Things to stop doing when you have back pain

information about your back pain

My mission at Animated Physio is to get you moving more, feeling better, & banishing aches & pains.  So I thought you would find it helpful for me to share with you 4 things you can stop doing today if you have back pain.

Stop searching for a miracle cure when you have back pain

Evidence shows that unfortunately there is no miracle cure for back pain.  Pain is frustrating and can be debilitating.  So, when you’re in pain, it can be tempting to seek out and try anything that suggests it is a miracle cure.  Research studies show the best way to ease back pain is by a combination of modifying your lifestyle (such as reducing stress, improving sleep, & being active), graded exposure & return to your normal activities, cardiovascular exercise, and a graded strengthening programme.  Rather than thinking there is just one thing that will help, try to look at a combination of little changes to improve your symptoms.

Stop keeping still

It’s a common misconception that rest is best for back pain.  Our bodies are not meant to stay still for long periods of time.  And, when you have back pain, your back is likely to feel stiffer if you stay in one position for too long.  This means that when you do go to move, your back is more sensitive to you moving, and so the pain can feel worse.  So try to keep moving little & often as much as you can!

Being active is one of the factors that can really help you when you have back pain.  Gentle stretches can be a great way to give your body that graded exposure to movements that can feel a little tricky or uncomfortable when you’re experiencing back pain.  Doing some gentle stretches can feel good, help you relax, and get your body used to moving again, but in a safe, slow, and controlled way.

Stop searching for a specific diagnosis when you have back pain

Just like there is no miracle cure for back pain, it’s unlikely that it’s one specific structure that is causing you to have back pain. Very often, back pain will be present without damage to any structures, but the pain is felt due to sensitisation of the nerves in your back, and the way they communicate with your brain. The most common form of lower back pain is known as non-specific lower back pain. Your pain could be due to the sensitivity I just mentioned, or any combination of irritation (rather than damage) to the muscles, nerves, discs & joints.

Even an MRI scan will not give us answers here. This is because when studies have been carried out on asymptomatic participants (people who have no back pain), changes were still seen to their discs, nerves, joints & muscles, even though they experienced no pain. This means that MRI scans can often be misleading, and reading the findings on a report can also sound quite scary without understanding the findings are often just normal age-related changes. Just like we get grey hair & wrinkles as we age – it doesn’t mean anything’s wrong, it’s something that just happens.

When you have back pain, stop waiting for the pain to go away!

Research studies show that the earlier you get help for any pain or injury, the quicker you are likely to recover.  Due to multiple factors being likely to improve your symptoms, getting help from myself or your local physiotherapist can get you on the path to recovery.  That said, our bodies do take time to recover, and being patient and persistent with your rehab programme is also a really important part of your back pain symptoms becoming more manageable.

If you would like further help with your back pain, sign up to my mailing list, where I send out free weekly advice to help you feel the best you can! I’ll also send you through my free download ‘5 Simple Steps to Settle Your Back Pain’ when you enter your details below:

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Posted in Blog.