Lower Back Pain Causes and Relief Methods
Lower Back Pain
Low back pain is a common disorder. Nearly everyone is affected by it at some time. For most people affected by low back pain substantial pain or disability is short lived and they soon return to normal activities regardless of any advice or treatment they receive. A small proportion, however, develop chronic low back pain and disability. Once low back pain has been present for more than a year few people with long-term pain and disability return to normal activities. It is this group who account for the majority of the health and social costs associated with low back pain.
Low back pain probably affects around one-third of the UK adult population each year. Of these, around 20% (1 in 15 of the population) will consult their GP about their back pain. (Macfarlane, G. J., Jones, G. T., and Hannaford, P. C., 2006). This results in 2.6 million people, in the UK, seeking advice about back pain from their GP each year (Arthritis Research Campaign., 2002).
Lower back pain is common in people of all ages and has various causes. According to the NHS, most lower back pain will not be caused by anything serious. Conventionally low back pain is categorised according to its duration as acute (<6 weeks), sub-acute (6 weeks – 12 weeks) and chronic (>12 weeks) (Spitzer, W. O. and Leblanc, F. E., 1987). Since many people affected by low back pain find that their symptoms wax and wane it may not always be appropriate to use such a rigid classification system.(Croft, P. R., Macfarlane, G. J., Papageorgiou, A. C. et al, 1998)
You should always have your back pain assessed by a medical professional to ensure that you are provided with the correct medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment for your pain. Nathan Briganti of Briganti Physiotherapy, a musculoskeletal specialist physiotherapist, working within NHS, Private Practice and Professional sport has provided some useful information on the causes of Lower back pain, as well as some tips on how to relieve this type of pain.
Lower Back Pain Causes
There are many different causes of lower back pain and stiffness, including medical conditions, accidents, poor posture, and pain caused by everyday tasks carried out at work or in the home. Although back pain is common in older people, symptoms can be experienced at any age for various reasons. Some of the most common causes of lower back pain include:
· Medical Conditions, such as arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis (a long term inflammatory disease), spinal stenosis, herniated discs, sciatic nerve issues or other illnesses which may or may not be age related.
· Heavy lifting, for example, when carrying out manual handling tasks in the workplace or doing DIY tasks at home.
· Lifting a load which is too heavy without the appropriate lifting equipment.
· Poor posture whilst sitting or walking may cause acute low back pain or chronic low back pain.
· Lack of exercise
If you have any of the following symptoms with your back pain please call 111 or speak to your GP/healthcare professional urgently
· numbness or tingling around your genitals or buttocks
· difficulty peeing
· loss of bladder or bowel control – peeing or pooing yourself
· a high temperature
· a swelling or a deformity in your back
· it does not improve after resting or is worse at night
· it started after a serious accident, such as after a car accident
· the pain is so bad you’re having problems sleeping
· pain is made worse when sneezing, coughing or pooing
· the pain is coming from the top of your back, between your shoulders, rather than your lower back
How to Avoid Lower Back Pain
There are many things you can do to avoid lower back pain, and extra precautions should be taken if your job role involves manual handling tasks. Your employer should be aware of the risks involved in carrying out your role and should already have measures in place to help you avoid a lower back injury or pain.
· Pay careful attention to your posture whilst sitting and walking. If you work in an office, ensure that you are using the correct type of chair and that your desk and screens are at an appropriate height.
· Request a back support from your employer for your office chair if you experience any lower back pain.
· Exercise and stretch regularly.
· Ensure you have received appropriate manual handling training at work before lifting anything.
· Ensure you are aware of the weight of any object before lifting.
· Request lifting equipment from your employers to help you carry out manual handling tasks.
· Take regular breaks at work if your job involves long periods of heavy lifting and moving.
Lower Back Pain Relief
Lower back pain causes, and relief methods will be different depending on each person. It is important that you find out the cause of your pain by attending an appointment with your G.P. or seeing a qualified physiotherapist. Lower back pain relief and treatment may depend on the cause of the pain which you are experiencing. Some lower back pain relief methods include:
· Taking pain relievers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen may help to ease some lower back pain and provide some short-term relief.
· Using a hot or cold compress on the area affected may also provide some relief.
· Rest is a good way of relieving pain and muscle tension in the lower back. You G.P. may recommend bed rest for a few days before attempting methods such as physical therapy or exercise. Relative rest (avoiding aggravating movements) in the short term 1-4/5 days when in the acute phase of back pain can help to settle pain, but continued rest beyond this has been shown to slow down recovery significantly and can develop chronic pain from this.
· Exercise and stretching may help to strengthen the muscles of the lower and upper back, as well as improving posture. Swimming, walking, yoga, Pilates and attending the gym may be useful in relieving lower back pain. Ask your G.P. or physiotherapist for some advice on the best types of exercise to undertake; they may also advise you to attend specialist exercise classes.
· Surgery may be recommended for specific back injuries and conditions, such as a slipped disc or sciatica but only as a last resort in most instances, time, painkillers, some exercise is enough to alleviate back pain.
· Attend a physiotherapist
Physiotherapy for Lower Back Pain
One of the most common treatment options for lower back pain is physiotherapy. Physiotherapy can be used for most types of pain, including upper body, back, neck and shoulder pain, as well as lower back pain and lower body issues. They can provide lots of advice on lower back pain causes and relief methods.
Briganti Physiotherapy offers a range of treatments and modalities to manage, reduce and eliminate Low back Pain. Briganti Physiotherapy uses a range of evidence based treatments and modalities to aid in your recovery. While we utilise manual therapy and injection therapy to help treat patients, the underpinning of our treatment is based on education and the use exercise and strengthening.
How Can Beacon Law Assist?
Although Beacon Law cannot advise you on lower back pain causes and relief methods, we may be able to assist you in making a claim for compensation if your lower back pain was caused by someone else’s negligence
Beacon Law are a leading firm of no win, no fee Solicitors, offering a range of personal injury claim services to our clients. We provide a high level of service to all our clients and work hard to ensure they receive the appropriate treatment and highest level of compensation for their injuries.
If your lower back pain was caused by an accident which was not your fault, we will discuss your case and let you know if we think you have a claim. Accidents may include, slips, trips, and falls, accidents at work or road traffic accidents.
If you think your lower back pain was caused by your duties at work, we can review your case and let you know if we believe your employer has been negligent. Employer’s negligence can include:
· Lack of training
· Unsafe systems of work
· Not providing sufficient or appropriate lifting equipment
· Not allowing employees to take regular breaks
· Poor housekeeping, which may lead to slips, trips and falls
· Not providing appropriate office equipment
· Defective work equipment
Always consult with a medical professional as soon as you start to experience lower back pain so that you can find out what may be causing your pain and ensure that the pain does not continue to get worse.
If you would like to discuss making a claim for lower back pain, contact us by calling 0330 1332 857 ;or use the contact forms on our website.
Beacon Law are a Solicitors registered in England and Wales with our registered office based in Manchester. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.