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Lower Back Pain
What is Lower Back Pain?
Many things can happen to the low back to cause pain. Joints sprains, pulled muscles, damaged discs and strained ligaments to name but a few. The important thing to remember is that although low back problems can leave you in agonising pain, it doesn’t mean you’ve injured yourself terribly. Most low back problems are minor, and despite being extremely painful they are often very treatable!
So what do I do if my back suddenly goes?
With sharp throbbing severe pain, apply a cold compress. This can be done with an ice pack (frozen peas are perfect!) wrapped in a damp tea towel. You should repeat this every hour if possible for the first 72 hours (or as frequently as possible) and then apply heat first for 10 mins followed by ice 3 times per day.
Should I keep moving or rest?
In the majority of cases keep gently moving, this may cause you discomfort, but will not harm you and improves healing time. If you are able to, go for a short walk and do some gentle stretching. Exercises can be found on the clinic website. If in doubt contact us for advice.
Seek some treatment!
The National Institute of Clinical Excellence recommends spinal mobilisation and massage, for the treatment of lower back pain. At the Courtyard Clinic we examine you, diagnose the cause of your problem and use a wide variety of techniques to improve your condition, so you can get on with your daily activities. If you want to find out more, contact us for a free 15 minute assessment.
What do Osteopaths do?
Osteopaths use a range of clinical diagnostic techniques to find the cause of low back pain and restore normal function by treating the cause rather than just removing the symptom. X-rays and other scanning techniques are usually un-necessary but if required can be arranged either privately with nearby clinics or through the NHS by working with local GP’s.
How do I prevent it happening again?
The best way to prevent back pain is regular exercise, which strengthens muscles in the low back and abdomen to protect the back. However this does not necessarily mean you have to go to the gym! Daily exercises can be made up of activities you enjoy, such as brisk walking or swimming (crawl preferably)
For office workers, it is vital you take regular breaks from the computer to stretch out, and that your desk is set up for good posture. If you drive you should ensure the same.
What about my Bed?
We are regularly asked this question! The answer is medium firm not rock hard! A study published in the Lancet ( medical journal) concluded that patients who use a medium firm mattress improved the clinical course of their back pain over those using a firm mattress.