An achy dull pain after sitting for too long? Sharp pain after twisting or lifting? Or a combination of the two? All in the small of your back or off to one side? Sounds like low back pain.
Low back pain is common, it is thought to affect 4 out of 5 people at some point in their life. People tend to be most commonly affected if they are between 30 and 60 years of age.
However common it may be the causes of it and the affect it has on the life of people who have it varies greatly. From a mild inconvenience to something that will get in the way of your life and stop you from working or getting on with the things you love. In fact, recent statistics from the Office of national statistics show that the number of people taking sick days because of their back pain rose from 7.7 million in 2013 to 9.9 million in 2014.
Low back pain can be triggered by something relatively minor such as lifting a light object (although this usually follows weeks, months or even years of having a niggly back) to the stresses and strains involved in lifting at work or looking after young children. Or, a very common cause these days, too much time spent sitting, at work, in the car then at home in the evenings.
It is probably the area of the body that chiropractors are most known for treating and something I see every day in my clinic in Newbury.
A question I am often asked is how do I know when I need to go to a chiropractor? And what will they do?
I always say if you have had a problem for more than 3 weeks then you should have it assessed. Unless the problem is causing you severe pain or problems moving around – in which case you should seek advice much sooner.
At Total Chiropractic we will ask about you low back pain and your general health, assess your back and then discuss with you the problem you have and how we can help.(For more detailed information about your first appointment at the Total Chiropractic you can check out this blog). As far as treatment is concerned that is tailor made to your individual needs but will generally include adjustments to the spine, soft tissue therapy, advice on exercise and lifestyle advice.
We see it as an all round package, to not only help relieve your pain, but to try and stop it from coming back. Our first goal is to get rid of the pain you are in and to get you back to doing the things you want or need to do. Our second aim is to try and improve the function of your back and to try and stop the pain returning.
But in the short term if you want some tips on how to help your low back pain here are my top three.
1) Don’t stay still.
Staying still allows the muscles and joints to stiffen up which makes it harder to move when you need to. Try not to sit for more than 20 minutes and then move around slowly.
2) Don’t try and push through it.
If you back is hurting then you should listen to it. Don’t try and carry on as normal. Modify your activity levels and don’t do anything you don’t have to.
3) Use ice.
An ice pack wrapped in a tea towel placed on the sore area for 10 minutes and then taken off for an hour can help to reduce the inflammation.
This is general self help advice for low back pain. The advice may not be suitable for everyone so if you are not sure whether to follow the advice or not then seek a personalised assessment first.
If you have questions or to book an appointment I can be contacted on 01635 791301 or via email email@example.com.
Don’t let low back pain stop you doing the things you love.
Rosie Piercy MChiro DC