Low back pain is arguably one of the most common causes of musculoskeletal pain that we as a society experience today. Increased body weight, repetitive movements, more time spent sitting and less time being active are all factors that can contribute to the development of ongoing or intermittent back pain.
When back pain strikes it can be a scary and tense time and sometimes it’s hard to know what to do. Here are our top tips for getting on top of a lower back ache:
1. Try to relax Pain is defined as an unpleasant experience, and when we feel pain it’s common for our bodies to become tense and stiff. This can increase muscle tension and joint stiffness in a back, so it’s important to try and avoid this.
2. Keep moving The joints, muscles and ligaments of the lower back (and the whole spine in general) love to move. It’s no wonder we often get sore from too much sitting still! In fact, research has shown that in cases of bed-rest prescribed for lower back pain, the time, important muscles in our spine begin to waste away in as little as a few days! These are the muscles we need to have strong, robust spines and it’s important to keep them strong with movement.
In the case of lower back pain, find a movement that feels comfortable for you – there is no ‘one size fits all’.
3. Apply heat A wheat bag or hot water bottle can be a great way to provide short-term relief for aches and pains of the lower back (or neck!). The warmth soothes tight muscles, increases blood flow and helps us to regain movements.
It’s important for us to say that this is general advice only. If you have experienced a new back injury, or are in pain that feels different to something you have experienced before, it’s important to check in with you physiotherapist or doctor for full assessment and individual advice.