Physio Podcast Transcript:
“80% of people report that in some point of their life they have back pain. In fact one-half of the working population report back pain at some point during a working year.
Back pain is the most common reason for missed work and the second most common reason for visiting a physiotherapist. In America around $50 billion a year is spent by consumers looking for back pain solutions.
Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic, which means they are not caused by a serious condition and can be effectively treated to provide relief to the sufferer.
If you’ve found yourself with back ache before then you will want to listen to this podcast in full as I will share 6 tips you can use to be free of back pain. These are tips I’ve been sharing with my clients for years, tips that have been proven to work time and time again.
You should note though, these are not miracle cures and it doesn’t involve vitamins or medication. The basic principle behind all 6 of these tips is healthy living. I say it time and time again, many medical conditions and body aches can be dealt with by simply adjusting your lifestyle.
Back pain is no different. The reason that the back is often complained about is that it’s a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. Your back pain could originate from a sprain of the ligaments, strain of the muscles, rupture of a disk or just irritated joints.
You don’t even need to be lifting heavy items to hurt your back. Often simple tasks like bending down to pick up a pen triggers back pain. If you find yourself with back pain you should follow the tips in this podcast as well as consult a physiotherapist.
A physiotherapist will help you identify exactly what area of the back is affected and how you can specifically target this area for healing, and then help you prevent that pain from re-occurring. So with that said let’s get into the tips.
Tip number 1 is to get a good night sleep. Peaceful sleep helps to repair strained muscles and soothe inflamed joints. A night spent tossing and turning can apply added strain to the painful area and further inflame the problem. Often I recommend to my clients to sleep with a pillow between their knees as it can help people with back pain get a peaceful night sleep. There is a direct correlation between people who don’t sleep well and suffer from any type of pain. Adequate sleep is crucial for living a pain free life.
Tip number 2 is to undertake gentle exercise. Some forms of back pain get worse with rest. You should attempt gentle stretching exercises to see the range of pain-free movement that you have. Regular exercise will help strengthen the area which helps lower risk of repeat pain.
Do ensure though that you start off with gentle supervised exercise. If you find that you are not in pain then you can look at increasing the intensity of the exercise if you perform it correctly.
Tip number 3 is to maintain a healthy weight. While you are sitting or standing during the day your back is under pressure, especially from extra weight that is carried around the abdomen. If you are carrying extra weight then you are at risk of back pain. I often find clients report the eradication of back pain after losing just a few kilograms.
A healthy weight isn’t just a good idea for your back, it’s a good idea in general!
Tip number 4 is to participate in Clinical Pilates. Clinical Pilates is fast becoming an extremely popular form of low impact exercise. Clinical Pilates helps improve back pain in 3 ways; it unwinds the myofascial tightness and imbalances in your body while increasing body awareness and improving breathing. The improved breathing results in fluid movement of the diaphram. Without this fluid movement excessive tension builds.
Consider enrolling yourself into weekly Clinical Pilates using reformer machines if you are a chronic back pain sufferer.
Tip number 5 is to use hot and cold therapy. You’ll need to find out which type of therapy gives you the most relief. Cold therapy is the application of ice to the area which helps to control inflammation as well as reducing swelling – it can help temporarily numb the pain. Heat is the application of wet heat to the area and this is ideal for reducing cramping and muscle spasms as it promotes blood flow with good nutrients to the area for relaxation. Be careful to use wet heat as using dry heat can dehydrate the tissue and prevent healing.
The 6th and final tip is to strengthen and condition your core – which include the muscles around your trunk, between your shoulders and bum. A functional six-pack doesn’t just look good, it’s also great for back pain. By having a strong and conditioned core the weight distribution around your body is more easily carried. Good core strength and conditioning provides support to your back and lightens the load on your back by better dissipating the forces impacting your body on a daily basis.
These tips are easily followed. I’d encourage you to use them if you are experiencing back pain. If after following the tips you still find you are suffering from back pain then I suggest you see a physiotherapist – ideally as soon as possible. They will tailor a program to help you strengthen and condition specific areas of your body and help you remove the pain, as well as establishing a lifestyle to live pain free. Personally, I love preventing people suffering from preventable problems like back pain!!”