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Changing the way we think about back pain

Changing the way we think about back pain

90% of the UK population get back pain at some point. It may be triggered by bad posture while sitting, standing, bending awkwardly, or lifting incorrectly. In most cases back pain will improve in a few weeks or months, although some people experience long-term pain or pain that keeps coming back.


The Physiotherapy team at Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust see patients every day with some form of back pain and are keen to bust some of the myths about back pain and reinforce what the latest evidence* says is best for your back.

Myth #1 – Moving will make my back worse
Fact – people should remain as active as possible and try to continue with daily activities

Myth #2 – I should avoid exercise
Fact – back pain shouldn’t stop you enjoying exercise or regular activities. In fact studies found that continuing with with these can help you get better sooner

Myth #3 – Pain equals damage
Fact – more recent research has changed our thinking on this. Modern physio takes a holistic approach that helps people understand why they are in pain.

Over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can help relieve some discomfort and although it can be difficult to be cheerful or optimistic if you are in pain, it's important to stay positive as this can help you recover faster. Regular exercise, such as walking and swimming, is an excellent way of preventing back pain and activities such as yoga or pilates can improve your flexibility and strengthen your back muscles.

If you're worried about your back or your pain hasn't improved by around six weeks, it's a good idea to visit your GP, who can advise you about the treatments available. Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust offer a wide range of specialist treatments including physiotherapy, osteopathy and acupuncture.

*Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Last Updated: Wednesday, 02 November 2016 14:15

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