What can I do to help?
Pain relief: Simple painkillers (like paracetamol) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDS, (like ibuprofen) are available over the counter and can be very effective but don’t use them for more than 2 weeks without seeking medical advice. You should carefully read the Patient Information Leaflet that is provided with this medication.
It is advisable to consult your GP or pharmacist before taking additional pain relief if you are currently:
· taking any form of medication
· have any other pre-existing medical conditions
Exercise: Regular exercise and fitness helps us to keep the back fit and healthy. There is good evidence that any form of physical activity can help people with back pain. The best idea is to find an activity that you enjoy and will be more likely to continue in the long-term.
Keep moving: The best thing that you can do if you have an episode of back pain is to stay active. It is important to remember that the amount of pain does not correlate to the extent of damage. There is good evidence that staying at work or returning to work as soon as possible, even if this is on light duties, and returning to all usual activities is important in aiding recovery.
Avoid long periods of inactivity: Avoiding bed rest/long periods of inactivity (but not overdoing it) can help to prevent your symptoms getting worse. Keeping the back moving with gentle exercises can help to manage the pain by preventing it from stiffening up. Changing position regularly can also help to manage the pain.
Physiotherapy: When you see the Physiotherapist they may discuss these points with you to find out what works best for you. They will also provide you with exercises depending on what is found during their assessment and which functional goals you are working towards.