When you have a recurrent problem with your lower back, it can be tempting to rest things, pop a few Ibuprofen and lie down until things better. Here our chiropractor team take a look at why being more mobile is actually better for you in the long term.
In short, you shouldn’t be worried that you might be doing extra damage to your back. In most cases, this is not the case. Just because you have a back problem, it shouldn’t stop you getting on with your normal life.
Coping With the Initial Back Pain
Of course, we need to clarify something here first. If you have had an attack of acute pain from a lower back problem and you’re doubled over in agony or have to crawl to the sofa, there’s not a lot that you can physically do until these symptoms subside.
Neither are we talking about acute back pain that is caused by something like an injury where there’s a fracture or other physical trauma. We’re talking about chronic, persistent pain that plagues you over a long period. It comes and goes, sometimes very painful, other times manageable. This type of back problem is usually described as mechanical or non-specific and it affects a relatively high number of people in modern society.
Understanding Your Back Pain
Coping with chronic back pain can be challenging so it helps to understand what is causing your particular issue. That way you’ll know how to manage the condition and make sure it is treat appropriately. That’s why it is really important to get a proper diagnosis, either by visiting your GP or a chiropractor or osteopath.
There are a number of causes for lower back problems. The vast majority are mechanical. For example, your pain might be down to simple wear and tear. The space between your vertebrae, the disc, might be thinner which means it is less functional. This could have been caused by a previous injury or it may be something that has happened gradually as you have gotten older.
Being more informed about your condition also gives you a better perspective on your pain. Patients can often become over-worried once they get a diagnosis.
There’s something wrong with the disc? I’m never going to get better. I need to stop doing certain things. Actually, just because you have a back problem doesn’t mean you can’t improve things.
And it certainly doesn’t mean you can’t go about your daily life as before.
It’s vital to talk things through with a professional like a chiropractor and discuss how you manage your chronic back pain and what you can do going forward. There’s actually plenty you can do.
Moving about and employing some targeted exercises to improve your back condition are both important when it comes to this type of chronic condition. Rather than being afraid of your pain, it’s essential to listen to both your body and realise that you are not as fragile and incapacitated as you may have thought.
You will be able to lift things, bend down, dance and touch your toes and do all the things you want.
How to Exercise When You Have Chronic Back Pain
For most people, their pain will come and go at various intensities which is why it’s important to listen to your body. If the pain is heightened and you are having a rather severe back spasm, it pays to let the worst subside before you do anything.
When you have that under control, simple exercises can make a big difference. The good news is that you can do these anywhere, you don’t need specialist equipment, and they take just a few minutes. Try this Pilates-inspired regime for those with lower back pain from the NHS.
It’s a good idea to get into a routine of doing these little exercise when you get up in the morning and before you go to bed. They are designed to make you more flexible and ease pressure on your back.
Going About Your Daily Life
Being aware is key to making sure that you can go about your normal activities and not make your chronic back pain issue worse. For example, you might simply want to avoid sitting on cold surfaces that are likely to cause muscle spasms or you will think twice about living something that seems a bit too heavy.
Another key is to pay attention to your posture. With our more sedentary lifestyle in modern times, it’s easy to get into bad posture habits. Rounded shoulders and slouching over your desk at work, can all put pressure on your back and cause conditions such as chronic pain.
Working with a Qualified Chiropractor
Regular visits to a chiropractor or osteopath should help you further maintain back health and stay in good condition. Not only will a good chiropractor be able to diagnose your back problem and provide immediate relief through manipulation, they will also give you plenty of advice on what lifestyle changes will help your chronic back complaint.
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