Podcast 002: All About Back Pain
Learn all about back pain with Ursula Knecht, HFRC Sports and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist.
Back pain can affect anybody. 70-90% of us will suffer back pain at some time in our lives. It can affect teenagers to the elderly, and weekend warriors to super-fit athletes.
In this podcast interview, Ursula Knecht, HFRC musculoskeletal physiotherapist and author of ‘Back Pain Goodbye’ helps us to understand back pain, how to treat it and how to prevent it.
Have I broken my back?
Acute back pain can be scary. Thankfully, it’s unlikely you have broken your back if the pain developed after lifting, twisting or engaging in more physical activity than usual.
You should see a musculoskeletal physiotherapist or GP immediately and they can determine the best course of action. You don’t need a referral to see a physiotherapist.
Seek help immediately
Don’t delay seeing your GP or physiotherapist. The earlier you get treatment for back pain, the better your outcomes will be. Even back pain that doesn’t seem too bad will benefit from treatment and may prevent it from becoming a chronic condition (that is, one that lasts longer that 6-12 weeks).
If treated early, you can expect non-specific low back pain to resolve within a few weeks.
Treatment options for back pain
Your physiotherapist is likely to use a combination of manipulation and massage, taping and possibly dry needling to relax your muscles. You may also be prescribed exercises to strengthen the area.
Surgery is less likely to be an option to resolve your pain. It should be considered as a last resort after you have tried a comprehensive rehabilitation program with a physiotherapist.
Only 15% of back surgeries are successful because:
- Scar tissue is created inside and outside the body
- Removing bone and cartilage can cause weakness in that area
- Fusing of vertebrae can reduce your ability to move
Preventing back pain
The best way to prevent back pain is to exercise. If it has been a while since you exercised, approach activities like moving house, gardening marathons and heavy lifting with caution.
Some tips include:
- Ask a friend to help you lift things
- Pace yourself
- Make a plan and tackle your project bit by bit
- Invest in a trolley to take the load
Soon you’ll be able to access Ursula Knecht’s tailored 12-week exercise program to prevent back pain. Follow HFRC on Facebook and we’ll let you know when the program launches.