You can’t see back or neck pain but it can stop you from doing even the simplest of day to day activities. If you have back pain, you are probably worried for several reasons:
Is it serious?
Will it get better?
What can I do to help it get better?
Does this mean I will have pain for life?
Knowing if your back pain is serious, is difficult to determine without having an osteopath check you out. Most often it isn’t serious, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t incredibly painful!
The most common cause of back pain is a simple joint or ligament injury, which causes the muscles in the surrounding area to go into spasm. This can make moving around, sitting and bending over extremely painful. As it is hard to determine exactly what is going on without a full examination, if you have any of the following symptoms alongside your back pain please take yourself to your GP straight away.
A fever of 38˚C (100.4˚F) or above
Inability to pass urine or loss of bladder control
Loss of bowel control
Numbness around your genitals, buttocks or back passage
Unexplained weight loss
Pain began after a high impact injury or trauma, such as a car accident
You have any previous history of cancer, TB or rheumatological conditions or your general health has deteriorated since your back pain started (especially if you have weight loss, night sweats, nausea or vomiting)
If you do not suffer any of these symptoms, the cause to your back pain is not likely to be serious. However, that does not mean that you should ignore your back pain. The best option is to have it looked at by an osteopath so they can diagnose what is going on. We are able to refer you for more testing such as X-Rays, MRIs, or by using a range of manual therapy techniques from joint manipulation and articulation, to muscle release, and fascial chain stretching.
Definitely get yourself checked if you have any of the following:
Pain is more than just discomfort (5-10 – 10 being the worst!)
Symptoms spread into your buttocks, legs or feet
You are experiencing pins and needles or numbness
Your leg(s) feels weak or heavy
Your pain is constant or hard to manage with over the counter painkillers
Your pain started with a small or moderate trauma such as picking something light off the floor, standing from a chair or driving
Before you see your osteopath (i.e. us!), there is plenty that you can do to help relieve your pain.
Firstly, get yourself an ice pack or frozen peas, wrap it in some paper towel or tea towel and place onto the part of your back or neck that hurts.
Leave it there for 5-10minutes and repeat every 20 minutes. Avoid using heat in the first 72 hours of your injury, this will prevent swelling and prolonged pain.
Next, keep moving! In the past, your GP would advise painkillers and rest. However, this has been proven to lengthen recovery time. Therefore, get up and about and do gentle, slow, steady movements. For Example, walking, cycling slowly, swimming or hugging your knees to your chest. Pelvic floor exercises can also help too.
To come and see us for an appointment, call 9776 1600