back pain

In the current series of blogs we’ve had a real focus on Back Pain. So common at the moment with the UK in LOCKDOWN. More people are working from home. Some are not working at all as their workplace is closed. We have less opportunity by default to move. Simply because we are not walking or commuting like we normally would. In our clinics we see a wide range of patients with all manner of pain and injury – however a large part of our work is centred on dealing with low back pain.

Here is a link to some of our previous blogs on this topic:

TIP 1  Back pain is not due to there being something out of line in your spine or your pelvis being out of place 

In very rare cases there may be a change in spinal alignment but this is very infrequent. 

Quite often people feel that an adjustment or manipulation is what is required to correct this, but mostly this will provide symptomatic relief. The relief is often due to a reduction in muscle spasm, and less irritation of the nervous system rather than structures being out of place and then realigned!

TIP 2 Back Pain is very common and should not worry people 

Back pain can occur in over 80% of the population 

Circa 85% of people will feel an improvement in back pain after an acute episode in the first two weeks and circa 85% are fully recovered by 3 months post onset! 

The smaller percentage that remain are at risk of longer term back pain but that’s where the management of this is key and you should see a professional to sort out your back problem asap.

TIP 3 DO NOT Rest up in bed! 

We have mentioned this before, but it’s a big one and we are repeating the advice. This was the old style management for back pain and we now have a clear understanding that this is NOT the best way to proceed

Keeping as mobile as is possible and carrying out even the most simple of household chores is a big benefit in preventing compensatory mechanisms and staving off bad habits. Research in fact shows that not moving can in fact have a negative effect and increase pain and prolong the recovery time. But be sensible with your movement of course. 

TIP 4 Not getting enough sleep can influence back pain 

This can be linked to not getting enough sleep before you have an episode of back pain…..This leads to more stress and tension and can increase your risk for back pain.

Also when we have an episode of back pain this can slow down the recovery process if you are not getting enough sleep! So make sure you sort this one out!

TIP 5 Exercise is ok!

Quite often we see fear avoidance from those who are suffering from back pain. 

Exercise is now known to be one of the best ways of managing back pain.  Keeping the muscles conditioned and the general feeling of positivity associated with exercise is known to assist with positive outcomes  Make sure you take advice from your health professional regarding sensible exercise and movement suited to your back problem.

TIP 6  MRI scans are rarely needed. 

Reassureogram is the term we use in the profession. The key consideration for us before sending someone for a scan is…. “will it change the management of the patients problem” <5% of scans show a truly significant result. A good Chartered Physiotherapist like those at Bodies Under Construction should be able to advise you of the most likely cause of your pain and guide you on the need for a scan or not.

TIP 7 Expect that there will be abnormal findings on your MRI scan result. 

Results explained in a poor manner can increase fear avoidance and leave the client thinking there is something more seriously wrong with their back than is actually the case ❗️

It is normal to find the following;
– Bulging Discs 52%  
– Degenerative Discs 90% 
– Herniated Discs 28% 
– Arthritic Changes 38%. 

Abnormal findings do NOT necessarily mean pain!

TIP 8 More pain doesn’t always mean more damage

As odd as it sounds there are quite a number of factors that influence back pain!

For Example:
🔸Perception of Pain
🔸Fitness Levels

Quite often what can happen is the nervous system can become system to pain and lead us to experience more pain than someone who perhaps has never had the symptoms before.

TIP 9 Rarely is surgery needed to manage your back pain 

This is a common fear amongst those attending our clinic with back pain but we make sure to explain that its uncommon for back pain to lead to surgery. 

Reviews have shown that the outcomes with non-surgical management is similar to the surgical management in the medium to long term!

TIP 10 We may never find the perfect sitting posture

To sit up straight or not to sit up straight??

There is mixed news out there about this one. The general understanding is that various postures suit varied sitting positions. 

They now believe that the key component is the ability to transition from one posture to another and not spend hours sat in a flexed posture at a desk.

TIP 11 Its ok to move, lift and bend

We all know someone who says I can’t do any lifting because my back will go. These are the fear mechanisms that can delay people’s recovery from back pain. Quite often it may have been lifting that was the initial incident when the symptoms presented but this does not mean that you should avoid these in the long term! Returning to normal movement is a key part of the recovery.

TIP 12 Long Term Back Pain CAN get better. 

People often just accept that they will have back pain in the long term if they have had a couple of flare ups and the pain persists. 

A good Physiotherapist will look at all of the potential influencing factors to your pain.  Being given a couple of stretches or having a massage is not always the answer.  Looking at lifestyle, fitness levels, stress levels etc, can all help with the management.

If you’d like more info on this, and some easy, actionable tips you can use now to start easing your back. We have a free back pain guide available on our back pain page below.



...Meaning A Better Night’s Sleep, More Energy, Less Worry, And Above All…MORE Freedom To Do Things With LESS PAIN And Less Tension!… And That Would Be Nice, Right?


Leslie Abrahams