Lower back pain, the majority of the time, is a temporary annoyance that will resolve fairly quickly, sometimes requiring a period of physiotherapy.
But for some people, lower back pain can be a long-term, debilitating issue. Sometimes this may follow a sudden, traumatic onset (eg a fall or a lifting injury), but sometimes its onset may be less obvious.
In severe cases, chronic lower back pain can cause sufferers to withdraw from activities they enjoy, can cause social isolation and stress on relationships, and can result in a reduced quality of life.
We know that pain, particularly chronic pain, is influenced by psychological and social factors. This means that suffering chronic pain can cause vicious cycles leading to worsening pain and greater effects on other aspects of life.
The good news is that addressing psychological and social factors can help break these vicious cycles and begin to create virtuous cycles. Below are some tips which can help sufferers to take control of their back pain:
Have an internal locus of control: While it can be necessary and helpful to get some guidance and input from a physiotherapist, it's important that you realise that you play a huge role in your own recovery and that there is plenty you can do to both assist in your recovery and in the temporary relief of pain. People that play an active role in their recovery and have confidence in their own ability to control their pain have less severe pain and speedier recoveries.
Exercise is good for pain: As well as specific rehab exercises addressing the causes of pain, general exercise is good for pain generally. Depending on what exactly aggravates your pain, it may be necessary to adjust your exercise regime. For example, if running aggravates your pain, cycling or swimming may be better options for cardio exercise because they cause less impact on your back.
It's important to note that strengthening exercises are actually good for back pain. It may be necessary to adjust your strengthening regime during your recovery, and this is something that a physiotherapist can assist you with.
De-stress: Stress can cause your pain to worsen because it basically dials up the volume knob for your nervous system. Of course, pain often adds to stress in a number of ways as well. It's important to address your stress. This may include performing in breathing exercises, meditation, yoga etc. It's also important to take time to do things you enjoy doing and to continue to participate socially.
Have a good understanding of your injury / pain: Educating you around the causes of your back pain is an important part of your physiotherapist's role. The better your understanding of the pain, the less fear you're likely to have about your injury and the more tools you'll have to help control your pain. If you're not sure about something the physio has said, be sure to ask questions so you get a good understanding.
If you need some assistance getting control of your lower back pain, come and see out physiotherapist in Aubin Grove today.