Back pain is very common. According to a survey published in 2000 almost half the adult population of the UK (49%) report low back pain at some time in the year.
It is estimated that four out of every five adults (80%) will experience back pain at some stage in their life.
Back Pain is so common that like many aches and pains we often simply learn to live with it. We get used to the pain and our minds help us by "tuning out" so that we are less aware of the pain we are in. Sometimes we take pain killers so we can no longer feel the pain. This can be useful to relieve the stress it is causing and to help our bodies relax, but it does not heal the symptoms and as soon as we stop taking the drugs our back pain will return.
Perhaps it's worth considering that our back bone quite literally holds us together. It provides the structure on which relies our ribs and the musculature of the abdomen. i.e. all of our internal organs require a strong back to hold them in place. Furthermore the backbone houses our nervous system which controls all of our body functioning. With this in mind, perhaps we would take better care of our backs?
Backpain can be caused by any number of reasons; here are a few possibilities:
If there is injury or acute back pain rest is usually the best first step to healing. Rest your back on a firm surface. If your bed is soft you may need to take your mattress onto the floor. Lie on your back with your knees raised and supported by cushions and breathe.
Sometimes the breath feels caught or there is pain on breathing deeply. If this is the case let the breath be natural and just watch the breath coming and going. If you can deepen the breath then let the breath deepen slowly. Relax on each out breath. Let your body sink into your bed. Let yourself know that there is nothing to do except rest and recover. Relax your mind. You need to do as little as possible at this stage so if you live alone get some help. The more you rest, the shorter your recovery. When your back feels ok to walk around easily, you can get some complementary therapeutic help.
Most back pain is easy to treat with complementary therapy. It requires an assessment of the muscles and energies involved and a treatment plan to rebalance and re-align the body. Shiatsu and Acupuncture work to release the muscles and thus bring structural balance whilst at the same time re-balance the energy system to support that change.
Deep tissue and Sports Massage work deeply with the muscular system to bring about balance and Kinesiology works by checking the state of the muscles and "switching them on" i.e balancing their ability to work properly - lengthening and strengthening as required. Aromatherapy and Holistic Massage work to deeply relax the muscles helping to realign the spine and prevent tense muscles from pulling the bones out of alignment. Craniosacral therapy is a very gentle but effective way of helping back pain. It works with the Cerebro-spinal fluid to help re-align the back. For more information about Craniosacral Therapy please click here.
Walking is the safest exercise to rehabilitate your back. It helps to settle the pelvis and bring some movement into the back. It also moves your energy, lymph and blood to feed any injury. Swing your arms a little to loosen up and promote the above.
Talk with your therapist about further exercise. They may have specific exercises that you can do to strengthen and move the back appropriate to your situation and this stage of your treatment plan or they can offer advice on the exercise that you enjoy.
You may also like to see a Yoga therapist or another professional qualified in injury and exercise. If you enjoy Yoga, go back slowly. This is a great opportunity to really learn about your body and taking care of yourself. Move slowly checking throughout your postures. Stretch gently, breathe deeply. Yoga can be an excellent part of your treatment plan. As your back heals, you can include more vigorous exercise and go back to the sports that you love. There really is no need to suffer back pain. It's simply a matter of finding the right professional help and following a treatment plan designed for your recovery.