In the recent NICE guidelines on low back pain, there was a strong emphasis on teaching the person how to look after themselves and their backs in order to encourage the body to heal and prevent recurrence.

Keep Moving

Although it is true that some movements can be uncomfortable when you have back pain, it is well established that returning to movement and work as soon as you are able, is better for recovery and preventing recurrence than bed rest

All muscles, ligaments, joints, nerves and discs need to move and be loaded in order to heal so the sooner you move, the quicker you heal. We often use the term motion is lotion in order to encourage movement again.

Should I exercise with back pain?

Exercise is accepted to be the best modality for treating low back pain in both the acute and chronic phases. Studies have shown great benefits and long-term safety of various types of exercises including high load resistance training.

Interestingly, no one type of exercise proves to be better or worse, so simply do what you enjoy and can tolerate! Gradually build up as your confidence and ability improves.

We often encourage our patients to focus on strength based training with the motto of “Stronger For Longer”

Should I have a scan if my back hurts?

There is a large and growing body of research that shows that not only do results of scans correlate poorly with symptoms in people with Low Back Pain but also that most people without Low Back Pain have changes on scans and x-rays that do not cause any symptoms at all.

For these reasons and more, imaging alone isn’t capable of telling us exactly why someone is experiencing pain.

Often the pain experienced is due to local inflammation or stiffness in the soft tissues in the back. By moving and loading these tissues in the right way, it is shown to promote quicker healing and prevent recurrence.