Lower back pain usually isn’t the sign of anything serious and can be the result of a sprain or strain. If the pain doesn’t diminish within a few weeks however, visit your GP who can examine you and advise on the best treatment. If your back pain isn’t caused by anything serious then keeping active is key. It can be an effective way of relieving the pain and prevent it from coming back.
But certain physical activities can prove more painful than others when you have back pain, so experts recommend doing particular exercises to offer relief.
One that Bupa recommends is called the ‘cat stretch’, which can easily be done at home, and should be repeated five to 10 times daily.
How to do a cat stretch
1. Support yourself on all fours. Make sure your back is straight and your head is in one with your body.
2. Arch your back upward.
3. Let your spine arch downward.
4. Return to the starting position.
There are also exercises you can do out of the home – a relatively simple activity everyone can do to ease back pain flare-ups is swimming, according to Nathanael Bogedain, doctor of Chiropractic Care at ProBack.
But why does plunging into the water provide an instant sense of relief, and why is it recommended for back pain patients?
Dr Bogedain said: “It simply comes down to the fact that movement is good for back pain and that water, thanks to its buoyancy and weightlessness, allows you to perform light resistance and cardiovascular training with very little impact on the spine.
“While you’re pulling your body through the cool water a wide range of muscles, including your core, back and legs, are strengthened. Aside from building beautiful long lean muscles, the resistance training increases spine stability which helps to manage back pain.”
Dr Bogedain also said that swimming is a great cardiovascular workout. So in addition to the usual benefits cardio training, a good workout will enable your body to send more oxygen to sore back muscles, providing temporary relief.
He added: “Finally, thanks to the lightness your body experiences in water, you move more slowly and in different ways – and you’re more likely to twist into positions that will loosen up the joints muscles which contribute to back pain, when you’re swimming.”
According to the NHS, there are nine instances where you should contact your GP or call the NHS on 111 immediately. These are if you have back pain and:
- Numbness or tingling around your genitals or buttocks
- Difficulty peeing
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Chest pain
- A high temperature (fever) of 38C or above
- Unexplained weight loss
- A swelling or a deformity in your back
- It doesn’t improve after resting or is worse at night
- It started after a serious accident, such as after a car accident
In rare cases, back pain can be a symptom of pancreatic cancer.
Published at Thu, 17 Jan 2019 17:02:00 +0000