The fact is most causes of back pain are not particularly serious and can be managed by keeping mobile and continuing with your day to day activities to prevent future episodes.
The article lists 10 things you need to know about your back.
- Your back is stronger than you may think.
Most people worldwide will experience back pain during their lifetime. It can be disabling and worrying but it is very common and rarely dangerous.
- You rarely need a scan and it can do more harm than good.
This is because seeing perfectly normal changes to their spine can cause people to avoid the activities they should be doing to get better, such as exercise and movement in general.
- Avoid bedrest, stay in work and gradually resume normal activities.
Scientific studies now indicate prolonged rest and avoidance of activity for people with low back pain actually leads to higher levels of pain, greater disability, poorer recovery and longer absence from work.
- You should not fear bending or lifting.
Bending and lifting are often portrayed as causes of back pain and while an injury can occur if something is picked up in an awkward or unaccustomed way, it’s most likely to just be a sprain or strain.
- Exercise and activity reduce and prevent back pain.
Exercise is shown to be very helpful for tackling back pain and is also the most effective strategy to prevent future episodes.
- Painkillers will not speed up your recovery.
There is no strong evidence on the benefits of painkillers and they do not speed up recovery.
- Surgery is rarely needed.
There are some uncommon back conditions where there is pressure on the nerves that supply the legs and the patient gets leg symptoms, such as pain pins and needles or numbness.
- Get good quality sleep.
The importance of sleep in tackling back pain has become increasingly clear in recent years.
- You can have back pain without any damage or injury.
Many factors can cause back pain and often a combination of these are involves.
- If it doesn’t clear up, seek help but don’t worry.
If your back pain does not clear up after 6-8 weeks, make an appointment to see your GP or physiotherapist.