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Things that everyone with back pain should know.

  • Having back pain is actually pretty normal. A whopping 80% of us are expected to have some back pain in our lifetime…it would almost be abnormal NOT to get back pain!

  • Back pain can last up to 6 weeks. This may be longer that you would have anticipated… or hoped - but try not to worry as this is common. Just like other injuries your back pain needs some time to settle down. If your pain has continued for longer, seek some help & advice.

  • Pain is often poor at reflecting the physical state of our back (or any body part). We can have lots of pain without significant damage. Just like a paper cut or bee sting, you can sometimes experience a lot of back pain without any significant damage.

  • The best initial management is to keep active as pain allows. Bed rest is NOT recommended. Sitting for long periods is also usually unhelpful, aim to get moving every 30-45 minutes.

  • It is very difficult to make a diagnosis from an MRI as lots of MRI findings exist in people without pain. Having a full assessment via a therapist will often give you a better understanding of what is causing your pain (and what to do for it!).

  • There can be many contributing factors to long-lasting back pain, including poor sleep, stress, sedentary lifestyles, negative thoughts and beliefs.

  • It’s probably not your posture or alignment that is causing your back pain.

  • Movement and exercise often helps.

  • Persisting pain is often down to changes within the nervous/pain system and it’s functioning, rather than a reflection on the state of your back.

  • Backs can become painful but they do not become fragile! Working with a therapist to get you moving again can help reduce fear and improve function.

  • Back pain commonly comes and goes over the years. Working with a physio helps you reduce the chances of experiencing recurrent problems. The more you understand about how to manage back pain, the lower the chances of back pain coming back…

Back pain is the most common complaint I see as a physiotherapist and I’ve seen it affect so many different people, in different ways. It’s important to know the real causes and management strategies when it comes to back pain - there’s loads of information out there that is wrong and unhelpful. If you’ve been struggling with back pain and want more information, let me encourage you to download a free booklet I’ve put together with some easy-to-follow advice about things you can do today to help manage your symptoms better.

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