It is estimated that 85% of adults will experience significant low back pain (LBP) for two weeks or longer at some stage in their lives. Whether from sitting too long at the desk, straining in the garden, a sporting injury or just being ‘stressed out’, low back pain is a very common ailment. Most of these experiences are self-limiting and improve well over a few weeks. However, some episodes of low back pain remain chronic and debilitating. How you manage your spinal health will greatly influence the level of discomfort you experience and the chances of your pain returning.
Except for sudden trauma (such a car accident), most cases of low back pain are usually preceded by a phase of increasing muscle imbalance and instability before the back becomes painful. This underlying weakness increases your risk of an acute low back injury.
An acute back injury can come on after sneezing, bending over to tie a shoelace or reaching into the boot of a car. It is often incorrectly thought that the simple action at the time of the onset of pain caused the problem; in reality, it was just the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back”.
Should you ever have the misfortune of suffering an acute low back injury, correct management is vital in reducing pain and paving the way for a quick and complete recovery.
At the first sign of acute pain:
- Lie down in a comfortable position and rest for 5-20 minutes. A good position to relieve LBP is lying on your back with hips and knees bent at 90 degrees – wither with pillows under your knees, or legs resting on a chair while you lie with your back on the floor.
- Use ice packs on the low back to reduce inflammation – ice should be wrapped and placed on the back for 10-15 minutes at a time.
- If you are feeling up to it, gently walk about. If you can tolerate a little movement, this will usually be helpful.
- Avoid sitting, especially on the couch, as this typically aggravates the condition.
- Make an appointment with your chiropractor. A diagnosis is important so that appropriate care can begin.
As things begin to improve:
Following an initial phase of acute care, your chiropractor may recommend a specific rehabilitation program to suit your needs. This will be essential to address the underlying weakness. Maintenance or wellness care follow up with your chiropractor can help keeps things in balance and optimise your health over the longer term.
Fortunately, most episodes of acute LBP respond well to chiropractic care, resulting in improved health and wellbeing. Many patients recover within days to weeks, although some take many months of rehabilitation to improve. Only occasionally will a case require specialised medical care. Your chiropractor is well qualified to refer appropriately when necessary.
If you’re experiencing low back pain or feeling the onset and twinges of LBP, book online with your chiropractor @ https://www.centenarychiro.com.au/ or call us today on 07 3381 0440