The most common area of the body to suffer from stress & strain is the back. It will affect about four in five people at some point in their lifetime. Back pain can occur at any age & sometimes without any warning. It is commonest between the ages of 35 and 65. Back pain is the second most frequently reported reason for visiting a doctor, and after the common cold, is the next leading reason for missed workdays for people under 45. It is also a major cause of work related sickness absence in the UK and can affect every type of business. Not only does it drain the economy but it also has real human cost. As those that suffer from it will tell you that severe nagging back pain is very difficult to ignore. It can be all consuming. I’m often asked if anything can be done about it & it is a difficult problem to cope with but the following may help:-
It is really crucible that you stay mobile even if you don’t want to! This will help your muscles to strengthen & support your back. This can be done by v gentle walking (having someone to do with this may help or joining a local walking group) or swimming at your own gentle pace. Water will support your back whilst you strengthen the muscles around that area by gently kicking & circling your legs.
Back Exercises are always recommended by the therapists & gentle exercises may be helpful to strengthen the muscles. Also, regular sessions of gentle back massage may help you:
Try some gentle relaxation techniques such as those developed by Mindfulness
This was recently recommended by the Speaker of the Houses of Parliament so it must be good for you!
If possible, do this before you get out of bed in the morning. This may help you to be not so stiff. Also, do gentle stretching exercises throughout the day whenever you feel yourself stiffening up. This is really important to do just before going to bed.
This is easier said than done! I know this from experience. When you are in pain it seems to dominate your life & every move is an gigantic effort. However, if you can try to remain in calm state & have some positive thoughts such as: ‘I’m going to get better’, this will aid your recovery. Research has shown that positive (glass half full type!) recover much better from medical episodes.
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