By Dr. Alison Leitch
Some Useful Facts About Low Back Pain
Back Pain Is Common
- 4 out of 5 people with have an episode of back pain at some point in their lives
- Back pain in Australia costs the country more than $1 billion a year
- Up to 25% of people experience some type of back pain during any given day
Appropriate Treatment and Early Intervention Seeking early treatment and receiving proper advice about back pain is very important to preventing long-term problems.
If pain has been present for more than a couple of days it is a good idea to have back assessed by a Chiropractor or other qualified health care provider. There are a lot of effective treatments for back pain, including spinal manipulation and gentle mobilization.
In most circumstances, x-rays are not required during the early stages of back pain.
With the right treatment, most people will recover from back pain within the first few weeks.
Serious conditions are rarely the cause of a sore back.
If the back pain is persisting for more than a few weeks, it may cause you to change the activities that you do and avoid your normal tasks. Not coping with the pain and avoiding activities may result in anxiety and create more problems in the long term.
The role of your Chiropractor is to assist you in your recovery with hands on treatment and appropriate self management. Your Chiropractor can recommend exercises and stretches and give you guidance on how to get through your day without re-aggravation.
Resting Vs. Being Active
When you have an injury, you may have been told to rest and give your injury a chance to heal. However, being fearful of movement and avoiding exercise may be the worst things that you can do and can actually slow your recovery. So, remain active within your pain tolerance. Those that maintain more active therapy generally recover more quickly.
Your discs are the shock absorbers of your spine. There are 26 bones (vertebrae) in your spine and the discs are located between those bones. The discs work to cushion our spine and absorb some of the impact when we are walking, running, bending and lifting. However, injury to the disk may cause some of the inner portion of the disc to protrude through the outer ring (similar to the way jelly might protrude from the inside of a donut). Many people may have been told to rest when they have a slipped disc, but remaining some light activity can be beneficial to keep the ligaments warm and prevent the back from tensing up further.
When people have back pain they will often have a family member try to massage their back. However, a massage may help some causes of low back pain and make others worse. For example, the muscle may be spasming to protect and injured and unstable region. Massaging the area without properly assessing the cause of the tightness may prevent the body from protecting itself and increase the level of pain.
Dr. Alison has over 10 years of experience as a Chiropractor and has successfully completed National examinations in Australia, Canada and the USA. Her clinical experience has been very diverse, working with Olympic athletes, urban office workers, and families of all ages. For an appointment, BOOK NOW online or call us on 5449 7088.