Low Back Pain Management
Updated: Jul 14, 2021
I personally can’t think of anyone I know, who at some stage of their adult life, hasn’t experienced low back pain (LBP), and as you read this, I can guarantee you can name at least three people you know (possibly including yourself) who has suffered from LBP.
On a global basis, Lower Back Pain (LBP) is an extremely common health problem, causes more disability than any other condition, affects around 80% of adults over their lifetime (2010 - Global Burden of Disease Study) and can seriously affect a person’s quality of life. Unless diagnosed with a pathological disorder, LBP is normally classified as Non-Specific Low Back Pain (NSLBP) and is not generally due to a serious disease or serious back problem – around 45% of the global population are affected in any one year. In other words, and frustratingly so, there is no particular problem or disease that can be identified as the cause of the pain which generally starts in the lumbar region of the spine and can affect the area lower back area between the L1 to L5 vertebrae.
The COVID-19 pandemic initially forced people to work from home - and generally in front of their computer - then as restrictions were eased, 'hybrid' working came into play, but home-based usually means computer-based. So lack of movement and sitting incorrectly has exacerbated this problem even further over the last 18 months.
In the majority of cases, low back pain generally gets better on its own (providing you are actively trying to resolve the problem!) and without medical based treatment or with prescription medication. However, in around 84% of cases, there is a re-occurrence within one year! (Hides et al). NSLBP can result from a wide range of issues – including a lack of or too much exercise, restrictions associated with ageing, possible damage to the ligaments, bones or joints, degeneration of an intervertebral disc, possible inflammation of the small nerves that carry signals to the low back, chronic overuse or under-use of the muscles that support and protect the spine and irritation of the large nerve roots in the lower back connected with the legs.
So you now know some of the causes – but why has it affected you? There could be any number of reasons, but it could be said the main cause is due to a lack of exercise and 'mobility', movement, stretching etc. It could be job related e.g. heavy manual labour or even sitting at your desk all day with a poor posture, then going home after work and sitting in front of the T.V – again with a poor posture. But NSLBP isn't something that is restricted to the adult population, it can start at a very early age with children who's back is hunched over carrying a rucksack full of school books, sports gear etc. - remember it is the lower back that supports the upper body so any additional weight (including being overweight) has an impact.
What can you do about it? Your Doctor should be the very first person you visit who can at least diagnose there isn’t anything significantly wrong with your lower back. Keeping active, and continuing with your normal activities (within reason!) will greatly aid in your recovery – you will feel some pain and tenderness whilst you are doing this but in the long run, the likelihood of developing frequent chronic back pain should be less.
Enlist the services of a Specialist Low Back Pain Management Rehabilitaion Coach who will be able to implement a rehabilitation and recovery programme with you, taking into consideration your specific problem. This programme will help you strengthen your muscles, take you through a correct stretching programme and include low-impact cardio exercises using the correct techniques - without straining your back further. You will feel some pain during recovery – this is normal (unless excessive) but will assist in reducing a re-occurrence of back pain.
So if you are reading this and thinking, yeah, that’s me and it’s a real pain (literally) when it happens, then do something about it and contact train4performance today - we are here to help.