Low back pain is a substantial health issue as it affects up to 84 percent of working people at some point in their life. Back pain is now a leading cause of lost work time – ranking second to the common cold. However, back pain should not be using up your sick days. Here are some tips and facts to keep in mind in case you find yourself suffering from low back pain:
Staying Active or Getting Rest?
Patients are usually told to rest until they are fully healed after an injury occurs. However, avoiding exercise is quite a dangerous thing to do when experiencing back pain – even if it is minor. Being active and keeping healthy when recovering from an injury is extremely important. Still, it is also just as important not to over exert yourself. Reducing your normal physical activities is the best idea to continue to be as active as possible – even with a back injury. Studies have shown that individuals who keep active therapy going recover faster from their low back pain issues compared to those who do not.
Your spine is made up of 26 vertebrae (bones) that are protected by discs. These discs absorb the sudden shocks from
daily activities such as walking, lifting, and twisting. When you suffer an injury or become weakened, it can cause the inner section of the disc to stick out through the exterior ring. Was that a whole lot of Doctor talk for you? Let’s break it down. When you over work yourself doing a specific job and/or action, it can cause your spinal discs to shift and cause tremendous pain and discomfort in your lower back – this is known as a slipped or herniated disc.
Majority of the time, a slipped disc will go back to its normal position on it’s own – but it could take up to six weeks for full recovery. Many people have heard or been told that rest is the best option when you have a slipped disc, but that’s not the case. Keeping relatively active is ideal in order to keep muscles and ligaments warm – therefore reducing the risk of more tension being created in your back.
Hot or Cold?
Majority of people think that taking a hot bath reduces low back pain. However – the reality is just the opposite.
Heat may sound soothing and relaxing, but using heat against inflamed muscles can worsen the pain. This happens by increasing the inflammatory response in your injury. It is typically more effective to apply ice to the injury in 15-20 minute intervals. This is best to do during the first 48-72 hours prior to the injury. Applying cooling gel or any other sort of cooling pain product is helpful during the healing process.
*Medistik and Biofreeze can both be purchased at Kinnect Studio*
When someone experiences back pain, they typically book a massage as soon as possible. When you’re in pain, a massage may help some cases. However, in others, it may actually do more harm than good. This is all dependant on the cause of the back pain. For example, your lower back might feel stiff because of a muscle spasm happening in an unstable area. Getting a massage to this kind of area without properly evaluating the cause of the pain and stiffness can restrict the body’s natural way of protecting itself and cause more frailty, thus causing more pain.
The Connection to Aging?
Regardless of how many birthdays someone celebrates – low back pain should not be normal when it comes to aging. As one gets older, it is true that we can become more susceptible to specific types of back pain conditions. Even though you become more vulnerable to back pain conditions, with all of the treatment plans and options available today, back pain does not have to be a part aging.
If you are experiencing back pain it is always encouraged to contact a health care professional. They can assess your specific needs and choose a course of action/treatment that right’s for your condition.
If you have sustained an injury or would like to prevent pain from occurring – don’t hesitate to contact us!