How to get better
It’s important to get back into your usual daily routine as soon as you can. You may need to take it easy at first with tasks like lifting and bending. But it’s great to keep doing some gentle exercise like walking or swimming. Bed rest can make your back pain worse, so get up and about. A physio can advise you on safe, appropriate exercises that will support your back.
Although pain can make you feel like keeping to yourself, it’s important to catch up with friends and continue with your hobbies and interests as much as possible.
Get back to work
Getting back to work quickly keeps you involved with others, gets you into a routine and helps you focus on something other than your back pain. If you can’t manage full days at work at first, talk to your employer about easing back into your job. This could involve working part of the days at first, or it could mean that for a time you avoid doing those parts of your job that will make your back feel worse, like heavy lifting.
If your work involves lots of sitting, make sure you get up and stretch regularly. It’s good to do this whether or not you have a sore back!
Avoid bed rest
Research shows that you should avoid bed rest with back pain. Staying active can help
reduce your pain and shorten recovery time in most cases. A physio can advise you on the right level of activity for you.
Ease your pain
There are over-the-counter medications available to help you manage your back pain so don’t try to ‘tough it out’. Talk to a health professional about what might work best for you.
Remind yourself that most back pain passes really quickly, and there’s a lot you can do to stop it coming back again.
Take action if you don’t get better
If you’re not feeling better after a few weeks then seek additional treatments for back pain. The next section covers how physiotherapy can help you treat and manage your back pain.
One of the most common treatments for back pain is physiotherapy. Physiotherapists are able to:
- assess your back and pinpoint where any problem areas may be.
- identify actions or habits that may be adding to your pain.
- provide you with exercises and advice to reduce pain and prevent further episodes.
- If your back is uncomfortable, regular pain relief such as paracetamol can help.
- However, if you have severe pain or any of the red flags listed above, see your doctor straight away.