Low Back Pain – What should I do?

Low Back Pain – What should I do?

What to do straight away if you have really painful lower back pain

If you’ve just hurt your back, and you’d describe it as “really bad”, there are three things you should do straight away:

  1. Rest – this means avoid the activity or movement that caused your back pain. Also, because your back is in a worse state, it needs time to heal. Take frequent periods of rest lying face down on the floor with your head turned to one side. This will allow the lower back to rest in a safe position where the muscles can relax on their own accord.
  2. Walk – Your body craves movement and whilst some movements will aggravate your condition, most people report that walking relieves their low back pain somewhat. This moderate amount of movement will ensure enough nutrients is delivered to your intervertebral discs [IVDs]. The IVDs serve an extremely important biomechanical function to your spine. As they do not have a blood supply, nutrients must be delivered by osmosis through the activity of the surrounding muscles.
  3. Do not bend – bending is an extremely important movement that all spines should be capable of performing pain free. However, low back pain is commonly an injury to the posterior part of the spine. Thus, forward bending movements tend to aggravate low back pain complaints. If you’ve ever cut your finger across the joint line, you’ll know that bending it causes the wound to split open even further. Naturally, you’ll keep your finger relatively extended until the wound heals. At this point, you can start bending your finger again to strengthen the new tissue in the direction that it needs to maintain tensile strength. The same applies to the treatment of low back pain, forward bending is an important part of rehabilitation, but there’s a time factor to respect before doing this.

Expect a three to four day period of pain and discomfort in the area before any noticeable improvement. Don’t aggravate the situation by being overly active – perform light duties only. Remember, walking is better than standing, which is better than sitting.

Mornings will be particularly bad. This is because of the resultant inflammatory process that occurs when you injure a part of your body. Inflammation serves to heal the injury but it has a tendency to run out of control at night-time. Inflammation loves heat and lack of movement, two things which happen when you’re wrapped up cosy in bed at night. If your low back pain is “really bad”, see someone about it immediately. The above information will help the majority of people but there’s no telling of the extent of your injury without a professional opinion. Through examination and possible medical imaging (xray, CT scan or MRI), your therapist may uncover an underlying problem predisposing you to successive injuries. He or she should also provide you with therapeutic home exercises so that you can “self-treat” your condition. The McKenzie method for treatment of back pain may also be of great help for your back pain.

Do not adopt the attitude, “I will just leave it alone and everything will be alright”. If you neglect to service your car regularly it won’t function at its best, the same applies to your spine.For any injury, pain or discomfort, be it in your lower back or elsewhere, always get some professional advice. Speak to your therapist now – the sooner the better!

*DISCLAIMER: This discussion does not provide medical advice. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained in this discussion are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this discussion is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog.

Low back pain may not be a problem in your low back…

Low back pain may not be a problem in your low back…

Other factors to consider in the treatment of low back pain and stiffness – the superficial back line, hamstrings and calves.

The superficial back line [SBL] is a long strip of muscle, fascia and ligament starting from the soles of your feet, extending all the way up the posterior part of your body and around onto your forehead.

In development, the SBL shortens to move us from a “flexed” foetal posture, to the counterbalancing curves of upright posture. Thus, the overall postural function of the SBL is to support the body in full upright extension. The movement function of the SBL is to create extension and hyperextension, except at the level of the knees. Here, the SBL acts to bend the knees.

Tightness in the SBL will limit forward bending. Ever noticed stiffness when bending forward? This is because your SBL is tight! This tightness may exist anywhere along the length of the SBL, not necessarily the lower back. A forward bend with the knees straight will challenge all the structures of the SBL. Therapy in any one area of the SBL will affect motion and length anywhere along the line.

Commonly, people experience tightness in their hamstrings and calves. Malfunction here will exaggerate or maintain excessive backward movement. These are areas that must not be neglected in the treatment of back pain. They are apart of the SBL and have a direct influence on the state of the low back in particular. Releasing the hamstrings and the calves together will at least create more freedom of motion during a forward bend, and is likely to aid in the relief of symptoms of low back pain.

Although we speak of the SBL, there are in fact two SBLs in the body, one right and one left. So, when bending forward whilst keeping the knees locked straight, you may find one arm dangles slightly lower than the other. The “shorter” arm would indicate the tighter side. This might explain why one might feel lower back pain to one side more than the other because it is just one SBL that has been injured.

Of course, there are many other causes of lower back pain, but your health practitioner should be assessing the SBLs on every visit as quick scan to rule out any problem to do with this anatomy train. Again we see here, that the site of the pain, is not often the site of the problem.Below are some useful ways of releasing your SBLs. Have fun!

*DISCLAIMER: This discussion does not provide medical advice. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained in this discussion are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this discussion is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog.