Back pain is one of the most common conditions in the UK – around 80 per cent of the population will suffer with back pain at some time in their lives.
The temptation is to lie down and take some painkillers, however a new study has revealed that medication such as Ibuprofen may not be as effective as people believe. The best way to beat back pain is actually to keep exercising and stretching.
At Allied Health Professionals Suffolk we always use exercise as the preferred method of treatment.
Matt Peck, clinical lead at our Riverside Clinic in Ipswich said:
“Sitting or lying in one position for too long can actually exacerbate the problem and in the long-term make the pain worse because it makes your muscles weak.
“By carrying out a course of simple stretches or gentle exercises you can regain fitness and ease the pain.
“It’s also important to keep exercising and stretching once your back pain has eased. Keeping your core strong and your body active can help avoid back pain in the future.”
Here are our seven golden rules of back pain to help you get back on your feet and become pain free as quickly as possible:
- Keep moving, even if it’s slowly at first
- Keep living and working normally
- Avoid bed rest during the day – lying down all day can make your problems worse
- Don’t be afraid to do light exercise – walking or swimming can help loosen your muscles.
- Stand up – don’t sit down for too long as this will keep your muscles locked in one position
- Using over-the-counter pain-killers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can contribute to reducing your pain, but may not relieve it altogether
- If you have to do activities such as heavy-lifting, re-introduce them gradually. If you’re lifting heavy objects, make sure that you bend your knees. If the load is too heavy always ask for help.
Ways of avoiding back pain:
- Keep moving, even if you’re sitting down all day. Make sure you get up regularly and walk about for a couple of minutes or do some stretches at your desk. Download our specially designed “Deskercise leaflet” to help you keep moving in the office.
- Keep a healthy weight. Carrying too much weight can put added stress on your back.
- Always bend your knees if you are lifting a heavy weight or have to pick something up from the floor.