The common mistake when dealing with back pain
How to get rid of back pain?
When your back is bothering you, that is all that is on your mind. But there is a world of difference between temporary relief and solving the problem long term. The traditional wisdom was to get plenty of rest and pop a few painkillers, and intuitively this feels right.
When you have back pain you can feel scared that any movement might cause further damage. Not only that, but the quick release of painkillers can come as a much-needed relief. But recent research is changing our thinking. It turns out that in most cases, more movement is what is needed (not less), and that painkillers are being relied on too heavily.
So what actually works?
Back Pain – Identifying what the problem is
From your perspective, back pain is all the same thing. An extremely inconvenient and unpleasant issue to deal with. But clearly, not all back pain has the same cause and the extent of the problem can vary enormously.
Broadly speaking though the cause can be put into one of two categories, an acute event triggered by a one-off accident or injury, or a chronic problem.
The starting point for the treatment of all back issues is the proper diagnosis of the problem.
If you have suffered an acute injury to your back then you must seek medical attention. However, the vast majority of back pain, however painful, develops over time and can be treated by qualified and experienced therapists. In fact, the scientific community is progressively realising that hands-on therapy, exercise and massage often provide a better alternative to drugs and rest.
As Professor Martin Underwood of the University of Warwick has pointed out, “we need to change the way we approach back pain”
How to get rid of back pain – a new paradigm
All sorts of issues can trigger chronic back pain. Not just poor posture or long hours sitting at your desk in the office, but also factors such as stress or poor diet can contribute to the problem.
Broadly speaking these issues relate to bad habits we have in our day to day lives. These habits tend to cause disruption to the spinal joints or discs. Muscular pain usually follows over time as the body tries to compensate for the skeletal problem.
What is really called for is a combination of lifestyle changes and targetted treatment. Improving your diet, exercising more and relieving stress can have a massive impact on relieving back pain.
Treating the source of back pain
Drug treatment or rest may be suitable for a small number of people in special circumstances. But for the most part, it is like visiting a loan shark when you are heavily in debt. The problem might go away temporarily, but you haven’t really solved anything.
To tackle the problem on a more lasting basis there are three types of treatment that are gaining increasing favour; physiotherapy, massage, and Pilates. Here is why.
A study at Harvard University found that Physiotherapy was as good as surgery and less risky for the most common form of lower back pain. A good physiotherapist will get into the deep tissue with a very hands-on approach. They will invariably give you targeted exercises to help aid your progress in the comfort of your own home.
It is a form of exercise that strengthens the spine and keeps it flexible. This helps to rehabilitate the back but is also instrumental in preventing future problems. It also develops your core muscles which give increased support to your back.
A large study at Indiana University showed that massage is very effective in treating chronic lower back pain. One of the positive by-products of a good massage is that it releases endorphins, which are a natural form of pain relief for the body.
As hard as it might be sometimes, it is usually more beneficial to keep moving when you have back pain. The back is incredibly robust, and unless you are seriously injured, you need to get flexibility and strength back into it.
Because there are often different underlying causes that contribute to the issue, it is advisable to find a clinic that can look at the problem from a holistic point of view. Try and redress the balance by looking into all aspects of your lifestyle.
We hope this information is useful for you. If you have any questions about our treatments, please contact us. You can find us in Mill Hill Broadway and Islington. If you like this blog, please share! We are always happy to help.