Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is extremely common and over 7 million work days were lost in the UK between 2010-2011 as a result of back pain and musculoskeletal problems. There are many causes of lower back pain but some of the most common and recorded include;
- Poor posture
- Excessive sitting or standing
- Strained muscles, ligaments or tendons
- Wear and tear
- Incorrect work station (desk) positioning.
A common misconception is to rest up in bed.... this is a mistake unless advised by your GP.
The most effective way to handle back pain is to maintain daily activity and movement. This will help in loosening any musculoskeletal tension. Resting for long periods of time may decrease mobility, weaken back muscles and ultimately leave you in pain for longer.
Additional ways in which you may help to loosen and relieve your back pain include...
- Applying an ice pack for 10 minutes 3 times daily if required. This reduces bleeding from torn blood vessels and helps reduce inflammation within soft tissue. Heat may aid in relaxing the muscles surrounding the injury site and offer relief, also a 10 minute application.
- Release your surrounding muscles such as the gluteals (buttocks) hamstrings (posterior thigh) and quadriceps (anterior thigh) to decrease pressure into the lower back. Also mobilising the upper back and shoulders may offer you relief.
- Using a foam roller ( a firm cylindrical object used for muscular relaxation and flexibility) to release the muscles of the lower extremities and into the glutes and lower back may be enough to relax your tensions. It is important to seek advice from an exercise professional before undertaking these methods.
- U must seek professional advice regarding your injuries as future risk or recurrence is far higher. During the healing process excess scar tissue can be present and this may also affect your return to activity. It doesn't take long to seek an experts opinion and it may be the difference to you returning to sport, or a return trip to the hospital.
If your back pain is associated with your working life, a desk job, excessive sitting , driving etc then you should address your seating, screen, mouse and desk positioning.
Sheli J McCoy (MRes, BSc Hons SES)
Sports science rehabilitation specialist
Owner & Head Therapist of "Complete Phyzique" ltd.