When back pain strikes, it can disrupt your whole life. Movements that were easy become difficult, painful and slow. You may have issues when getting up, walking, or sitting in your car or at your desk. The pain can sap you of energy and rob you of a good night’s sleep.
Lower back pain is much more common that you may think. Almost 85% of working Canadians will suffer from low back pain. The estimated medical costs of back pain alone are estimated at up to $12 billion per year.
Low back pain (or non-specific lower back pain), happens when you haven’t injured yourself or have any underlying medical condition causing the pain. According to Back Care Canada:
“More than 90% of back and back-related leg pain is ‘benign’—that is, not caused by a serious underlying injury or disease… Most back pain is (also) acute, it comes on quickly and it doesn’t last very long.”
Lower back pain (also known as lumbago, or LBP) may be painful and restrict your movement, but it’s not usually medically serious, and will often improve over time. A personalised treatment plan devised by a physiotherapist can help restore your movement, speed up recovery and help you prevent your back pain reoccurring.
Keep active! If you can’t get to a physiotherapist for a few days, you can help yourself by keeping active. This may seem counter-intuitive, but prolonged rest may make the pain worse rather than better. Gentle stretch exercises will help, as will hot and cold compression packs, which can be applied to the muscles in your back to help them relax. (These can be as simple as a hot water bottle and a packet of frozen vegetables!) If you spend much of your day sitting at a desk or in a vehicle, take regular breaks to stand, stretch, move around and keep mobile.
As physiotherapists, we specialise in restoring function and movement through exercise therapy and manual therapy as required. Together, we work on a program of recovery and rehabilitation that you work through at home in between sessions at our clinic. You can be referred to a physiotherapist for back pain from your physician, or you can come to Active Care Physiotherapy direct.
We start by:
This might include looking at your gait (the way you walk) and the way you move using your back. We might also check how your nerves are functioning. If we have any concerns that there is an underlying medical cause, such as spinal stenosis or a herniated disc, we will advise you to consult your physician.
We’ll suggest a treatment plan that includes:
Most lower back pain treatment plans are a combination of active therapies, manual therapies and lifestyle changes. To free yourself from back pain, you must be an active participant in this plan. Lower back pain isn’t solved in our clinic alone – it’s a team effort!
Active therapy consists of exercises and movements designed to improve the flexibility, mobility and strength of your lower back. We’ll devise a series of exercises just for you and your particular type of back pain, and show you how to do the exercises.
These will usually include:
This is the ‘hand on’ treatment many associate with physiotherapy. We will gently manipulate your back and spine to restore your normal range of movement and mobility. We may also do joint mobilizations to improve your range of motion and alleviate pain.
Small changes to your lifestyle can make a lot of difference to your risk of back pain.
When we prescribe an exercise program during your initial visit it is stored on the http://www.physiotec.com site. We’ll give you a username and password so you can log onto the Physiotec site and access your personalized exercise plan anytime, alongside videos reminding you how to do the exercises.
Being an active participant in your back pain treatment and recovery is good for your body and for your mental health. Our treatment plan enables you to manage the symptoms of back pain, and help your body recover. Many patients feel more confident and more positive once a treatment plan is in place. According to NHS England:
“It helps if you stay optimistic and recognise that your pain should get better, as people who manage to stay positive despite their pain tend to recover quicker.”
There really is no need to suffer for long periods with back pain. Call us for an appointment at Ingersoll, London or book online at either our London or Ingersoll physiotherapy clinics, and together we’ll start you on on your road to recovery.