Why Do I Have Low Back Pain?
Struggling to understand why you have a stiff and painful back?
Can’t recall any injury or doing anything different that would cause your pain?
The truth is you are not alone. We see clients who feel this way every day in our clinic. Sometimes not knowing what caused pain leaves people feeling worried. People often think they have something serious wrong or have damaged their back and won’t get back to their previous level of function. The good news is for the vast majority of people (>90%), low back pain is not serious or linked to any damage and the pain usually subsides within a few weeks.Dealing
That still begs the question, what causes back pain? Like most injuries, there are multiple factors involved. There is often no single factor but more a combination of a few factors. Sedentary lifestyles, lack of exercise, reduced strength and mobility in the back are some of the factors most people are already familiar with.
However, over the last few years, a lot of scientific research has improved our understanding of other factors that influence pain. We now know that factors such as poor sleep quality, stress, depression and anxiety all play a major role as well as the physical factors listed above.
With this modern understanding of back pain, it becomes clear why there isn’t always a specific injury leading to back pain. You may have a combination of these non-physical factors with some physical factors and this can be enough to cause your pain.
So what can you do to address the pain? You might find that the medicines that we can “painkillers” are not particularly good at easing back pain and research has shown that they sometimes come with undesired side effects.
What has been shown to be effective is addressing some of the factors listed above. Do you lead a sedentary lifestyle? International guidelines recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise a week which equates to 30 minutes of exercise on five days per week.
This can entail anything from walking, running, pilates, swimming etc. Strength and mobility are often important factors that we address in the clinic, and people are often unaware of limitations in their movements or muscle imbalances.
We can perform a thorough assessment and implement a rehab programme that can address your specific needs.
It is often easier to address the physical factors contributing to pain, but it’s no less important to address the non-physical factors. Stress is a huge player in a lot of pain.
Stress from work or home life can feed in and amplify your pain, and can lead to a vicious cycle where more pain leads to more stress and so on. It’s important to try and break this cycle, and relaxation techniques such as mindfulness or breathing exercises can sometimes be useful.
Often when people are worried that they have damaged their back, they can develop a fear of movement as they think this may cause further damage. However, as in most back pain there is no serious damage (despite having a lot of pain) and one of the first pieces of advice we would give to people is to move as normal as is possible.
We know that our backs are strong structures and are built to move, so continuing to move as much as pain allows will help maintain the mobility in our spine and strength in our muscles.
If you think that physiotherapy may help you deal with your back pain, why not contact our team to arrange a free physio taster session where you can talk to a physio about your concerns.
From there we can help address some of the factors above and help you get back living pain-free and doing the things that you love.
Feel free to give us a call on 02535015 or check out Suzie’s story of how we helped her in the Video at the top of the page!