Low back pain can be debilitating and this happens at all ages. In fact, 80% of people will have lower back pain at some point in their life. It’s scary – but here’s the great news – back pain will get better – even if it’s severe! PHEW!
Most of the time, low back pain is not serious and can be felt in various ways. Sometimes pain is the middle of your spine, the sides along your spine, or you may even feel pain in your hips or shooting pain/numbness and tingling that runs down the front or back of your legs.
First things first, you need to know that your spine is STRONG! Even with pain! It’s important to keep it that way by moving and strengthening your body to decrease pain and get back to your normal activities.
If your back pain is recent, you can rest as needed, but do not let this go beyond the first 1-2 days. The WORST thing you can do with low back pain is extensive bed rest. Even if you are having some discomfort or pain with activities, it’s better to resume your normal activities as long as the pain is not increasing. This keeps your joints moving which helps provide nutrition for the joints, and gets your muscles working together to push out swelling and allow for faster recovery. It also prevents low back pain from becoming a long term problem.
Extensive research supports one or a combination of 4 treatments:
Joint motion allows for opening space and improving motion
Specific exercise is repeated motion of any movement that changes pain symptoms traveling to your hips or legs
Core stabilization is for low back pain caused from lack of strength or control. This is typically required for young and flexible individuals
Traction is typically beneficial for individuals who have pain that radiates down the back or front of the leg. Traction opens up the joints in the low back and allows for increased space so that shooting/tingling/numbness decreases
- Don’t worry, your spine is STRONG.
- AVOID BED REST. Move and move often in ways that do NOT increase your pain.
- Low back pain is manageable and often GETS BETTER.
If you are looking for faster recovery, physical therapy can help assist you with reducing pain, finding which specific exercises are for you, and how to prevent your pain from coming back.
If you can only take ONE thing from this article – know that MOVEMENT IS MEDICINE! The more you move in the correct ways, the faster you will recover and get back to what you love doing!
As always, we hope this helps! If you have any questions or if you would like to read about certain topics, feel free to send us an email at TeamSP@SportsPerformancePT.com.
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