Click & Book Online Now

Call us now: 023 8025 3317

Back Pain Myth 2 – I should avoid exercise, especially weight training

Posted on 9th September 2016 by

With back pain affecting so many people, The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP) have produced a series of evidence based, myth busters to tackle the common myths surrounding back pain.

The CSP are busting myths about back pain and reinforcing what the latest evidence says is best for your back.

Myth 2 – I should avoid exercise, especially weight training

Exercise is generally accepted amongst all respected authorities to be the best modality for treating low back pain, in both the acute and chronic phases.

Studies have shown great benefits and long-term safety of various types of exercises, including high load resistance training.

Interestingly, according to research, no one type of exercise proves to be better or worse, so simply do what you enjoy and can tolerate! Gradually build up as your confidence and ability improves.

If you’re not feeling confident about exercising with or when you’re recovering from or had back pain, we provide additional support through services like our Small Group Rehab, where you work on a specific exercise programme designed for your individual needs and goals. We also have the option of our Physio led Clinical Pilates classes, which are an excellent way of both recovering from or preventing back pain.

#StrongerForLonger

Back pain myth


References

O’Sullivan and Lin (2014) Acute low back pain Beyond drug therapies; Pain Management Today, Volume 1, Number 1.

Steele et al (2015) A Review of the Clinical Value of Isolated Lumbar Extension Resistance Training for Chronic Low Back Pain; American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages 169–187.

Searle et al (2015) Exercise interventions for the treatment of chronic low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials; Clinical Rehabilitation 2015, Vol. 29(12) 1155 –1167.

Bjorn et al (2015) Individualized Low-Load Motor Control Exercises and Education Versus a High-Load Lifting Exercise and Education to Improve Activity, Pain Intensity, and Physical Performance in Patients With Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial; Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, Volume:45 Issue:2 Pages:77-85.

Pieber et al (2014) Long-term effects of an outpatient rehabilitation program in patients with chronic recurrent low back pain; Eur Spine J 23:779–785.

Vincent et al (2014) Resistance Exercise, Disability, and Pain Catastrophizing in Obese Adults with Back Pain; Med Sci Sports Exerc. 46(9): 1693–170.

Smith et al (2014) An update of stabilisation exercises for low back pain: a systematic review with meta-analysis. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 15:416 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2474-15-416

SaveSave


Back Pain Myth 1 – Moving will make my back pain worse

Posted on 8th September 2016 by

To coincide with World Physiotherapy Day, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP) have produced a series of evidence based myth busters to tackle the common myths surrounding back pain.

The CSP are busting myths about back pain and reinforcing what the latest evidence says is best for your back.

Myth 1 – Moving will make my back pain worse 

Although it is true that some movements can be uncomfortable when you have back pain, it is well established that returning to movement and work as soon as you are able, is better for recovery and preventing recurrence than bed rest.

This is not a new concept by any means, but it is an unfortunate misconception which is continues to endure, due in part, to the complex nature of pain.

#MotionIsLotion

Back pain myth


References 

Balagu, F. et al., 2012. Non-specific low back pain. The Lancet, 379(9814), pp.482–491.

Darlow, B. et al., 2015. Easy to Harm, Hard to Heal. Spine, (August 2016), p.1.

Picavet, H.S.J., Vlaeyen, J.W.S. & Schouten, J.S.A.G., 2002. Pain catastrophizing and kinesiophobia: Predictors of chronic low back pain. American Journal of Epidemiology, 156(11), pp.1028–1034.

Pincus, T. et al., 2002. A systematic review of psychological factors as predictors of chronicity/disability in prospective cohorts of low back pain. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 27(5), pp.E109–20.

Swinkels-Meewisse, I.E.J. et al., 2006. Acute low back pain: Pain-related fear and pain catastrophizing influence physical performance and perceived disability. Pain, 120(1-2), pp.36–43.

Waddell, G., 1993. Simple low back pain: rest or active exercise? Annals of the rheumatic diseases, 52(5), p.317.

Wynne-Jones, G. et al., 2014. Absence from work and return to work in people with back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Occupational and environmental medicine, 71(6), pp.448–56.


Help! I’ve got back pain – what should I do?

Posted on 16th July 2016 by

Sudden onset of back pain is not uncommon, we see dozens of people a month at goPhysio who come in with quite severe pain in their back. Often this has come on suddenly without any warning.

It can be quite a scary experience, especially when it comes on quite quickly and is quite an intense pain. However, in the majority of cases back pain isn’t anything too serious and when handled in the right way will resolve quickly.

So, if you wake up with back pain or suddenly suffer with pain in your back, what should you do?

  1. Try and keep moving. Even though moving may make the pain worse, it’s very important to keep moving. If you’re afraid to move and just stay in 1 position this will actually make your problem worse. Moving will help reduce muscle spasm and help act as a natural painkiller by de-sensitising the injured area.
  2. Use a heat pack or hot water bottle on your back. This will help reduce muscle spasm, relieve pain and make it easier to move about. 10-15 minutes every couple of hours is good.
  3. Try and do some back exercises every couple of hours (after you’ve used heat above is a good time).
  4. Take painkillers. Speak to your pharmacist about the best ones to take for you, but painkillers are worth taking as they will help ease the pain which will make moving easier.
  5. As the pain eases, build up what you are doing. When the pain is quite severe, you may have to modify what you do day to day to minimise aggravating your pain, but try and get back to ‘normal’ ASAP.
  6. If your pain isn’t easing after 3-5 days or is getting worse, come and see one of our Physio’s. We’ll do a full assessment to get to the bottom of what’s causing your problem and start a penalised recovery plan to get it better and stop it coming back too.

These simple exercises are a great way to gently get your back moving and help ease pain and tension.

Pelvic Tilt – lying on your back, gently tilt your pelvis backward and forwards, so you’re alternately arching and flattening your lower back. You can also try this in sitting or standing.

Exercises for back painBack pain exercise

Lumbar Rotations – lying on your back, gently rotate your knees from side to side as far as you feel comfortable.

Spinal rotation exercisesExercise for back pain

Back Stretch – lying on your back, gently bend one leg up towards you with your hands round your knee. Repeat with the other leg.

back stretch

What if it doesn’t get better? Back pain will often ease off over a few days. If you find your pain isn’t improving or is getting worse, you’d benefit from coming to see one of our Physiotherapists. They’ll be able to work with you to provide relief from your back pain. Just give us a call on 023 8025 3317. You can also book an appointment online.

There are many common myths surrounding back pain. These include ‘Moving Will Make My Back Pain Worse’, ‘Should I Avoid Exercise?’ and ‘Do I Need A Scan?’, which you can read more about on our other blogs. We’ve also written about the latest NICE Guidelines on the management of back pain.

If you’re experiencing back pain and also have symptoms that affect you going to the toilet, having pins and needles or numbness around your seat area or pain or pins and needles in your leg, these may be signs of something more serious going on. If this is the case, it is advisable to go and see your GP.


Look after yourself when working from home

Posted on 1st March 2016 by

Look after yourself when working from home

We seem to spend hours at a computer nowadays, not only working but shopping, socialising, researching……….

Technology now means we can work from almost anywhere, and the number of people working from home is now estimated to be 14% of the workforce.

Whereas in an office or workplace, we tend to be mindful of our workstation set up or have support and guidance from an occupational health service, at home this isn’t so. The work station can often be a lap top at a kitchen table or desk that doubles up for the kids homework!

Over time, such a set up can wreck havoc with your body.

Ergonomics

Ergonomic principles are great. They optimise your work station set up to make sure any stress on your body from working in a sustained position is minimised. However, the trouble with ergonomics is that it can make a work station TOO COMFORTABLE. This means you don’t necessarily feel uncomfortable, therefore you stay in one position longer. Staying in any position for too long isn’t recommended as over time this can lead to pain and issues in areas such as your neck, back and arms.

So, although optimising your work station ergonomically is recommended, to have the greatest benefit you need to combine this with changing position regularly, being active in the working day and taking small breaks.

It can seem a bit daunting, reviewing your work set up, but small changes can make a huge difference.

Small Changes

  • Start with your chair. Decent chairs don’t need to be expensive nowadays. The key components are that it has arm rests, is height adjustable (both seat and back rest), that it provides support for your lumbar spine and that it can swivel (which helps you move around your desk and reach for things you need).
  • On your desk make sure your mouse and keyboard are as close together as possible. Position your key board so that the letter B is right in the middle (many key boards are asymmetrical). Your key board and mouse should be positioned at a height so that your elbows are bent at 90 degrees when your working – this is applicable in both a seated and standing work position.
  • Position your monitor so that the top is about 8-10cm above eye level, so you can look straight on. It should be about an arms length away when you’re sitting. If you use a laptop, get yourself a docking station or device to raise it up so you’re not always looking down.
  • Make sure everything is within easy reach.
  •  If you use a lap top, invest in a separate keyboard and stand so that you can follow the same ergonomic principles.
  • Set your desk and chair height appropriately for your height. Ergotron offer a great interactive tool to help you work out what your optimal working position should be in both siting and standing.

Variation

As pointed out above, no matter how good your desk set up is, the key to staying pain and injury free when your work is mainly computer based is variety. Alternate positions when you can. A good way to do this is by task based working. For example, if you need to take or make a phone call, do this walking round. Put your printer in another room so you have to get up to retrieve any printing. Set a timer to remind you to take a minute out every 30 minutes or so to get up and stretch. Use your kitchen worktop for brainstorming or taking written notes. Invest in a height adjustable desk so that you can alternate between sitting and standing when you’re on your computer. Suggest a walking meeting so you can get out in the fresh air and get your body moving at any opportunity.

Working from home can be great, reduced travel time, more flexible hours and coffee at hand, but, the tendency to work longer hours at the desk can be part of it. So, just make sure you look after you body in the process.

If you’d like any help or advice with your work station set up, our team of Physiotherapist are on hand to help. Just give the clinic a call on 023 8025 3317.