Back pain is an extremely frustrating condition for people. One of the problems with back pain is that there is a huge amount of misinformation out there. This misinformation leaves people with a lot of fear. Back pain can happen without any specific incident really causing it. It could start from something that you have already done a thousand times, like bending to pick something off the ground, taking the shopping out of the car, brushing your teeth or putting your socks on in the morning. You may get a phenomenal, sudden sharp pain with any of these.
There are different types of back pain, very new and acute and ongoing back pain that has been there for a long, long time. In terms of acute back pain, it is very much about the tissues in your back. With ongoing back pain there is often more to it and this is where your beliefs about back pain can come into it. A lot of people with back pain and recurring back pain view their own backs as a vulnerable structure, a more fragile part of your body than other areas in your body.
This belief can influence how you move on a daily basis or our movement habits. It can also lead to an avoidance of activity and a reluctance to do things for example, bending your back. Some of these beliefs are made worse by the misinformation that is out there, whether that is from google or advice from well-meaning friends and neighbours. Health professionals have a lot to answer for here. They are sometimes guilty of promoting messages that confirm or reinforce patients’ beliefs that you must mind your back and be very, very careful or that something is wrong with your back etc.
The approach to dealing with back pain at the moment really needs to change. Here at the clinic we generally have a different approach to how back pain is often treated. It involves understanding what is going on, why is this pain so bad? Why does it spread? Why does it come on for absolutely no reason? Why am I so debilitated by this? What can/can’t I do?
We will show you exercises and movements you can do to make yourself feel better very quickly. You will get some control back over this back pain and not be dependent on someone doing ‘something magical’ to try and fix it as such.
Unfortunately the answer to this question is the last thing a patient wants to hear. It depends. Back pain is very individualised and in order to fully understand your back pain we would have to hear your story. Good news though, very few people who back pain have sinister pathologies. More than 90% of the time back pain is categorised as “non-specific” this means that no structure in the back itself is damaged. This kind of back pain is very manageable with the right approach.
If you have back pain you should consult a physiotherapist you trust. Back pain is often chronic, meaning it lasts a long time but this does not mean your back is seriously damaged. If you have back pain do not just rest. Keeping active and carrying on with your usual activities can help to produce natural pain killers called endorphins. It is also important to remain optimistic, back pain is a manageable injury and with the right support and guidance you can reduce and get rid of your back pain
Most back pain is not caused by serious or sinister damage. You only need to worry about sinister damage to your back if your back pain is not your only symptom. You should however consult your GP if your back pain is accompanied by;
• A fever
• Unexplained weight loss
• A loss of bladder or bowel control
• You’re unable to pass urine
• You have numbness in your genitals, buttocks and back passage.