Back pain can make you really miserable. Obviously, we’d advise that you make an appointment with one of our Wellbeing Centre practitioners, but there are steps that you can take to look after yourself at home and at work. Following these tips will make it easier to get your back pain under control and make your back stronger.
1. STAY ACTIVE
Don’t stay in bed – it’s the worst thing you can do to heal your back. The best way of coping with back pain and preventing the pain from getting worse is staying active. This may sound strange as staying active and moving around when you have back pain may be difficult. However staying active, or perhaps even increasing your levels of activity, prevents your body from de-conditioning. Small changes in your daily activities will get you the benefits……
“Stealth Exercise” Walk to the shops instead of taking the car, go for a swim in the local pool, take a nice long walk in the park, do some stretches when you wake up in the morning. All these simple measures can make a difference to your activity pattern and positively influence your back pain.
Try some classes that will help your back:
- Alexander Technique
- Yoga (the LWC offers weekly in-house yoga classes!)
- Core Training
2. PACE, PRIORITISE AND PLAN YOUR TASKS/WORK
Be clear about things that you have to do and try to plan them in advance. Be realistic what you can achieve and set yourself a goal but avoid overdoing it – your back may not tell you then but you will pay the price later! I see many of my Patients repeatedly because they cant adjust their routines and re-injury themselves.
But Back pain often comes and goes; you will have good and bad days. When you are having a good day (or a ‘least bad’ day) you may feel like doing a lot of things from cleaning the house to doing the weekly shopping, from spending some more time at work to tidying up the garden.
You may feel pressured to get all this work done before your pain increases. There is a chance you over-do it and this may result in having to take time out to recover from your increased back pain. To avoid this, you may better off trying to pace yourself. Try to spread your workload over a longer period of time. Chances are that by doing so you can lengthen the times that you can control your pain and have fewer flare-ups.
3. KEEP A PAIN DIARY
Back pain often comes and goes and you will have periods of fairly minimum pain and periods of flare-ups. If you maintain a pain dairy in which you keep a record of when you experience pain and what you have been doing, you may start to see a pattern. This will allow you to identify activities or circumstances that result in increased pain and you can then find other ways of doing these activities to avoid the pain increases.