Lower back pain is one of those things that many people are afflicted with at some point in their life. It often comes on without warning, is very painful, and very inconvenient. Then after a while, it settles down and you wonder what all the fuss was about. For some people, however, it doesn’t go away and will linger on quietly in the background, and then without reason will rear its ugly head again to reap havoc – pain and inconvenience.
When this pattern of back pain behaviour occurs over and over, then one thing that needs to be addressed is lumbopelvic strength. It is well known that recurrent episodes of back pain will lead to poor strength around the pelvis, hips and spine, and that in turn increases the likelihood that it will return. It is therefore very important to break the downward spiral of pain and ongoing weakness.
Here are a few things that will help if you find yourself or someone you know in this cycle:
1. Use appropriate therapies to assist with the pain in the acute stage. This may include medication as advised by your doctor, heat and massage to reduce muscle spasm, and advice from your physiotherapist.
2. Keep moving as best you can. Intermittent rest is important, but too much can aggravate the pain. Walking is a great source of movement that can help back pain.
3. When the acute stage has settled, investigate strengthening regimes to ensure you begin to improve the strength and stability and break the cycle of back pain. This may include joining a Pilates class, a yoga class, or seeking advice from your physiotherapist about how best to progress with this.
4. Pain is a valuable signal from the brain telling us that things are not quite right or there is danger. Sometimes that signal becomes overexcited and continues to fire when the danger has passed. This can lead to chronic pain. If this is the case, it may be worth investigating further with your doctor. There is also a great app called ‘The Curable Companion App’ that may help.
Thanks, and I hope this helps.