To Move, or Not to Move with Low Back Pain?
Findings by a team of international researchers in the scientific medical journal The Lancet shows that the evidence suggests that low back pain should be managed in primary care, with the first line of treatment being to keep active and stay at work. A high proportion of patients worldwide are treated in emergency departments, encouraged to rest and stop working, and commonly prescribed pain killers which are now discouraged for treating low back pain.
Rest, is one of the worst approaches, yet this advice is commonplace in many countries.
The authors stated that poor general health, including factors such as obesity and low levels of physical activity, are associated with low back pain episodes.
Tips and Advise:
- Believe you can improve as most low back pain is not serious and most episodes clear up reasonably quickly
- Avoid bed rest with low back pain as it leads to worse results
- Remain active and return to full activity and hobbies as soon as possible
- Stay as work or go back to work as quickly as possible
- Don’t rush for an X-ray, CT scan or MRI scan
- Don’t call an ambulance or visit the emergency department
- Don’t expect medicines on their own to be the answer (and know that there is no such thing as a ‘back pain’ medicine)
- Surgery is rarely an option for low back pain
- The back is a very strong structure
- Exercise is safe, should not be avoided, and can be helpful
- Low back pain does not always mean there is a back problem