Low back pain (LBP) is widely cited as the most common form of musculoskeletal pain in the younger and middle aged population. According to the British Medical Journal (BMJ) up to 45% of people will suffer some sort of acute episode of low back pain each year. A more alarming statistic is that an estimated 7 million work days are lost to LBP each year!
Gone are the days when 3 weeks of bed rest were the treatment of choice for acute LBP. What we now know about the pathology of and treatment for LBP is light years ahead of what was considered the best treatment of the day back then.
For acute low back pain management, here’s a list of some simple guidelines you can follow:
Take some medication
Simple paracetamol taken regularly is considered the best starting point (see NICE Guidelines). This can be supplemented with some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs if required. Do remember to check with your GP or pharmacist if you are unsure whether these medications are safe for you to take – especially if you take other prescribed medications.
It is best to try to keep moving and keep as active as possible. This means trying to continue with your everyday activities but in a modified fashion. Try not to sit or stand still for too long before moving around a little then changing you position or posture. Rest when you need to but try to avoid excessive rest or resting for extended periods.
Try not to cram all your daily tasks into an hour just to get them out of the way! This will just make you pain levels spike and it’ll take longer to reduce this pain back to the pre-activity level. Instead, take your time and try to space out your activities throughout the day.
Modify some of the factors that can cause aggravation of your back pain. For instance, try moving your car seat forwards or adjusting the back rest, or try adjusting the settings on your office chair and make sure your computer is at the right height.
If your LBP becomes persistent or unmanageable, contact Fit4-Physio for advice on how best to manage your problem. You might benefit from some ‘hands on’ manual physiotherapy.
Sometimes LBP can present alongside other symptoms such as leg pain or pins and needles or numbness. If you experience these ‘extra’ symptoms, please contact us immediately to see how we can help.
If you have some more unusual symptoms such as loss of bladder or bowel control, it is advised you seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Disclaimer: The list of ways to manage LBP above is not exhaustive and each point mentioned above cannot be guaranteed to help everyone. This blog has been written to give the reader an insight into some of the self help strategies that have been found to be the best for the management of mechanical low back pain.
Fit4-Physio cannot be held responsible for any adverse effects caused by following the above advice.