lower back pain? check this out

You are probably reading this post as you now have what 84% of the population have at some point in their life – lower back pain (Hoy et al., 2014). This can be quite a rubbish and frustrating time – especially when it stops you doing what you want to do in the day!Below is a quick guide about lower back pain and some tips to help you get moving again.We’re here to help

dont panic

95% of the cases of back pain are non-serious (meaning they are not due to fractures, cancer, or other serious causes). This means you are unlikely to have damaged anything, “slipped” a disc (see “I’ve slipped a disc!” post), or require any surgery. Your back is extremely strong and is capable of many movements.

keep moving

Although your body is telling you to stop and lie in bed, this is often not useful to help get over the pain in the long term. Instead, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) (2017) recommend that you keep as active as possible during this time. Physical activity keeps the back muscles strong and teaches the brain that movement is safe.

use ice… or heat

Often there is conflicting advice on whether to use ice or heat or even both! The simple advice I can offer is use what makes you feel best! Research has shown that ice is a powerful pain modulator (meaning it overrides the pain signals to the brain making the pain feel better) (Malanga, Yan, & Stark, 2015). Heat however is soothing and often capable of relaxing the muscles that are irritated, helping you get moving again.

it may take some time

Most cases of low back pain tend to resolve themselves within six weeks of the original trigger (Itz, Geurts, van Kleef, & Nelemans, 2013). This may feel like a long time, but the body needs opportunity to fully recover and get back to before! However, if this seems like a too long then we have one more recommendation…

see your osteopath

If your pain persists longer than the expected six weeks or if six weeks is just too long to wait, then there may be some other factors at play. Pain can be influenced by sleeping habits, activity levels, stress, previous experiences, and friends & family! Osteopaths believe that the body is a whole and are trained to help identify any musculoskeletal contributions to your pain, advise on activity adaptations, and provide specific exercises & stretches. This may also include hands-on treatment aimed at helping the recovery process.Enjoyed this blog? See more here


Hoy, D., March, L., Brooks, P., Blyth, F., Woolf, A., Bain, C., . . . Buchbinder, R. (2014). The global burden of low back pain: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study. Ann Rheum Dis, 73(6), 968-974. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204428Itz,

C. J., Geurts, J. W., van Kleef, M., & Nelemans, P. (2013). Clinical course of non-specific low back pain: a systematic review of prospective cohort studies set in primary care. Eur J Pain, 17(1), 5-15. doi: 10.1002/j.1532-2149.2012.00170.x

Malanga, G. A., Yan, N., & Stark, J. (2015). Mechanisms and efficacy of heat and cold therapies for musculoskeletal injury. Postgrad Med, 127(1), 57-65. doi: 10.1080/00325481.2015.992719

National Institute of Clinical Excellence. (2017). Low back pain and sciatica in over 16s: assessment and management | Recommendations | Guidance and guidelines | NICE.

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