your issue and therefore may be an unnecessary expense.
So the big question. How do you manage your pain?
As back pain is multifactorial, it is important to address more than just the physical pain that you feel but in general you should follow the KISS principle.
Keep It Simple Stupid!
Come in to visit your physiotherapist for an assessment so we can determine the best course of action for your injury.
Remember, motion is lotion for our backs. Exercise is one of the only treatments that we know will assist in a quick recovery. Exercise also assists in preventing recurring episodes. It is important to keep active, stay at work if possible and avoid excessive periods of rest. Spending time with people that make you happy and finding ways to destress are also great ways to manage lumbar spine discomfort.