Suffer from back pain?
You’re not alone, back pain incredibly common, one of the most common forms of back pain occurs in the lower back, although you may feel it anywhere along the spine.
In most cases back pain usually improves within a few weeks or months but there are things you can do to help relieve it, especially if the pain has lasted a long time or keeps coming back.
Causes of back pain
For many it is often not possible to identify the cause of back pain. Sometimes the pain may be from an injury such as a sprain or strain, but most back pain can occur for no apparent reason.
Occasionally back pain can be caused by a medical condition such as:
Slipped (prolapsed) disc – where a disc of cartilage in the spine presses on a nearby nerve
Sciatica – irritation of the nerve that runs from the pelvis to the feet
These conditions tend to cause additional symptoms, such as numbness, weakness or a tingling sensation, and they're treated differently from non-specific back pain.
How to reliver back pain yourself
The following may help reduce your back pain and speed up your recovery:
- Stay active
Keep moving and continue with your normal day to day activities, those who remain active are likely to recover quicker
- Use anti-inflammatory painkillers
Staying active may be painful at first, painkillers should help you continue acting normally, if you aren’t sure which medicine is safe speak to a pharmacist
- Back exercises and stretches
Simply exercises can help such as walking, swimming, yogo and pilates
If you have seen a GP they may provide exercises for you
- Hot and cold packs
You could use a hot water bottle or an ice pack wrapped in a towel
Cold packs can often help with short term pain
- Avoid sitting for long periods of time
Although it can be difficult, it helps if you stay positive and recognise that your pain should get better.
How osteopathic treatment can help relive back pain
Osteopaths use manual therapy which is a form of treatment using their hands to move, massage and apply careful force to the muscles, bones and joints in and around your spine.
Manual therapy is often used alongside other measures such as exercise, ask your osteopath what you can do at home to help your recovery process.
If you’re not sure when you should consider seeing a professional, the following points should help guide you:
the pain does not start to improve within a few weeks
the pain stops you doing your day-to-day activities
the pain is very severe or gets worse over time
you're worried about the pain or struggling to cope