If you want more tips to ease back pain, look here: https://www.actifypt.com/back-pain-1
Everywhere I go, it seems that as soon as someone finds out I’m a physical therapist, they immediately want to know what’s the best thing they can do for their bad back?
And, to be honest, I never get tired of helping people and ending back pain, it’s often a simple case of “do this, but don’t do that.” And generally, my first response is not to tell the person what to do, but rather what NOT to do. Simply eliminating the things that make problems worse usually makes a significant difference before I even have to go and do anything by hand at my clinic.
So with that in mind, here are four things to avoid if you want a speedy end to back pain.
1. Do not rely upon painkillers – doing so means you’ll NEVER get to the root cause of back pain in the first place. Most people agree that painkillers aren’t the best option – yet doctors still give them out.
And in the right situation, I think that’s completely fine! But along with a prescription that offers some temporary relief, the person writing that prescription should be telling the person cashing that prescription that painkillers will not fix the problem. They cannot get to the bottom of or solve the root cause. For that to happen, something like a specialist physical therapist must be sought.
2. Doing wrong/generic exercises at the wrong time – I see this all the time and most people I meet with back pain have admitted to me that they’ve tried generic exercises before they arrive for treatment. And most times, they’ve made their own problems worse because they’ve been doing the wrong exercises for the wrong reasons. In my experience, generic exercises do very little to easy back pain. They do however, make it less likely to come back. But that’s something that most people don’t get. It’s best NOT to do generic exercises when you’re in pain as you’re only going to make things worse, yet nearly everyone who has got back pain think it’s the best thing to do.
My tip for exercises that make back pain less likely – Pilates, mixed with a touch of Yoga to make your back more flexible and yet more stable.
3. Wear a neoprene back support – wearing one of these everyday will weaken the muscles around your lower back meaning that within three months, maybe less, your lower back is going to be in a worse state than it was before you started wearing one.
It’s very similar to resting for too long. Sure, it feels nice when you start to wear it, and that’s the problem. It’s so easy to be lured into a false sense of security because of a drop in pain. But what happens is this: every time you don’t wear it, back pain becomes worse. And so you think you must wear the support again, for a few more days at least or until the pain is gone. So, you try to avoid wearing it again for a day or so, but the pain is worse still. And so, the self-perpetuating cycle continues until you’re a member of the lifelong back pain club. And trust me, there’s better clubs to join than that one.
4. Sitting for long periods – 9 out of 10 back problems are made WORSE by sitting. What most people don’t know is that back pain is made worse by sitting. And another thing that most people don’t know is we’re not really designed to sit at all.
And that’s a problem – because if you think about how much we now sit, be it in the car, to watch TV, at a deal at work, in the movie theater or on the train etc. etc. then it’s not difficult to work out what so many people are struggling with back pain.
Here’s a simple tip that I use myself: Next time your phone rings or you know you’re going to be on the phone for a while – take a walk while you’re doing it. It’s great for mental stimulation, takes some pressure off your lower back and is great for your heart and lungs.
And what ever you are chatting about on the phone will seem so much more positive and the person you’re talking too will wonder why you’ve got so much energy and enthusiasm in your voice. I do this all the time and find it works great for important business calls I need to make.
So there you have it – 4 things to avoid if you want to ease back pain. There’s more tips here: https://www.actifypt.com/back-pain-1
Here’s my last tip: From what you’ve just read I’m sure that you’ll agree – the most valuable part of you going to see a physical therapists isn’t necessarily JUST to get the hands on treatment (although that’s VERY important).
No, it’s the clarity and the hope for a future that CAN be free from things like back, knee and neck pain, which you’ll find, should not be underestimated. You going to see a physical therapist will mean an end to confusion, solid answers to concerning questions, an accurate diagnosis AND an expected time frame for a full recovery.