Here are a few tasks I often get people with back pain to focus on trying to do when they are suffering from back pain. I hope they help you decrease your lower back pain!
1. Have positive pain beliefs!! “If you believe it then the mind can achieve it” – Ronnie Lott
The mind is a powerful tool and yet it is one of the most commonly overlooked factors when it comes to pain management. Studies suggest that have positive pain beliefs (aka believe that your injury/pain will recover), you’re more likely to make a full recovery.
2. Have a positive support network!! “Apes alone weak, apes together strong” – Caesar (Planet of the Apes)
Building a team of people around you who positively support your recovery and beliefs can be very helpful. Whether it’s a relative encouraging you along your recovery or an Osteopath providing positive reinforcement and appropriate treatment/management, it’s important to have positive people around to support you.
3. Stay active!! “Use it or lose it” – unknown
The above statement is true for all types of pain and function.
Whether you have an acute lower back injury or chronic lower back pain, maintaining an active lifestyle is important. The level of activity will differ between chronic/acute back pain.
*For chronic low back pain; These should be taken as a case by case approach as there are many different factors that may play a part in your exercise ability.
*For acute injuries; Physical activity should be commenced as soon as possible however a period of rest from aggravating activities should be taken to allow for tissue healing (will differ depending on what tissue is compromised). Following this a progressive exercise program should take place to return to a pre-injury state.
**In either case I’d suggest seeing a health professional to help optimise your recovery**
Opposing those above are things that you should try to avoid doing. They will almost certainly hinder your lower back rehabilitation making your recovery longer.
1. Avoid activity completely!! “Use it or lose it” (x2) – Unknown
Research suggests that individuals with low back pain who avoid activity out of fear of re-injury/further injury will have poorer health outcomes when compared to those who remain active. This means that if you avoid activity for an extended period of time you are less likely to make a full recovery so keep moving as much as possible.
2. Have a “she’ll be right” attitude!! (Quote is in the heading…)
I’ve seen and spoken to a lot of people who have hurt their low back and had the above attitude. Expecting your back pain to repair itself whilst continuing to excessively stress the area, not allowing the appropriate healing to the injured tissue is like banging your head against a wall and complaining of a headache. See/speak to a health professional and get advice about what you should do to optimise your recovery.
3. Ignore your treating health professional!! “In one ear and out the other” – My Mum
Continuing from the above once you seek help from a health professional, listen and adhere to what they are telling you to do and more often than not you’ll see an enhanced recovery time.
The biggest take away point are that when suffering from low back pain; maintain a level of physical activity, seek help from a trained health professional and believe that you will make a full recovery!
Thanks for reading and I hope this helps
By Jamey Pemmelaar (Osteopath)