Back pain – your questions answered
For this topic, lead physiotherapist Jan Vickery, and her experienced team of musculoskeletal physiotherapists here at AXA Health, answer your questions about coping with back pain.
Aches and pains can have a negative affect on your mobility, mood and even your ability to work productively on a day-to-day (and sometimes long-term) basis. However, there are treatments and coping mechanisms that can make a real difference.
Here we’ve rounded up the best of the team’s support and insights around the most commonly asked questions:
Q. What exercises can I do at home for small back pain?
The truth is ANY exercise is likely to help. We suggest finding the type of exercise that you enjoy and suits you because you are more likely to stick with that. In general, most exercise programmes contain exercises for strength, stretching and for mobility. Pilates is great for strengthening core muscles and yoga is great for mobility and stretching. If you need help with a programme that is specific for you then you can ask a therapist or personal trainer for help. Being active will definitely help your back - whether you have pain or not.
Q. When cycling I often get a pain after in my lower back, what can be the issue?
Back pain from cycling often relates to how the bike fits you and your posture on it. A quick Internet search on bike fitting can give you some ideas to try first. However sometimes it takes an expert eye to spot something subtle, so give your local bike shop and call - it's surprising how a small change to your bike can make a big difference.
Q. I’ve been diagnosed with sciatica; what is it and how can I help myself?
Sciatica is the name given to any sort of pain caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve – the longest nerve in your body. It runs from the back of your pelvis, through your buttocks, and all the way down both legs, ending at your feet. The pain of sciatica is usually felt in the buttocks and legs, much more then the back.
The main thing is to keep moving. It’s helpful to take pain medication, such as ibruopfren, because they help you keep moving. Most pain relief works better if taken regularly. Try to keep positive and not to worry about it happening again - this is not uncommon. If you find that you are not getting better after a few weeks then see you GP about getting some manual therapy.