Beat Back Pain with Some Simple Tips

At Sport & Spinal Physiotherapy in Gungahlin Canberra, we see a wide range of clients with all manner of pain and injury – however a large part of our work is centred on dealing with low back pain.
Here are some simple tips on overcoming and preventing back pain that will help keep you in good shape and pain free:

If you don’t use it, you lose it:
This is one of the oldest sayings in health and fitness but relates very well to back pain – especially in regards to maintaining movement in your back. We suggest that every day you do a variety of mobility exercises that move your back through a full range. Basically all of us should be able to bend forward standing up and be able to touch our toes at a minimum. Likewise, we should all aim to be able to bend backwards full range as well – however more people tend to suffer back pain simply because they lose the ability to bend the spine forwards. Some good exercises include: (a) pulling your knees to your chest 10 times whilst lying on your back (b) hamstring stretches and (c) gluteal stretches. If you are in any pain when doing these movements/stretches make sure you check with your therapist at Sport & Spinal Physio before continuing.

Don’t rest too much with a back injury:
This is a difficult one because many people feel that if they have hurt their back they need to stop moving totally and lie in bed for days on end until the pain settles – whilst this may be the best course of action for a small number of back pain clients especially with an acute disc lesion – the overwhelming majority of research supports getting moving as soon as possible post injury – be this via swimming, gently walking, or a range of physiotherapy designed exercises. Exercise as much as you can comfortably and a little bit of pain is OK, but not too much pain. At Sport & Spinal Physio we often tell our clients to exercise with a smile. In the end, pain comforters do much better than pain avoiders – so gentle exercise early after injury will help you get back on your feet much faster.

Stay Fit:
One of the best ways to improve back pain and prevent it in the first place is to keep physically fit – the greater your aerobic fitness the better oxygen delivery to your muscles, the less sensitive you are to pain responses in your back and the better you feel generally – so get out there and move at least 30-40 mins every other day – you will feel great and help your back at the same time.

Don’t stay in the same position for more than 30 mins:
If you spend most of your day sitting in an office chair or driving a car then you are a great risk of getting a stiff and painful back – as we said before the joints in your back love to move and the more they move the healthier they are. Get up and stretch, take a walk or at least move your body position every 30 mins – your back will thank you for it.

If you have a back issue and would like to know what is going on, or if you would like to go over some simple back exercises to keep your back loose and pain free, then call SPORT & SPINAL PHYSIO on 62624464 and we will get you sorted out fast!

About Craig Honeybrook

Craig is the practice principal of Sport & Spinal Physiotherapy. He attained a Masters in Sports Physiotherapy degree in 2000 at Sydney University studying foot injuries in runners and anterior knee pain in cyclists. He has been working as a physiotherapist for over 20 years and moved to Canberra over 12 years ago. He has been consultant physiotherapist for Balmain Rugby League, Eastern Suburbs Rugby, Australian Track & Field and Brumbies Rugby. His special interests include lower limb biomechanics, spinal instabilities and malalignments, bike fitting, running assessments, shoulder injuries and knee injuries. Craig was a former international level middle distance runner but now enjoys endurance mountain biking achieving a 2nd placing in the 2010 World Solo 24 hour Mountain Bike Championships. He also enjoys skiing, swimming, kayaking, gym work and spending time with his family.