Most people at some point in their lives are going to experience back pain of some sort. There is back pain stemming from an accident or injury and then there is also general back pain as we get older. Both types can be a real pain in the back if not treated properly. This blog is going to give you some tips on what has helped numerous people throughout NextStep improve their back pain. Unfortunately because back pain can be tricky to diagnose and can go on for some time we find that a lot of people come to us after having tried all sorts of things with not a lot of long term success. Our plan is to get your pain under control, improve your function and then be able to maintain this for the long term.
One of our first steps in treating back pain is to talk about the fear of movement. Once you have hurt your back it is really easy to become protective of it so as to not get that same pain again. Once your initial injury has been cleared and isn't something major we then need to start to get you moving. Backs like to move and often some gentle exercise is enough to loosen up. What we find is that there is some simple exercises that we can do with your back supported that makes you feel comfortable while still also getting some good exercise in. Step 1 reduce fear of movement.
Build strength. Due to being protective of your back, it is most likely that you haven't maintained an adequate level of strength. We find that a full body strengthening program leads to a significant reduction in pain and an increase in functional activities. Again pretty simple stuff, no tricks and gimmicks just good old fashioned exercise. One thing that we have found with a number of our members with back pain is that there is a leg strength discrepancy, meaning one side is stronger than the other. Obviously this is going to make our walking, lifting and moving un equal and likely to exert forces in different angles that could trigger our back problems. What we haven't established yet is whether this contributes to the cause ie before the back pain occurs or is it a result of your back pain ie the pain causes you to work one leg harder than the other. A program with our exercise physiologist is able to address this and bring some balance back to your lower body. Step 2 build that strength all over.
The 3rd thing to do once you have completed the above two steps is to maintain that strength, fitness and motivation to improve. It is very important that you keep on top of all that. Having one injury can make us more prone to further injuries so it essential to create a healthy strong body. Step 3 maintain that healthy, strong, free moving body.
Hopefully this has given you something to think about. Key thing is if your back pain has been lasting for a while and your not making any progress to have a chat to someone and talk about getting stronger. NextStep is a great spot for this as not only do we have a rehabilitation gym with all the perfect equipment for managing back pain including a full recovery room to assist with the healing process but we also have a range of other health providers under the same roof that can all work together for your best result. Chris our Physiotherapist has a very keen interest on back pain and has worked some wonders on some seriously sore people, we have two amazing massage therapists that can get those tissues around your back moving and others who are standing by ready to help.