This week is the annual Back Care Awareness week, a week brought to us by the BackCare organisation to highlight and open discussions on back pain.
Back pain is one of the major disabling health conditions among older adults aged 60 years and older. Many causes of lower back pain are age-related with physical and psychosocial changes. There is a distinct lack of awareness, especially in older adults to the causes and effects of back pain and pain management.
Existing evidence suggests that prevalence rates of severe and chronic low back pain increase with older age. As compared to working-age adults, older adults are more likely to develop lower back pain like osteoporotic vertebral fractures, tumors, spinal infection, and lumbar spinal stenosis. NCBI (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
There are many pro-active ways to both help prevent you developing back pain or tackling back pain if you do start to experience it. Here are 3 of our top tips to help you be back care aware!
Live actively – leading an active life is one of the key ways to help make sure you minimise your risk of developing back pain. If you do develop back pain, keeping moving and active will help give you the best chance of a speedy recovery. You don’t have to do sport or organised exercise, walking, cycling, shopping, housework – anything that get’s you moving is great!
Don’t be afraid of using your back – despite all the messages you may hear “Don’t bend like that, you’ll hurt your back!”, “Be careful of your back!”, “Don’t life that, it’s too heavy and dangerous for your back!” – your back is an extremely strong part of your body, designed to move and support you.
Pain doesn’t always mean harm – it can be very scary experiencing back pain, but the pain you feel doesn’t always mean that you are doing harm or that there is anything serious going on. A serious underlying condition causing pain in your back is very rare. Obviously, if you are worried, seek professional advice to put your mind at ease. But back pain is often nothing to worry about and can be overcome quickly and effectively by doing the right things.
If you’re worried about how back pain is limiting your life, please do get in touch. It can feel like nothing will help and that you have to learn to live with back pain, but that is absolutely not the case. Our team helps 100s of people every year with back pain and we have a range of ways to help you, so please call 023 8025 3317 to find out more.
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Spring is upon us and it’s that time of year to get out in that garden, tackle those weeds and start to prepare for the nicer weather – whether it’s out of choice or because someone has nagged you to do it!
Here are our top tips to avoid injury, whether you’re gardening, painting the shed or washing the patio!
Warm up before starting
You wouldn’t go for a run or start a gym workout without warming up your body – so make sure you do the same before you start work. Go for a brisk walk around the garden, get the blood circulating round your body & do a few gentle stretches to loosen your muscles before you start that weeding!
Cool down when you finish
Same as tip number one – make sure you wind down to a stop and do some more gentle stretches when you finish to stop your muscles stiffening up after your activity. Don’t just sit down and admire your hard work (as tempting as it might be!).
With the longer days, bank holiday weekends and nicer weather, it’s tempting to do all the work in one day to keep the rest of your time free or keep going for long periods – but this could lead to overworked and over strained muscles and joints. Spread your jobs out evenly over the days, evenings and weekend and build up to the harder jobs.
Variety is key
Try to avoid spending time in prolonged positions – by varying your tasks, you will limit the strain you put on each body part. For example, do 30 minutes of weeding, 30 minutes of digging and then 30 minutes of mowing the lawn. Put some mini breaks in between each job to have a rest, stretch and drink.
Keep your feet facing the same way as your hips and shoulders – this stops any rotational strain through your body. Stand straight as you mow the lawn or push a wheelbarrow and keep everything you need close by to avoid twisting to reach it.
Keep everything at the correct height
If you are working at a bench, make sure you don’t have to crouch or stretch to reach it – this could put extra strain on your back. If you’re working at a height, use a ladder or step to stop straining your neck by looking up for long periods.
Lift with your knees, not your back
When lifting heavy objects, make sure to bend your hips and knees to help support your back. Holding the object closer to your body will also help reduce any extra strain – so make sure to wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty!
If you do injure yourself – don’t panic! Have a look back at our previous blogs on using heat vs ice and the ‘POLICE’ method of self treatment. If in doubt, give our friendly Patient Care Team a call and book an appointment with one of Physiotherapists at goPhysio. We’ll be able to assess, diagnose and treat any injury and give you the best advice on how to treat and prevent another episode!
You can also book an appointment online 24/7 here.
Every year, the charity dedicated to supporting and helping people with back pain, BackCare, dedicates a week to highlighting a specific area of back pain. For 2019, the focus is on back pain in golfers.
There is a distinct lack of awareness regarding the prevention of back related injuries among golfers which hinder their play and performance in the sport.
Golf is a leisure sport enjoyed by more than 60 million people of all ages across the world and has reached the 4 million mark in the UK alone. It has many health and well-being benefits. It is widely known that a typical 18-hole-round amounts to 6-8 km of walking requiring 8000 to 12000 steps and a significant calorie burn.
You might be surprised to hear that more injuries occur in golf than in rugby! Golf with other leisure sports have an injury rate of 1.8 per thousand persons per year as opposed to 1.5 per thousand persons per year in rugby and other team sports according to the National Centre for Health Statistics.
What are the most common golfing injuries?
Low back injuries are the most common complaint from golfers. They account for 15.2% to 34% of all golf injuries, followed by injuries to the elbow (7% to 27%), shoulder (4% to 19%) and wrist 10%. Golf is a repetitive sport – With an average of 300 swings per golf-playing-day. So the type of injuries a golfer often picks up are overuse injuries.
How common are golf injuries?
Between 15.8% to 40.9% of amateur golfers report an injury (or injuries) every year; among professionals, the incidence ranges between 31% to 90% annually.
How does the swing affect the back?
Back problems are mainly attributed to how the golf swing of present-day professionals, such as Tiger Woods (the ‘modern swing’/‘the X-factor swing’) differs from that of golf legends like Jack Nicklaus (‘classic swing’). The modern swing is more powerful and exerts a greater compressive force toward the anatomy of the spine, which can be a contributory factor in back issues.
‘A long swing with passive wrists and light grip pressure can prevent back issues’ – US Golfer Phil Mickelson. At 45, Mickelson has played without any of the serious back pain unlike most of the major champions like Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day. Back injuries have sidelined the careers of former champions Tiger Woods and Fred Couples several times!
Want to know more about preventing back pain in golf, here’s a great little fact sheet ‘Swing Clever‘ that highlights the different factors associated with the classic and modern swing.
If back pain or any other injury is stopping you from enjoying your golf, then do get in touch. Our team can help!
Every year, on the 8th September, World Physiotherapy Day takes place – a day to recognise the work that physiotherapists do and the difference that our profession can make to peoples lives.
The campaign for World Physiotherapy Day 2019 is focussed around the theme of chronic pain and the role that physiotherapy and physical activity can have in helping people manage chronic pain.
The campaign is focused around the following key messages about the benefits of using exercise to manage chronic pain to:
maintain flexibility and movement
improve cardiovascular health
build and keep muscle tone
improve mood and general wellbeing
help control pain
increase confidence to take part in activities
take back control of your life and reduce your fear.
These messages are important not just to encourage health and activity in populations. They can help demonstrate how Physio’s keep people moving through interventions which maximise strength and mobility. Through advice and exercise programmes, physio’s support people of all ages to achieve activity goals.
What is chronic pain?
Chronic or persistent pain is pain that carries on for longer than 12 weeks despite medication or treatment. Most people get back to normal after pain following an injury or operation. But sometimes the pain carries on for longer or comes on without any history of an injury or operation. It can be an extremely frustrating, confusing and challenging time.
Here’s a fantastic video that explains it further.
As Physio’s, we can help people with such pain to get moving without fear, where the brain isn’t protecting by pain. There really is so much power in having the confidence and support to get moving.
If you have pain and want help and support, please give us a call on 023 8025 3317 to see how we can help you.
Posture is a frequent topic of discussion for patients, clinicians, the media, and society.
A commonly held belief is that back and neck pain is caused by sitting, standing, or bending “incorrectly.” Despite the absence of strong evidence to support these common beliefs, a large posture industry has flourished, with many interventions and products claiming to “correct” posture and prevent pain.
Here’s a fantastic infographic that summarises some of the latest findings surrounding posture and the best principles to be aware of.
It’s certainly a task to undo all the years or messages that were sent along the lines of………
“Watch your back!”
“You’ve got terrible posture”
Sound familiar? Hopefully in time these new messages will reassure people that they don’t have to be wary of or afraid to use their back or adopt certain positions. That they don’t have to be so worried about their posture or what ‘perfect’ should be.
Your body is amazing – it’s strong, adaptable and capable of great things!
The 8th – 16th June 2019 sees in Bike Week, which aims to inspire more people to take to 2 wheels.
Cycling is a wonderful way to exercise, whatever your level or age. It’s great for cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, flexibility and has a host of health benefits.
It’s a safe form of exercise and is often a great way to start fit if you need to maintain your fitness with a lower impact activity. It’s also a fab way to incorporate exercise into a mode of travel!
However, like many forms of exercise, cycling can become a source of injuries. Cycling injuries tend to fall into 2 camps, either a traumatic injury or an overuse injury.
These are caused by some sort of trauma. This is normally a fall or collision and can be very minor to severe. Traumatic injuries are often accidents that can’t be avoided, but you can take precautions. These include:
Wearing appropriate protective clothing such as a helmet
Being up to date with bike maintenance to make sure you bike is in top working order
Knowing and reading the weather conditions and environment to make sure they fit with your plans
Understanding your personal limitations and being realistic with your ability. Many accidents occur when people are pushing themselves unrealistically.
Common traumatic cycling injuries include:
Fractures – often the clavicle (collar bone) or scaphoid (wrist) as you put your arm out to protect you as you fall.
Bruising – to the muscle and/or bone. This is as a result of falling directly onto the area, often a prominent bony area such as the outside of the hip.
As the name implies, are caused when a part of the body is being ‘overused’ and can’t cope with the physical demands being placed upon it. Cycling is a very repetitive activity, an average cyclist might perform well over 5,000 revolutions an hour. The human body has a threshold of what it will tolerate and sometimes it just can’t cope with prolonged repetitive demands being placed on it. This is when an overuse injury rears it’s head.
The problem with overuse injuries is that they often start gradually as a tiny niggle that you ignore. Before you know it that niggle is a regular occurrence but you think it will just go away just as it appeared. Then it eventually becomes really annoying and can actually becomes so severe it stops you doing the things you love and that may have caused it in the first place, which is even more of a pain!
You can take steps to avoid or minimise the impact of cycling overuse injuries. These include:
Make sure your bike is set up correctly. This is crucial given the repetitive nature of cycling. Very small adjustments such as saddle and handlebar height can make a huge difference.
Increase your cycling gradually. Whether its speed, distance or hills – don’t do too much all at once. You need to give your body time to adapt and adjust to the demands being placed upon it.
Listen to your body. If you feel a little niggle, hold back a bit until it eases off to give your body chance to recover.
Seek advice at the right time. If a niggle is becoming more than that, it’s better to come and see us sooner rather than later. Overuse injuries that are ignored can often become long term problems and then they’re much harder to resolve and take longer to recover.
Common cycling overuse injuries include:
Back pain – which is often related to your posture on the bike and easily resolved by changing your bike set up.
Neck pain – again, this is often posture related and being more aware of your posture and position on the bike can be really helpful.
Knee pain – including tendonopathies, patellofemoral pain (front of knee) or ITB problems (side of knee).
Foot or ankle problems – such as achilles tendonopathy or forefoot pain from the pressure of peddling.
As Physio’s we’re highly skilled at identifying and resolving all the injury issues that may arise from cycling. Many of our team are keen cyclists themselves, so can truly identify with what you’re experiencing. If you are suffering with an injury as a result of cycling, give us a call to see how we can help you and get you back on your bike! #BikeWeekUK
It was very refreshing to finally see some positive, mainstream media coverage about back pain on ITV last night.
For so long now, there has been much scaremongering, misinformation and fear surrounding the best way to manage back pain and unfortunately this has become ingrained in people’s minds. Professionals like ourselves, who see people with back pain day in day out, have been battling to dispel the myths surrounding back pain for so long. So, maybe the message is finally getting through!
So, what were the key messages that the programme promoted?
Surgery is often not the answer. For the vast majority of people it’s about rehab getting active and getting fit. Less than 1% of people with back pain might be considered for surgery.
1 in 5 people who have an X-ray or scan for back pain do so unnecessarily. Having a scan when you don’t need it may actually make things worse, as normal signs of ageing can be misinterpreted. An MRI scan is not always needed to find out what’s going on, it’s not a picture of pain, it’s a picture of normal ageing changes.
It’s not easy to uncover what causes back pain.
There isn’t a quick fix solution.
Painkillers and rest are no longer recommended treatments for back pain.
Our progressive lack of movement and activity are a key factor in our back pain epidemic.
Spines LOVE movement!
We need to incorporate movement throughout the day into our lives, NOT just in intensive bursts of exercise like going to the gym, for a run or an exercise class.
The back is a strong and robust structure, we need to trust it and not be afraid of pain.
Sedentary lifestyles must be tackled in childhood to create her;thy lifelong habits and help prevent back pain. Keeping fit and healthy at an early age might be a way of future proofing our backs.
Some Back Pain Facts:
There are almost 10 million people in the UK suffering with lower back pain
It’s one of there most common reasons for days taken off work
Back pain accounts for over 30 million lost working days a year
Back pain affects up to 80% of us
You can watch ITV’s Tonight – Back Pain: Britain’s Unseen Crisis here until the end of March 2019.
Musculoskeletal conditions: the elephant in the room?
Conditions of the bones, joints and muscles are a big problem in the UK; with over 17 million people living with a musculoskeletal condition, more people suffer with disability from musculoskeletal conditions than anything else.
Good health of bones, joints and muscles underpins living life well. Musculoskeletal conditions affect nearly everyone at some point in their life. They can cause pain, fatigue, restricted mobility and activities of daily living. They impact people’s lives, their work and even people’s other health conditions. Conditions of the bones, joints and muscles represent a significant cost to the individual, the economy and health and social care.
Acknowledging the problem
Everyone knows conditions like arthritis and back pain are common. But they are often misunderstood and ignored, like the figurative elephant in the room. The solution begins in acknowledging the problem. That’s why we need to shift our mindset and start planning and acting nationally, locally and individually for healthy bones, joints and muscles throughout life.
If we’re brave enough to tackle this big and growing problem, to champion lifelong good musculoskeletal health, there are large rewards! We see it day in day out here at goPhysio – poor MSK health has a huge impact on quality of life. If you invest in your MSK health, like in other areas of your health and wellbeing, you can get more out of life!
Why are MSK conditions the elephant in the room?
From our years of experience, there are many factors!
Firstly, MSK conditions often occur gradually or creep up on you. It starts as a niggle or minor ache or pain, that you accept as part of life. You manage it yourself or make small adjustments in your life to compensate. Over time, your pain, stiffness and limited mobility gets worse, but the impact on your life has been so gradual, you don’t really notice until the effects are huge. Suddenly you’re not walking so far, aren’t exercising, avoiding certain activities and you take a look and are shocked what affect it’s had on you.
MSK conditions aren’t immediately life threatening. Let’s face it, no matter how painful the condition is, there is nothing immediately at stake aside from quality of life. Subsequently, they aren’t always a high priority. However, this view is very short sighted – because over time, the impact of long standing MSK conditions can have a huge impact. Being less active and living with a painful MSK condition can cause many other issues as there will be knock on effects with mental health, cardiovascular health, maintaining a healthy weight and all the complexities that come with health.
Culturally, we’ve been lead to believe the ‘wait and see’ approach is OK! How many times have you heard ‘rest’, ‘take painkillers’ ‘it’ll get better in time’? Funding cuts in the NHS has bread this culture! The truth is, if people had the support, education and correct personalised, professional advice from the early onset of an MSK condition, the issues could be reduced massively.
Preventing MSK conditions and the solutions aren’t easy! Everyone now wants the easy option, the quick fix! But preventing and addressing MSK conditions need investment in time and effort. If you could take a magic pill that would solve it – great. But tackling these conditions takes time, there often isn’t a miracle miracle cure. e.g. If you have back pain, there is overwhelming evidence that exercise is the best management. But what do most G.P.s do if you go and see them with back pain? They’ll often advise painkillers and rest as the first step. Take osteoarthritis of the knee. Again, exercise is a highly effective treatment for this condition. But shockingly, many people would rather have a risky operation with no guarantee of a positive outcome than commit time and effort to doing regular, prescribed, specific exercises that would help them.
This week is officially Bone and Joint Week. Hopefully, getting the message out there will help filter out awareness of these conditions, the impact they have on so many people.
If you’re visiting this page, it’s because you or a loved one is suffering with back pain. Well rest assured, you’re not alone!
At goPhysio, we understand if you’ve got back pain or stiffness – it’s tempting to think that it’s nothing, that it will go away on it’s own. Yet we moan about it, we tell people about it, we struggle to walk upright, we can’t sleep, it stops us doing doing the things we enjoy like golf, gardening or walking – but for some reason we just put up with it. Often hoping it will miraculously disappear by the morning.
If that’s happening to you, you’re not alone. We hear this type of thing all the time. In fact, lower back pain and sciatica is THE most common problem we solve at our Physiotherapy Clinic in Chandlers Ford; getting people just like you back to the activities you enjoy, pain and injury free.
5 Reason’s Why Your Back Pain Could Be Lasting Longer Than You Expect
You’re confused about what do. You’re unsure of what to do or who to see about your back pain? That’s quite common in the early stages, as you’re getting conflicting advice from your friends, family and possibly your GP.
You’re hoping it will get better itself. This is often wishful thinking, fingers crossed you’ll wake up fre of pain in the morning! (Sound familiar?). Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. If your back pain has lasted for any longer than a few weeks or has recurred a few times, it’s an indication that you need some help to get to the bottom of it.
You’ve been ‘resting’ for too long. Resting too much and for too long is detrimental to recovery. When you rest, your muscles will get tighter and weaker and your joints will get stiffer. This will be most noticeable to you when you try to return to the activities you enjoy. You get ‘straight back to normal’ after a period of rest, and more often than not, this is when your back pain returns and the cycle continues.
You’re doing generic exercises from ‘Dr Google’ The internet is a great source of free information. However, it’s obvioulsy very generalised. The exercises you may try are not specific for your back problem or for your personal lifestyle. In the real world, this isn’t the most effective way to quickly ease your back pain and get back to doing the hobbies and activities you enjoy!
You’re tackling the symptoms but not the cause. Doing this is like using a sticky plaster. Seeking ways to just relieve your pain or tightness in the short term, like having a massage, hoping it would fix your long term, recurent problem, isn’t the solution. You need to get right to the bottom of the issue and do something about it. There are often a number of issues that have combined to cause your back pain. If they’re not addressed you risk entering that lifelong cycle of pain.
So, if any of that sounds familiar, it’s not a bad thing, in some ways it’s a good thing………
Firstly, it tells us what doesn’t work, so we don’t have to waste anymore time. Secondly, it tells us how much closer you are to finding a solution to your back pain and making a decision about permanently fixing it!
At goPhysio in Chandlers Ford, we help you recover from back pain and get back to the activities you enjoy, pain and injury free
What You Can Do To Start Your Recovery From Back Pain Now
Make a decision to get help. Hopefully, with this information and your free back pain guide, you’re beginning to understand more about your back pain and are closer to making the right decision and returning to the activities you enjoy. Just consider other situations when you’re not confused with your decision about what you need to do………
When your hair is too long, you go to the hairdresser’s and get it cut.
When you have toothache, you’d see the dentist.
When your cat’s ill, you’d call the vet.
If your car broke down, you’d visit the garage…………..So, when you have back pain, you should see a back pain expert to guide you quickly out of pain and disability, returning to the activities you enjoy!
Actually get the right help. Once you’ve decided to get help, don’t delay! Avoid putting up any unnecessary barrier’s to your recovery! Seek out a back pain expert and get some real, expert advice, specific to your injury. You need them to devise a treatment plan aimed at getting back to the activities you enjoy! This may include some ‘hands on’ treatment to help relieve your pain and other symptoms initially, so that you can get mobile and active again in comfort, quickly. Physiotherapists are the first choice for professional sportsman and women the world over, we can also be the best first choice for you!
Do the right exercises’s. Long term, most exercise is great for helping relieve and prevent recurrent back pain. But in the short term, in the early stages, it’s crucial to do the correct exercises, specific to your back pain injury. Being under professional guidance will ensure you receive the right treatment at the right time, speeding your recovery and quickly returning you to the activities you enjoy!
Avoid rest and inactivity. Total rest is never a good idea, it will only delay your recovery, prolonging your injury. Instead, at goPhysio we use the term ‘selective rest’, which means to rest only from the aggravating (pain causing) activities. This is a crucial first step to a speedy recovery! So make sure you’re getting up and moving about as much as you can.
How Deciding To See Us At goPhysio Can Help You
How can choosing to see a Physiotherapist at goPhysio help you get rid of your back pain in the next few days?
Here’s just a few of the things we can do for you to ease your back pain in the next few days………
Hassle free access to expert Physiotherapists No waiting list’s, convenient early and late appointments, free parking, no referral needed from your GP – you can book by just giving us a call.
Same day appointments We’ll offer you an appointment within 24hrs of you getting in touch, often on the same day. Once you’ve made the decision to see us, we’ll ensure there are no barrier’s to your recovery.
We can quickly ease your pain and stiffness We can help you find out what’s really going on, and get to the root cause of your back pain once and for all. We know that you want to have some relief from your pain, so will use a range of techniques to make sure we help with this.
We’ll help you get a good nights sleep Trouble sleepin often goes hand in hand with back pain. If you’re having trouble sleeping, we’ll teach you how to position yourself comfortably in bed, to help you sleep much better.
We’ll teach you how to help yourself. It’s all well and good use helping you during your appointments, but its crucial that you are doing everytjing you can do to help yourself the rest of the time. We’ll teach you the best postures, position’s and exercises to ease your pain and stiffness in-between sessions.
Get to the root of YOUR problem We make sure we spend time finding out exactly what’s causing your back pain. We lsiten to your story, what you love to do (and want to get back to). You’ll leave your first session with a bespoke, written personal recovery plan, outlining your treatment program and expected timescales, helping to reassure you with the right information, that’s relevent to you.
We’ll show you how to keep active We’ll make sure from your first to last visit, you clearly understand what you should and shouldn’t be doing, returning you back to more and more activities as you improve, ensuring you stay as active and mobile possible throughout your recovery to the activities you enjoy.
We’re totally focused on you Our care is focused on solving the injury problems and concerns of importance to you, ensuring you achieve your goals, returning to the activities you enjoy!
How Pilates at goPhysio has helped me, by Jill G
Hopefully we’ve answerd some of your questions and concerns and addressed the worries you may be having about your back pain.
If you have read the information above and think that seeing a Physiotherapist is the best step to take to help you recover from your back pain and our team at goPhysio are the ones to help you, you can book an appointment.
If you want to know more, you can request a FREE special injury report here.
There are a few options if you’d like to book an appointment:
Call our friendly, helpful Patient Services Team on 023 8025 3317 (we’re open from 8am – 8pm Mon – Thurs, 8am – 6pm Friday & 8am – 12pm Saturday)
Book an appointment safely and securely online here 24/7
Pop in to see us if you’re in the Chandlers Ford area
If you’re still not sure whether we can help, we’re more than happy to arrange a free telephone consultation. Just drop us an email to email@example.com to request this and we’ll be in touch.
Don’t forget to request the free special injury report 8 quick, easy ways to live a healthy, active, positive life, free from back pain here, for more advice and information about back pain.Request my free special injury report.
Here at goPhysio we understand that choosing to see a someone if you’re injured or in pain may be a bit daunting? Lots of questions may go through your mind before you decide to make an appointment……….“What will they ask me? Will it hurt? Will I have to get undressed? How do I know it’s going to help?”
We aim to provide a very caring, comfortable and professional environment for you to come and get your problem resolved.
To help answer some of the thoughts you may have if you’re unsure about picking up the phone to make an appointment, we’d like to address some of the questions you may want to ask.
What conditions can you help?
As Physiotherapists and Sports Therapists at goPhysio, our specialist area of expertise is in assessing, diagnosing and resolving musculoskeletal issues. Musculo = muscles, Skeletal = skeleton (bones, joints, nerves, ligaments, tendons). So, most conditions affecting those areas, we can help.
Here’s a (not exhaustive) list of some of the most common conditions we help resolve here at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford.