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Three tips for managing low back pain

Have you ever suffered from back pain? These 3 easy tips could help you get control of your back*. Read on to learn some tips from our physiotherapy team.

In Australia, 70–90% of people will suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives. It can stop you from working or doing the activities that enjoy. What makes these stats even worse is that half of people who get low back pain will relapse within a year, even after all the pain is gone. If left without intervention by a professional the pain is usually prolonged and can get worse, with it occurring again and again. The longer the pain is ignored, the longer treatment will take and the more expensive rehabilitation will be and in severe cases effects cannot be reversed. Physiotherapy treatment can result in benefits such as immediate and long-lasting pain relief, long term prevention and getting you back to your normal life. It is important to remember there is no “quick fix” for low back pain. It is a common misconception that we see in the clinic constantly. When it comes to an injury, Pain is often the last symptom to present and the first to resolve. Although physical techniques are good at giving pain relief for low back pain, this relief is only short term and really should be used to provide a window of opportunity to start a guided rehabilitation program of therapeutic exercise.

If you suffer from low back pain, these tips may be the key to managing your pain and having long term control over your back.

1. Pain management

During the initial period of low back pain, it is important to listen to your body and take things easier, but the worst thing to do is to stop moving all together! It is important to continue with pain free movement no matter how little that may be, this prevents your back from stiffening up and having negative effects in the long term. Other short term pain relievers may be beneficial such as heat cream, heat packs and even medications (after consulting your pharmacist). 2. Knowledge is power A quick Google search often results in a self-diagnosis of a deadly disease. This does more harm than good and can make your rehabilitation worse in the long run. Catastrophizing pain (believing that something is far worse than it is) increases your risk of having chronic pain due to changes in your brain and central nervous system. It is important to seek education from a professional to first make sure it is not a serious pathology but inform you about your condition and set you on the road to a full recovery. 3. Exercise! For long term results the best treatment with the most scientific evidence is exercise. A common error we see constantly in the clinic is people not following through with their rehab programs once the pain is gone, only having to come back into the clinic again a couple months later. Exercise has been shown to reduce the effects of low back pain and prevent recurrence. * In rare cases low back pain can be originating from a serious pathology and you should seek professional assistance for prolonged pain.

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