National Back Care Awareness Week is October 8-12 and is a promotional campaign by BackCare, the charity for healthier backs.
St Judes Clinic in Leighton Buzzard will be holding free 10-minute back advice chats during this week.
Their team of Chartered Physiotherapists can suggest suitable exercises, give tips on back pain management and a range of useful, free leaflets are also available.
If you need treatment, you can also take advantage of a 10% discount when you book an initial physiotherapy assessment.
Back pain research is constantly changing – here is St Judes’ advice on how to tackle back pain and reduce your chances of it recurring.
1.The spine is a strong, stable structure and although most people will experience back pain during their lifetime, it is very common and rarely dangerous. However, if you experience any of these symptoms you should contact your doctor:
Back pain associated with a high fever and sweating.
Difficulty passing urine or having the sensation to pass water that is not there.
Loss of sensation during intercourse and numbness/tingling in your genitals or buttocks area.
Loss of bladder or bowel control or power in your legs.
2.You seldom need a scan and it can do more harm than good - perfectly normal changes in the spine can cause people to avoid exercise and movement which they should be doing to get better.
3.Avoid bedrest, stay in work and gradually resume normal activities - studies now show prolonged rest and inactivity for people with low back pain actually leads to higher levels of pain, greater disability, poorer recovery and longer absence from work. Avoiding aggravating activities in the first few days of back pain is ok but gradually returning to your usual activities is important in aiding recovery.
4.Don’t be scared to move, holding yourself in rigid postures can be counter-productive.
5.Exercise and activity reduce and prevent back pain - start slowly and build up both the amount and intensity and make it something you enjoy.
6.Painkillers will not speed up your recovery - there is no strong evidence to support this and they should only be used as a short-term option as exercise is best.
7.Surgery is rarely needed – for some conditions surgery can help the leg symptoms but, on average, the results for back surgery are no better in the medium and long term than non-surgical interventions, such as exercise.
8.Get good quality sleep - aim for 7.5 – 8 hours a night.
9.You can have back pain without any damage or injury – a combination of physical and psychological factors can cause back pain such as avoiding movements, being overweight, feeling down, tired, stressed or lack of sleep and exercise. Each factor can increase pain and understanding when and why this happens, can help you get back in control.
If you are troubled by persistent back pain, physiotherapists provide expert advice, guidance and treatment for back pain and show you ways you can reduce your chances of future episodes.
To book a free advice chat or initial physiotherapy assessment, ring St Judes on 01525 377751 and quote “Back Care Week.” Cannot be used with any other offer.