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Hamilton Osteopaths Tips to Manage and Understand Back Pain

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

Are you experiencing persistent lower back pain that's holding you back from enjoying the things you love? At TLC Osteopaths, we're here to help you take the first steps towards addressing your pain with these simple tips.

Understanding Back Pain

Low back pain is more common than most people think. In fact, most people will experience lower back pain at some point in their lifetime. Fortunately, most back pain is a short term problem and NOT serious, despite how painful it may feel. We like to compare back pain to the common cold - Most of us will experience both at some point or another. They are seldom serious and often well managed with sensible rest and a little simple self care.

However this is not always the case!

Danger Signs Of Back Pain

Most back pain is just painful. However First if you're experiencing any

  • unexplained weight loss,

  • fever,

  • major trauma to your back,

  • or loss of bladder or bowel control,

This may indicate a more serious underlying issue. In this case, we strongly advise seeking medical attention immediately, especially if your symptoms are worsening. Most of the time this means a trip to your G.P. ASAP. Notably, most GPs are not available for ASAP visits these days so a trip to Angelsea Urgent Care (in town) clinic or Tui Urgent Care (Te Rapa) is a good idea. A helpful tip is to try calling ahead of time to see what the wait times are at each one. I have written more about this HERE

At Home Care For Back Pain

If your lower back pain is not accompanied by any of these symptoms, the following advice is useful and informed by the best research:

  1. Avoid bed / couch rest and try to maintain your normal activities where possible. It's important to know that lower back pain without any of the symptoms mentioned above is usually not a serious condition and has a good prognosis. Surprisingly, most people feel better after a few days and are doing very well after a few weeks, even when they experienced very strong initial pain .

  2. Incorporate gentle exercises into your routine. While there's no one-size-fits-all approach, neither is there a 'best exercise to do' when it comes to exercises for lower back pain. Studies suggest that exercise in general is beneficial in managing the condition. This could be anything from gentle stretches, easy swimming, to walking for 15-20 minutes. The focus is on enjoyable and comfortable movement, so listen to your body.

  3. Prioritize your sleep. Whilst bed rest is not recommended. A good nights sleep is. Aim for at least 8 hours. Often times you back pain can interfere with your sleep, so trialing pillows under or between your knees, alongside a healthy bed time routine, can really help.

Do I Need a X-Ray?

It's worth noting that imaging tests like X-rays and MRIs are not typically recommended for lower back pain unless symptoms persist or worsen. We can refer you as needed for this.

Reach Out For Back Pain Help

At TLC Osteopaths, we understand that your experience with lower back pain is unique, and we're here to support you in finding a solution that works for you. Don't hesitate to reach out to one of our qualified osteopaths for further help.

Darryl Jenkins TLC osteopaths Hamilton

Darryl Jenkins is a friendly osteopath and co-owner of TLC Osteopaths in Hamilton. Amongst various informal qualifications, his formal qualifications include a undergraduate certificate in Exercise science from Wintec, a degree in Human Biology from Unitec, and a master's degree in osteopathy from Unitec, where he also completed his thesis on human movement assessment. He also holds a postgraduate certificate in acupuncture from AUT and would like to be pursuing the postgraduate certificate in Pain Science at Otago Uni (awaiting spouse approval).

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