How to manage back pain?

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You change accommodation, everything is ready, packed, and stored in boxes. All you have to do is move out. However, despite all precautions, accidents are numerous, and back pain forms the majority of injuries related to moving.

The classic scenario

The pain hits you when handling a heavy object (especially on the famous spiral staircases!) Or following the repetition of light tasks in a position leaning forward. At the time, the lower back is so “crossed” that you can not stand up. All movements cause a painful discharge in the back and sometimes even in the legs. The back muscles are very tense and it is difficult to find a comfortable position.

The good news: If this is your first episode, you are more than 50% likely to have a quick and spontaneous recovery (a few days to a few weeks).

The bad news: The pains return in more than 50% of untreated people and the majority suffer after-effects from their back pain for more than a year.

It is therefore advisable to consult a physiotherapist to make a good diagnosis and build an exercise program that will help reduce the chances of having another episode of back pain. If you are uncertain about the need to see a doctor, the physiotherapist will be able to refer you to a doctor if necessary.

What to do if you have back pain

The following tips are intended to relieve back pain by helping you gradually return to your normal lower back. In doing so, your pain should normally migrate from the periphery (thighs and buttocks and sides of the back) to the center of the back. If the pain becomes very intense following these postures or if it spreads (towards the buttocks and thighs), stop the exercises and consult a physiotherapist.

1. On the belly
Lie on your stomach with several pillows under the pelvis. So relax your muscles for a few minutes. Let the pain subside before gradually removing the pillows. Relax on your stomach for a few more minutes. If this step relieves you, repeat it 6 to 8 times a day for 1-2 days. Optional: apply ice on your back for 15 to 20 minutes.

2. On the elbows
If your pain is reduced following step 1, rest on your elbows, so as to raise your chest and form a hollow in your lower back. Let your pelvis rest on the surface. Relax your muscles and keep the position for a few minutes, 6-8 times a day.

3. To sleep
You will sleep better on your back with a pillow in your lower back to maintain a slight hollow and a pillow under your knees. Note: It is now generally recognized that bed rest is not an effective treatment for back pain. See steps 1 and 2 to relieve and start step 5 as much as possible.

4. What to temporarily avoid
For a few weeks, avoid bending your back forward or twisting (vacuuming, gardening, picking up light objects by bending your back), avoid sitting for long periods and lifting loads. These tasks should be taken up gradually, taking care to always keep your back straight with a slight hollow in your lower back, both in the sitting position and for other activities. Your physiotherapist will guide you through this step.

5. Move without pain
It is important to stay as active as possible to optimize healing. Choose an activity that does not increase your pain like walking (even better if it relieves them!) Take several short walks during the day and increase the duration of the walks according to your pain.

We hope these tips have been helpful in reducing your suffering.

Good recovery!

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