Are you suffering from lower back pain?
Lower back pain (LBP) is one of the most common problems we face in clinic, which isn't surprising as statistics show that 90% of people suffer throughout their lifetime. We work with two types of back pain - Specific & Non - Specific. Technically speaking if you arrive with specific back pain you will be tested and referred to somebody else - these 90% of people suffer with Non- Specific LBP.
This means there are no serious pathologies, so we get to work focusing on the cause of pain and not just the symptoms. Everyone is different and LBP can be complex, which is why we take our time to get to the root of the problem and make both treatment and assessment specific to the individual. The cause can vary from person to person even though the pain is the same. That is why we take a biopsychosocial approach.
The link between mind & body:
- Are you perhaps more stressed than normal?
- Has your training load increased?
- How are you sleeping?
- Do you sit at a desk for long periods of time?
- Do you fear movement?
- Do you feel like nothing can help?
Negative thoughts and fear towards LBP is linked with avoidance behaviour & protective muscle guarding - highlighting how close the body-mind relationship is.
So how do you treat it?
Point one - TRUST THE PROCESS.
I get a little look of disgust or confusion when I 'diagnose' people with Non-Specific LBP. I agree, it sounds stupid but it's an umbrella term used because everyone is different. Your lower back pain may be caused by stress whereas somebody else's is because they have a muscle imbalance. Let us work out yours.
Point two - EDUCATE
Once we have found the cause (or causes) of your LBP we can chat through ways of changing lifestyle or fitness behaviours. For example, do you sit at a desk for a long time? Perhaps you have a muscle imbalance around your shoulders? Do they slouch forward?
Take more breaks, do some exercises & focus on your posture.
Point three - SELF MANAGEMENT
It is thought that up to 50% of LBP cases reoccur. You have seeked treatment & your exercise plan is going well... Great if it feels better! But try not to stop. I am by no means suggesting you have to do 30 minutes of back exercises everyday for the rest of your life.. just be conscious.
Point four - STAY ACTIVE
Long gone are the days of bed rest for back pain. Your spine is STRONG and CAPABLE. Keep moving as much as you are able. It needs to move.
*I am not saying run a marathon, if it needs gentle ROM exercises stick to that. Feel free to ask for advice.
Point five - TREATMENT
Massage, Acupuncture, Joint mobilisations, Stretching techniques, Kinesiology taping (the list can go on) are all capable of both DECREASING pain and INCREASING range of movement.
If you feel like you are suffering from LBP and would like some help do not hesitate & contact LHRehab.
*Big thank you to Courtney for help writing this! Good luck in your exams :)