Back pain does not mean your back is damaged – it means it is sensitised. Your back is one of the strongest structures in the human body. It’s very rare to do permanent damage to your back.
1) MOVEMENT HELPS!
Movements may be quite painful at first – like an ankle sprain – but they will get better as you get active
Gentle flexibility-based exercises for the spine and hips are recommended. Start your stretches lying down and progress to sitting and then standing.
Relaxed movements are most helpful and avoidance of guarded movements, breath holding and propping up off your hands with load transfers.
When stressed or anxious about your pain, the central nervous system (brain) acts like an amplifier where by the more you think or worry about your pain, the worse it may feel. Try to do things that assist you with stress management and think positively about your outcome.
Aim to undertake aerobic exercise for 20 to 30 minutes each day that does not excessively exacerbate pain (e.g. walking, cycling [leg or arm cycling] or swimming based on comfort and preference)
- You may need to exercise for a shorter duration initially, or exercise for short periods throughout the day to build exercise tolerance
- Try to increase activity gradually (e.g. 10% per week)
4) ADVICE IS PARAMOUNT
Get the right advice early. Many people can get lost seeing multiple practitioners and hearing contradicting diagnosis or causes of their pain. This can be very frustrating, time consuming and expensive for the patient.
Your back is extremely resilient. Do your best not to be overly stressed about your pain levels, stay active and adhere to your Physiotherapy Management Plan for the best outcome.