Its time to Stand Up to Back Pain

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Its time to Stand Up to Back Pain

On recent review of our clients across our Compass Physio sites in Enfield, Castlecomer and Tullyallen just over 40% of the people who come to see us present with back pain.

Over 80% of us will have back pain at some point in our lifetimes.

Here we advise on 6 of the many misconceptions that we constantly hear when chatting to clients.

1. Back Pain is very common and often the pain can be made worse by people worrying about what might happen. We know that 85% of people will feel an improvement in back pain after an acute episode in the first two weeks and circa 85% are fully recovered by 3 months post onset. The smaller percentage that remain are at risk of longer term back pain but that’s where the management of this is key.

2. Back pain is not due to there being something out of line in your spine or your pelvis being out of place. This is a common report from clients attending Compass Physio that they have been told the above. In very rare cases there may be a change in spinal alignment but this is very infrequent. Quite often people attend clinicians for adjustments or manipulations and this can lead to symptoms relief. The relief is often due to a reduction is muscle spasm rather than structures being out of place and realigned.

3. DO NOT Rest up in bed. This was the old style management we now have a clear understanding that this is not the best management. Keeping as mobile as is possible and carrying out even the most simple of household chores is a big benefit in preventing compensatory mechanisms and staving off bad habits. Research shows that staying in bed can in fact have a negative effect and increase pain and prolong the recovery time.

4. GET MOVING. Exercise is ok. Quite often we see fear avoidance from those who are suffering from back pain. Exercise is now known to be one of the best ways of managing back pain. Keeping the muscles conditioned and the general feeling of positivity associated with exercise is known to assist with positive outcomes.

5. More Pain doesn’t always mean more damage. As odd as it sounds there are quite a number of factors that influence back pain. Stress, perception of pain, fear, fitness levels. Quite often what can happen is the nervous system can become system to pain and lead us to experience more pain than someone who perhaps has never had the symptoms before. Again perception of pain is the key here. Pain levels can increase but that doesn’t necessarily correlate with more harm being done.

6. Long Term Back Pain can get better. People often just accept that they will have back pain in the long term if they have had a couple of flare ups and the pain persists. A good physiotherapist will look at all of the potential influencing factors to your pain. Being given a couple of stretches of having a massage is not always the answer and looking at lifestyle, fitness levels, stress etc etc can help the management. Her at Compass Physio we now offer a Back Pain management course to get you back fit and active.

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Paddy Mulligan MISCP
Chartered Physiotherapist
Compass Physio