Lower back pain. These are the three simple words that send shudders up the spine of tens of thousands Kiwis. It’s a highly common condition that we treat frequently at our Kingsland physio clinic. Most of the acute pain in the lower back stems from an injury to the muscles, ligaments, joints, or discs. The body reacts to injury by mobilizing an inflammatory healing response which can cause pain. Thankfully, with our experience and expertise, it is something we can treat effectively and quickly in the vast majority of cases.
But it’s often left untreated too, with many people choosing a do-nothing approach; they believe that by staying still and laying low their back pain will disappear. It’s not always the case and, in fact, it could make a bad situation even worse.
In some ways, we can understand why people might do this. When lower back pain occurs, it is something of a natural instinct to avoid movement so as not to further inflame the situation, and wait for the pain to eventually pass. Much of this self-prescribed treatment is based on an old wives tale which advises you stay as still as a statue or lie on the hard floor until everything is all OK. But, like many of these out-dated fables, they’re full of misinformation and the truth is usually quite different.
Many local and international studies we’ve read have shown that a more mobile method of treatment is much more effective in most cases. Being active and performing targeted yet gentle exercises can help reduce and eliminate lower back pain. It’s far better than doing nothing. Research strongly suggests that the impulse to stop moving altogether and protect our spines can cause abnormal movement patterns and stress. This can produce ongoing pain even after the original injury has healed.
So, what should you do if lower back pain occurs? Given that 80% of the population suffer from this condition at some stage during their lives, it is highly likely that it will happen to you. While instinct might tell you to keep still, we advise against taking that course of action. Instead, get in touch with us at our physio clinic in Kingsland. We can treat you according to the cause and severity of the issue and work out a targeted exercise programme for you to carry on with at home.