Here are some of the causes of back pain
· Bending forward while simultaneously rotating the upper body
· Lifting heavy weights
· Sitting for prolonged periods – for example, driving or working in an office
· Lots of sitting and untrained muscles
· Frequently climbing up stairs and walking uphill
· Psychological stress
· Unbalanced strength training
And here are some of the ways to tackle back pain
If the pain is coming from a single point – often a sharp pain – then ice first. It is a great anti-inflammatory. Use an ice pack or a pack of frozen peas. Leave the pack on for about 10 minutes. Repeat once the area has warmed up. Do this throughout the day. Avoid all forms of heat.
Don’t lie down or sit in a sofa. Walk around. You want to increase circulation and mobilisation so go about your day as far as possible as you normally would – but keep getting up and moving around if you have a deskbound job. If the pain is in the lower back– especially if it’s coming from the sacroiliac joint – rotating the hips slowly and doing gentle forward and backward hip tilts can help. When your back is feeling better, get back to exercising within your tolerance – no pain.
If you absolutely have to drive, use a lumbar support and make sure you take breaks to get out and stretch.
Other things to avoid
Avoid all forms of heat, avoid lifting, bending forward, exercise other than walking, any motion that produces the pain.
Due to the excessive tension in the muscles, circulation to the back is limited. You can lessen tension by increasing circulation through self-massage. Obviously this is easier if the pain is in the lower back. Even if the pain is in the mid or upper back, it’s worth massaging into the lower back. And get a ball and massage into the buttocks.
Use a firm good-quality mattress and just one pillow. Sleep on your side with one or both knees slightly bent. If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees.
See your wonderful massage therapist
Your therapist will be able to get to areas you can’t and help speed up recovery by breaking down the tension in the muscles and increasing circulation – muscles love blood and massage is very effective way of increasing blood into areas that are giving you pain. Wait, however, until acute pain has subsided before you see your therapist.