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3 Things You’re Doing Wrong With Your Back Pain

Back pain sucks. It’s really common but it mostly goes away so don’t worry. It very rarely needs surgery but if you experience it, it can be a worry. Follow our simple tips and it will go away even faster! Watch our video below of lower back injury exercises to start getting on track and book a screening with one of our expert physios at any of our 5 locations.

In our experience it usually ends up being chronic or needing further intervention when you do the wrong things (or don’t do the right things). See our 3 tips below.

3 Things you are doing wrong for back pain

  1. Rest and avoiding exercise (train smart, modify correctly, don’t stop)
  2. Get scans/x-rays
  3. Foam rolling


12 tips to get lasting results for back pain

1. Keep moving, be confident it will settle (avoid stressing)

Ensuring the muscles surrounding your spine remain strong helps take pressure off your bones and joints, which is a necessity for long-term back relief. Essentially, the more you move, the easier it will be for your back to retain its natural movement range.

2. Get on top of it – after the pain settles, strengthen your back for 6-12 weeks

Too much strenuous exercise will do very little to aid with back muscle pain relief, but moderate exercises that are suitable for your condition will speed up the healing process. After six weeks, start doing simple exercises such as knee to chest raises, floor swimming and straight leg raises a few times per week.

3. Train to bend – Jeffersons and side bends

It’s important to strengthen your back by training to bend. This not only provides back relief but also helps prevent injuries from arising again. The Jefferson curl and side bends are two of the best ways to relieve lower back pain.

4. Get a coach

Too little and too much exercise can exacerbate back pain rather than relieve it, so it’s always worth seeking advice from a professional coach before you take any risks or dive into a fitness regime that could do more harm than good.

5. Early on – extensions

Back extensions are one of the most effective ways to relieve lower back pain. Back extension exercises strengthen the muscles in your lower back that support the lower spine. They also strengthen the muscles in your shoulders, hips and buttocks.

6. Stay active

When you’re suffering from back pain, it’s tempting to lie down on the sofa and avoid moving, but this can make matters worse. It’s better to stay active so that your muscles retain their natural movement range. Basic exercises that don’t put too much pressure on your back will provide lower back pain relief over time.

7. Find a group and have fun to stay active – yoga, pilates, crossfit, bushwalking

Motivating yourself to work the muscles in your back while you’re in pain can be challenging. If you need a little extra motivation, consider joining group activities, such as yoga, Pilates, bushwalking and crossfit, all of which can provide lower and upper back pain relief.

8. Eat well

You should maintain a balanced diet to speed up the healing process. However, some anti-inflammatory foods can provide pain relief for back pain, such as ginger, turmeric, nuts, red grapes, thyme, olive oil and even coffee. Plenty of delicious foods double up as sore back remedies.

9. Sleep well

Sleeping well is essential for long-term sore back relief. One of the best tips for back pain relief at home is to sleep on your back with your knees slightly elevated on a pillow. You should use a relatively flat pillow for your head. This helps promote spinal alignment, reducing stress on your back’s pressure points in the process.

10. Meditate/Mindfulness

Recent clinical studies suggest that meditation, otherwise known as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), can be a better way to relieve back pain than pharmaceutical painkillers. Meditation is also an effective way to lift your mood.

11. Short term manual therapy, but don’t rely on it to avoid moving more

Manual therapy is a physical treatment most often administered by physiotherapists to treat musculoskeletal pain. However, even though it’s one of the most effective ways to relieve back pain, you shouldn’t rely on it solely and forget about staying active at home. Staying active and manual therapy should go hand in hand for the best results.

12. Avoid ice/heat?

Depending on what’s causing back pain, heat and ice ought to be avoided. Heat can lead to increased inflammation in people with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, diabetes mellitus, poor circulation and arthritis. Similarly, ice applied to sore muscles can cause spasms in severe situations. To find out whether ice or heat could provide back pain relief, you should speak to a professional.

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