Pain in the lower back is a common problem. Over 80% of people around the world suffer from minor to severe lower back pain. The majority of such people don’t know what to do and keep on worsening their condition by being careless. Lower back pain like any other discomfort must be understood and treated. Physio can help resolve the problem. If you continue to neglect it, the back pain can lead to more severe problems.
Nobody wants to suffer for their whole lives when they can nip the problem in the bud.
Lower back pain can be triggered by a variety of things. Doing simple daily chores can cause minor to acute backache depending on a number of factors. The pain may continue for a few days or in some cases even months. If left untreated, this pain could seriously hamper you in the long run.
You might ask, how to treat back pain? In most cases, physio for lower back pain is a good answer. In some cases, physio for lower back pain relieves some of the pain to make movement easier but may not fix the problem itself. Even though lower back pain relief can be gained through physical therapy, if you feel that it is aggravating the condition you should speak to a doctor before continuing.
The last thing you want is to try physiotherapy for lower back pain and end up making the pain worse.
Types of back pain
Before your try treating your back pain, it is important you understand just why it might be happening. Pain in the back can be felt anywhere from the neck down along the spine to the pelvic area. In severe cases, the legs can also be affected by a strain in the lower back. The most common area of back pain though is in the lower back.
Some common reasons of the lower back pain might be because you are dealing with:
- Slipped disc – a damaged disc in the spine that presses on the nerves.
- Ankylosing spondylitis – stiffness where the spine meets the pelvis causing pain
- Sciatica – where the sciatic nerve is pressed or pinched resulting in numbness and pain that travels to the leg
What causes lower back pain
There are a variety of reasons and causes of lower back pain. In many cases, lower back pain is caused by musculoskeletal strains. This basically means that the source of your lower back pain is related to muscular strains, torn or sprained ligaments. These usually occur when some form of physical activity puts undue stress on the body.
There are two main categories under which lower back pain falls under:
These are injuries that occur all of a sudden because your body is not conditioned enough to withstand the trauma of some movement. This includes lifting a heavy item, especially when you lift with your back rather than your knees. Such injuries are also common side effects of your body having gone through a traumatic experience like an accident. Athletes can suffer from such injuries and may require sports therapy.
2. Overstress or Overuse injuries
These occur more often than traumatic injuries but are also injuries that can be avoided. These injuries don’t happen ‘all of a sudden’. They develop over years, mostly because of bad posture or poor conditioning. It can also occur by doing an activity over an extended period of time that creates a strain on the lower back.
Overstress or overuse injuries can be helped through physiotherapy. In such injuries, it is imperative that you consult your doctor to help determine if any pain medication will be required along with the physiotherapy.
Lower back pain treatment
If you have strained your back, keep moving. Don’t be aggressive in your movements but continue to move. By continuing to move and keeping to your regular routine, you are providing a form of therapy for lower back pain.
Many people will use a heating pad when a back is strained. But rather than heating your back, putting an ice pack on it in the first 48 hours helps more. By heating a strain, you actually cover up the pain and inflame the area more. Icing it will reduce the swelling and is a much better remedy for back pain.
Pay attention to how you hold your body. If you slump too much your body is unable to handle your weight. When lifting ensure you don’t life with your lower back, rather lift with your knees. Improving your posture by doing some exercises or undergoing therapy can help ease the pain.
4. Ergonomically arrange your life
Avoid putting things in ways that they can put a strain on your back. Rearrange your home and office so that you don’t have to hunch to work and use furniture that provides support to your back. This reduces the amount of strain on your lower back.
5. Physio for lower back pain
There are two types of physio for lower back pain.
- Passive therapy – this therapy covers heat and ice packs and electrical stimulation to help muscles respond.
- Active therapy – this includes specific movements and exercises. This a common method used by physicians to help build up the strength of injured muscles.
Watching your weight and avoiding high heels will help in controlling the pain in the lower back. If you are a smoker, research has been found that smoking decreases blood circulation which hampers the ability to treat backaches.
Physio for lower back pain is a great way to help handle a backache. But if your symptoms persist and the pain in your lower back increases, or you lose control over your bladder, lose sensation in your back and legs, it is imperative that you stop immediately and look for a solution.
Lower backaches that are not treated in time correctly can result in severe back problems. If you have suffered from a strain on your lower back pay attention to any changes in your movement and body. If anything seems odd it is best to go see a doctor as soon as possible.