We have all had one of those moments where we have either woken with back pain or we have done a movement/activity that has resulted in back pain.

Unfortunately for society, back pain is common. Here at Osteohealth, back pain is the most common problem that we see and resolve.

In 2011 one in seven Australians reported having an episode of back pain, which equates to 3 million people (wow!). So for those out there that have back pain, you are not alone!

Causes of Back Pain
Treating physicians can divide back pain into 4 common presentations:
  • Mechanical- Daily movements and postures that predispose us to pain.
  • Arthritic- Joint surface degeneration that increases the chance of joint injury and pain.
  • Facet joint injury- Mostly acute and quick onset. From a movement or activity and has a short recovery time.
  • Disc injury- Acute with a quick onset. Depending on the severity of the injury from mild-severe, the length of recovery can vary.

Most common causes of pain are not completely understood and poorly researched. The good news is that most back pain is caused by muscle strains to the lower back, which usually resolve quickly. It is important to understand that if you have never had back pain before and you get your first episode of back pain, don’t panic! It will usually resolve within a couple of days and in some cases, weeks- it is not a life sentence!

What we do know about the causes of back pain from our thousands of patient’s, is that it’s more common to experience back pain if you are less active and have repetitive work postures and movements.

Common symptoms of back pain
Back pain will vary between each individual and will also vary in severity.
What you can experience:
  • Pain along the spine from the ribs to the buttock area
  • Pain radiating into the hips and legs
  • Restriction to movement/feeling stiff or tight with movement
  • Pain with movement or prolonged postures (sitting or standing)

Important steps to recovery

– All of the recent research and studies have shown that remaining active with back pain is the most important first step!

KEEP MOVING! 

Most of us are scared to move after we have been injured. It is important to know that pain is normal after an injury and that in most cases, experiencing pain with movement is not making the injury worse. It is the body’s way of telling us that something is injured and the tissues that have been injured are recovering. What we know is that pain stops before the tissue has finished fully healing.

-Book an appointment at Osteohealth with one of our exceptional therapists to get advice on what rehab and recovery will look like. It is important to educate in the first week of pain and get people comfortable and confident about recovery.

-Use of pain relief in the first couple of days has been shown to improve long term outcomes for severe pain. You can use over the counter pain medication to help get you moving and get on with life. However, please check with your GP or pharmacist as to what medication would be appropriate for use, especially if you are taking any other medication.

-Using heat or ice (whatever feels better) is also a good, easy way to help relieve pain. We have found that using heat also helps to get you moving more comfortably.

-Unless back pain has been persistent over a long period of time, it rarely needs to have surgery, scans or more invasive procedures like joint injections or other various medical treatments.

 

Summary

  • Back pain is common
  • It is not a life sentence and commonly resolves within a few weeks
  • Movement is the key to recovery
  • Early education from a professional will set you up for a speedy recovery
  • More invasive procedures like surgery, injections and scans are rarely needed

 

-Bailey Lang