Back pain is very common, it is reported a staggering 84% of us will experience it at some point in our lives. This is not surprising in a day and age where many of us sit at work for long periods and are generally more inactive day to day as a whole population. The below picture provides some very interesting facts regarding back pain.
For me the main points are:
The back is not that vulnerable to damage. People with lower back pain tend to move in a guarded way and are scared to exercise and move normally in case their pain gets worse. In fact the opposite is true, your back is made to move, bend and straighten through its whole range. It also provide stability for your whole body - therefore is a really strong structure. Your back is strong and stable so don't worry about damaging it by doing normal day to day activities or exercise.
Exercise is good for back pain but people are often afraid. If you limit your activity, and take to your bed all day because your back is sore it isn't going to get better! All the scientific research points towards keeping moving and keeping active to manage your back pain.
You can have back pain without back injury or damage. Yes, your back can be sore without there being any structural damage to your spine. Interestingly if you take people without back pain and give them an MRI scan you will find 80% of 50 year olds have disc degeneration. 60% of 50 year olds have disc bulging. These changes are just a normal part of the ageing process, exactly the same as getting grey hair as you get older. It would in fact be more uncommon to have a completely normal MRI scan over the age of 50.
In conclusion, we need to keep our back fit and healthy through regular movement, and stop being fear avoidant of activity when we are sore.
Struggling with lower back pain? Why not book in to see one of our chartered physiotherapists in Glasgow or Edinburgh. We can provide hands on treatment, provide you with a comprehensive rehab programme and give you advice on the best way to exercise to keep your back healthy.
We also offer Pilates classes at various times throughout the week. These are a great way to keep your back mobile and strengthen your deep core muscles.
To book an appointment or enquire about our pilates classes feel free to give us a call on 0141 332 6000 or 0131 556 1116.