This episode is entitled “6 steps to relieve lower back pain”. The 6 steps covered are:

  1. Don’t aggravate your pain
  2. Move often and in the right direction
  3. Sleep well
  4. Don’t worry
  5. Appropriate use of medication
  6. Pro-active manual therapy

1) Don’t aggravate your pain

Use it, but don’t abuse it. Avoid activities that increase your pain levels. Pain is there as a warning alarm system, there to tell you not to do something. Try and do those activities in a way that they don’t aggravate your pain. That’s slightly different from not doing them at all. Don’t radically limit what you do, we want you to carry on with activities of daily living as much as possible, but find ways of doing them that don’t increase your pain.

2) Move often and in the right direction

Movement is incredibly valuable as it keeps you healthy, but it’s also important when it comes to dealing with pain. If you move, you’re telling your body that everything’s normal and we can carry on. You’re lowering the alarm levels. It also increases the blood flow to all different parts of your body, which helps reduce inflammation and basically stimulate recovery. Move often and in the right direction. If you find that bending forward in a particular way, you’re in pain, then don’t  bend in that particular direction. Work out which directions of movement are painful for you.

3) Sleep well

If you are sleep deprived you will experience more pain. Your system is a bit easier to wreck. So many systems are at play here (the neural musculoskeletal system, the endocrine system), that interplay with one another. You’ll experience more pain because pain is an alarm system. Get plenty of sleep. Let’s move on with more steps to relieve lower back pain.

4) Don’t worry

Most lower back pains resolve now. Try not to worry. Chances are, you’re going to be fine. It will get better. If you’re worried, anxious and stressed, your alarm system is cranked up and you will experience more pain. People who have anxiety and depression tend to experience more pain of all types, because they’re more tightly wired. Do some meditation, chill. It’s sound evidence-based advice. Don’t worry.

5) Appropriate use of medication

There isn’t any appropriate use of medication, all medication comes at a price. Anyone on the planet could have an adverse response to pretty much any medication. There’s not a lot of evidence for the use or the value of medication in the short term, but Paracetamol is pretty benign. If you have an awful lot of it, you can have an adverse reaction. Stick to the recommended guidelines on the bottle, don’t overdo it.

6) Proactive manual therapy

It’s very important that whoever you consult at takes a proactive approach, educates you, helps you understand how you got into this mess and how to take preventative measures in the longterm. Manual therapy is effective in the short term for people with lower back pain. Whether somebody’s actually doing the manual therapy to you or you’re doing it yourself with a massage ball, getting some pressure into different parts of your body can be helpful. You can have a consultation with us online, as well as in-person. This is 70% you and maybe 30% us. We can help, but we are very much removers of barriers. We don’t fix you or make your body better. Your body has helped self-healing mechanisms. It can repair itself. You just have to get out of the way and follow the 6 steps to relieve lower back pain.

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