Like most chronic pain, with back pain there is no ready cure. Even opioids can provide at most 30% relief. You can go a long way to improve your pain by following tried and tested methods. Remember – check in first with your healthcare provider
Do you have Red Flags?
Change in Urinary leaking since onset of back pain?
Are you leaking feces? That’s poop or stool – take your pick?
Have you had a recent injury prior to the back pain – like a fall, or a severe bump or worse?
Do you have existing cancer or an autoimmune disease?
When the pain started, was it there all the time, every minute of the day and it is not improving?
Is the pain worse in your legs compared to your back?
If your foot drops, you can’t raise your foot, or you notice your foot “slaps” when you are walking – almost tripping over your feet – that is an emergency. Test for weakness by sitting, keep your heel on the floor, and raise the front part of your foot towards the ceiling. If this is easy and normal, you could have someone apply pressure and see if you can lift against resistance.
If you have any one of these symptoms noted above – STOP – see your doctor IMMEDIATELY
Stretching and walking are the most important treatment for back pain not related to spinal cord damage. The more you walk, the better your back will get. I know it’s hard when you hurt. Start slowly, even a few minutes at a time a few times a day.
There are times when your pain is so severe, that all you can do is try recovery poses. Try these every time you feel pain. Recovery Poses
Managing Back Pain requires many steps. One thing alone won’t work. Not medications. Not stretching. Not breathing properly. Not pacing. Not education. But together, using all the tools you can, you can improve your chronic pain. Have a look at each of the steps starting with Step 1. Take your time. You have had pain for a long time and it takes time to make changes. Small steps.
Choose the exercises that best suit you. Always speak to your Health Care Professional
Pattern 1 pain: Do you have Pain when you Sit? Or Pain most of the time? Or pain bending forward?
Pattern 2 pain: Do you have pain standing? Or Pain Bending Backwards?
Pattern 2 pain and general back aches can also respond very well to the evening stretches on my Daily program. Learn them and you could do them in less than 5 minutes twice a day.
There are videos and information below on spinal stenosis and other causes of back pain.
Pain BC has exercise programs for the back.
Osteoarthritis is a common cause of back pain. Canadian Website
Try chair yoga or bed stretches. Must be done twice a day:
DISH is a fairly uncommon reason for back pain. Have a look at this website if your doctor has diagnosed you with DISH.
Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, Chiropractors and Massage therapists can help you. Some healthcare providers may even recommend a back brace until your exercises have made your back strong enough to manage without it.
Severe Back pain
If you have back pain almost all the time and your health professional has assured you it is mechanical then start with one simple treatment.
Every single time you feel pain, lie on the bed, face towards the bed, with a pillow or flat cushion from the level of you hip bones down to the knees. Lie there for a few minutes. Get up by rolling on your side and pusihing yourself up with your arms. Walk around a bit. If you have more pain, then back onto the bed, cushion under the hips, and again lie like that for a few minutes. Repeat again and again. It may take a few days and you may need a sick note – or a note for your partner to say no housework – but in a few days you will need to do this less and less.
Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, Chiropracters and Massage therapists can help you. Some healthcare providers may even recommend a back brace until your exercises have made your back strong enough to manage without it.
Education on Back Pain, PainBC.ca link
Back surgery is sometimes necessary but if you can avoid it, in less than two years, your outcome will be the same if you managed to avoid it. Some studies have shown that back pain without surgery is the same as in people who have had surgery within a year. Talk to your healthcare provider as sometimes you may have to have it.
Laminectomies are common surgeries for spinal stenosis.
For more information on how to manage back pain, PainBC.ca link
Below is a video that is just over 30 minutes. ? Too long? Scroll down for more links to help you manage your back pain, including information on medication and exercise.
If you are able and strong enough – this is a great back stretching program.
If you are starting out, then easier exercises – must be done twice a day. Can divide the chair yoga program into two parts if you are too busy. Add a few stretches specific to your pain:
If you have pain sitting – do Back pain bending forward?
if you have pain lying down or bending backwards – do Back Pain – bending backwards?