Feeling a bit of lower back pain? Read up on our top 10 tips on how to ease the problem

back pain relief at boost physiotherapy


Low back pain is one of the most common and costly health conditions in Australia but unfortunately there are many myths about how it should be managed. Around 25 per cent of Australians suffer from back pain on any day. So what is the cause of the problem? The muscles, ligaments, discs or bones in your back could all be the source of back pain. Many people self-manage an episode of back pain by staying active and using simple pain medicines or hot pack to relieve their pain. Brush up on top 10 hot tips to ease lower back pain:
  1. Chill it: An ice pack is the best in the first 24 hours to 48 hours after an injury because it reduces inflammation. Although placing a hot pack on the problem area is comforting as it helps cover up the pain and it does help relax the muscles, the heat in fact inflames the inflammatory processes. After the 48 hour period you can switch to heat if you prefer. Whether you use heat or ice, take it off after about 20 minutes to give your skin a rest. If pain persists, it is best you contact your physio.
  2. Keep moving: Most people believe resting in bed will ease the problem, however, the result will likely to be the complete opposite. Resting in bed will more likely to delay recovery so movement is key to a more speedier recovery.  Keep doing your daily activities. Make the beds, go to work, walk the dog. Once your back is feeling better, regular aerobic exercises such as swimming, bicycling, and walking can keep you, and your back, more mobile. However, remember NOT TO OVER DO IT. High speed running is definitely a no go zone at this stage.
  3. Stay strong: Once your low back pain has receded, you can help avert future episodes of back pain by working the muscles that support your lower back, including the back extensor muscles. As they help you maintain proper posture and alignment of your spine. Having strong hip, pelvic, and abdominal muscles also gives you more back support. Remember to AVOID ABDOMINAL CRUNCHES, because they can actually put more strain on your back.
  4. Stretch: Stretching is particularly important to those who work office jobs and are sitting in a desk chair all day. It’s important to remind yourself to get up every 20 minutes or so and stretch the other way. If you think about it most of us spend a lot of time bending forward in our jobs, it’s important to stand up and stretch backward throughout the day. Also don’t forget to also stretch out your legs. Some people find relief from their back pain by implementing a regular stretching routine, such as yoga.
  5. Think ergonomically: Design your workspace so you don’t have to be constantly hunched forward to see your computer monitor or reach way out for your mouse. Use a desk chair that supports your lower back and allows you to keep your feet planted firmly on the floor. There are companies out there such as Officeworks that stock ergonomic office chairs.
  6. Watch your posture: Slumping makes it harder for your back to support your weight. Be especially careful of your posture when lifting heavy objects. NEVER bend over from the waist. Instead, bend and straighten from the heels
  7. Wear low heels: This tip applies mainly for women. Try to limit the amount of times you wear high heels. Exchange your four-inch heels for flats or low heels (that are less than 1 inch). High heels may create a more unstable posture, and increase pressure on your lower spine.
  8. Try to kick the habit: Regular smoking can increase your risk for osteoporosis of the spine and other bone problems. Osteoporosis can in turn lead to compression fractures of the spine. Recent research found that smokers are more likely to have low back pain compared with nonsmokers.
  9. Watch your weight: Use diet and exercise to keep your weight within a healthy range for your height. Remember, being overweight puts excess stress on your spine.
  10. Try an over-the-counter pain reliever: Anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and acetaminophen, are a few examples of good over-the-counter medication for pain management. However, be sure to double check with your doctor or pharmacist about any interactions over-the-counter pain relievers may have with other medications you are taking. For instances, people with a history of certain medical conditions (such as ulcers, kidney disease, and liver disease) should avoid some medicines.
If your back pain is not settling with the above listed simple self-care options it can be more helpful to make an appointment with a physio. If your back pain is accompanied by fever/feeling unwell or bladder/bowel disturbance, you should see a doctor immediately.
To make an appointment and to experience fast recovery with the best science based natural treatments, come to Boost Physiotherapy at Port Adelaide or Prospect. We offer same day appointments when you call us before 11AM. Phone: 8447 8408 or 0434 708 488.
(Sources: Australian Physiotherapy Association, WebMD, All max nutrition)