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Lower back pain will affect between 50 – 80% of us at some point in our life ¹
As with other types of back pain, lower back pain is an issue that increases in prevalence as people get older. However, in most cases, the pain is not caused by anything too serious and will improve within a few weeks or months. If you are suffering with lower back pain, it’s important to know that there are things you can do to help relieve it.
The term ‘lower back pain’ incorporates a wide range of symptoms. From mild, merely annoying pain to a shooting pain that’s severe and debilitating. The term includes pain that flares up suddenly and slow, gradual pain that becomes worse over time. Typically, lower back pain falls into one of the following three categories:
The symptoms of lower back pain can vary greatly in type and severity, symptoms can be experienced in several ways including:
Just as there are many symptoms of lower back pain, there are many different causes – the most common one is a torn or pulled muscle or ligament. This might occur if you have been lifting a heavy object; have moved suddenly and placed too much stress on the lower back e.g. when falling; as the result over time of poor posture; or from sports injuries.
Chronic lower back pain, that which lasts for more than three months, often involves a disc problem, a joint problem, or an irritated nerve. These longer-lasting forms of back pain are more likely to be caused by fractures – perhaps from a car crash other trauma – and the effects of aging.
There are many treatments for lower back pain and often a combination works best. It may seem counterintuitive but staying active and not resting for too long will help a quicker recovery. Short-term, hot or cold packs may help to ease lower back pain when it first starts.
Over-the-counter pain medications can be used to treat mild lower back pain, although the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) advises that these are not used to treat chronic pain. 100% drug-free, BioWaveGO can be used to treat mild and chronic pain.
Your Doctor can advise you of alternative treatment options, such as specialist exercise classes; manual therapy done by chiropractors, osteopaths or physiotherapists; acupuncture; or psychological support.
It’s important to keep moving if you have lower back pain, as people who can remain active are likely to recover more quickly. Simple back exercises and stretches can often help to reduce back pain. And gentle activities such as walking, swimming, yoga and Pilates can help to keep your back strong and healthy.
You shouldn’t attempt strenuous exercises, activities or contact sports that will put needless pressure or force onto your lower back, like sit-ups, overhead weightlifting or rugby, until you are fully recovered.
Learn more about exercise for lower back pain relief.