People tolerate back pain far too often, given all we can do to help minimise or alleviate it. Every day, one in four Australians experience some level of back pain. It can decrease what you do in day-to-day life by reducing mobility and range of movement.
Back pain may impact your mood, your concentration, and your sleep. Your ability to engage in life is affected. Do you really feel patient and caring with the kids when you’re in pain? Is your best work done when you can’t sit up straight at your desk? Creativity and innovation hardly flow when you can’t cross the room without bracing.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting there will never be any pain. There are some types of discomfort that are considered normal. I don’t know many people who happily jump off a long haul flight stuck in cattle class completely unscathed, for example.
Back pain may be short term and transient, last for extended periods of time, or recur regularly. Persistent pain can become permanent if not managed. Irrespective of what type of pain or how long you’ve had it, a Physiotherapist can provide relief, lessen pain and educate you on how to manage the condition yourself.
A critical part of my job as a Physiotherapist is helping to identify the why – why does your back hurt? Back pain can develop from a range of factors. People often recognise the moments when strains and sprains led to experiencing back pain. Weak muscles and poor posture are also among the commonly identified contributors. However, even if you hit the gym and train regularly, imbalanced muscle development can bring you undone.
If pain recurs or is persistent, it is important to determine whether the source is musculoskeletal or not and your Physiotherapist will help you do this. Part of caring for your back and developing a relationship with your body includes ruling out underlying pathology, such as a structural impairment, disc herniation, a systemic illness, a bone injury, nerve injury or even potentially an adverse reaction to medication. If it is something unexpected, better to know as soon as possible.
While over the counter medications might give temporary relief, they don’t give targeted relief. In some cases, they can even mask underlying mechanical problems and increase the likelihood that you’ll hurt yourself again.
Physiotherapy involves the development of a personalised strategy to help alleviate or lessen back pain. Personalised strategies include a combination of in clinic manual therapies, targeted taping techniques as well as advice for at home supports and cross-referrals.
Experiencing back pain? Want to learn more? Book on-line or call us today on 9972 3304
Coming soon – Protecting Your Back – Part 2