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Back Pain: Moving on

By Lorraine Carroll
Back pain will affect almost everyone once in the course of life.

Scientific and medical research is challenging old beliefs on back pain and its natural progress. Over the last decade or so the medical approach to back pain has moved on considerably. Today we know that ‘hurt’ does not necessarily equal ’harm’ and just because the back is hurting, does not mean further damage is occurring.

So, take note of the following six proven facts are endorsed by the HSE, H&AS, IBEC, CFI and other industry groups.
1..Back pain is so common that it could almost be described as a normal occurrence.
2.Back pain, though sometimes severe and recurrent is rarely serious; recovery in days to weeks is usual. Most back pain falls into the category of ‘simple back strain.’ .’
3.Bed rest is not good for back pain. Research categorically showed that spending more than 24-48 hours in bed with back pain can actually worsen the condition. This is why doctors and physiotherapists rarely suggest remaining in bed these days.

The one exception is where the back pain is accompanied by severe shooting pain down one whole leg. This can be a sign of an acute disc prolapse and is almost the only time a few days in bed will be prescribed.
4.Remaining active and getting on with your life, as best you can, in spite of the pain, is better than resting and avoiding normal activities.

Avoiding regular things can gradually lead to a situation whereby you start avoiding a single activity. Then if the back pain returns, a second activity is added to the ‘limited’ list. Before long, the list gets longer and longer.
This leads to fearfulness of activity, known in medical research as ‘fear–avoidance’. Once this gets a grip, like a bad habit, it becomes very difficult to change.
5.Remaining at work, or returning to work as soon as possible, in spite of persisting pain, is better than staying off work.

In the past, back pain meant that people were certified off work for weeks, until fully recovered. However, a phased return to work has been shown to be very successful in recovering from back pain.
6.The longer a person with back pain is off work, the lower the chances of ever returning to work. Most episodes of back pain recover fully and rapidly, but where recovery is slow, every month away from the workplace makes it less likely to return to your previous occupation and lifestyle.

In reality, the musculoskeletal system is made for movement and in general worsens when not moving.

If your back is bothering you currently, and has not cleared up of its own accord, consult a Chartered Physiotherapist for appropriate manual therapy, pain relief strategies including medical acupuncture and progressive targeted exercise to restore tour back to wellness again.
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TherapyXperts: Registered business address: Kandoy House, 2 Fairview Strand, Fairview, Dublin 3, Ireland|Phone: +353 818 333 611|Email: info@therapyxperts.ie
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