A Pain in the Back!

how-to-treat-back-pain-722x406Lower back pain is a widespread problem.  7 to 9 out of every 10 Australians will suffer from it at some time in their lives. In fact, 3.7 million Australians currently have back problems, according to The Australian Bureau of Statistics National Health Survey of 2014-15.

Luckily, the problem is rarely serious, but can still interfere with daily life and your enjoyment of activities. The good news is, help is available without the need for invasive procedures or heavy drugs. A qualified physiotherapist from Hoppers Physio is a great place to start.

Some of the causes of lower back pain can be as simple as poor posture. Less often, injury and disease (such as arthritis, osteoporosis and disc disease) are the culprits. Mostly, pain is non-specific (i.e. not caused by a disease), and, while still causing stiffness, spasm and discomfort on movement, will generally resolve in a week or two.

As well as specific and non-specific pain, there is acute and chronic classifications of back pain. Acute lasts up to 12 weeks, or as long as the tissue takes to heal, while chronic pain is greater than 12 weeks. Both require a good history taking to identify the trigger and to determine an appropriate treatment programme. A trigger may be something like binge gardening or the activities of a weekend warrior. Sometimes it is not as obvious, and we have to think more broadly for a possible cause. These days the concept of pre-sensitized tissue in our spines is considered, so that normal daily activities can now be a trigger of an episode of pain.

Then there are risk factors for back pain, such as your general health, prolonged periods of sleep deprivation, increased stress, poor mood, increased age, abdominal obesity, poor physical fitness, smoking, and type of employment.

What can you do? Spines are really strong and robust and thrive on movement and exercise. Staying active is crucial in the treatment of back pain – being active won’t slow healing and can lessen pain by reducing muscle spasm. Avoid opioids like codeine …. They can lead to constipation and dependence which won’t help at all.

The physiotherapists at Hoppers Physio are in a perfect position to help. They are highly trained professionals who can assess, diagnose and explain your condition, providing you with a treatment plan with exercises to get you moving, advice on what not to do, and a maintenance programme to avoid future episodes.

If you have a pain in the back, make an appointment with the skilled physios at Hoppers Physio today!