The spine (or backbone) runs from the base of the skull to the pelvis. It serves as a pillar to support the body’s weight and to protect the spinal cord.
What is the spine?
The spine is made up of a series of bones that are stacked like blocks on top of each other with cushions called discs in between to help absorb shock/load.
There are three natural curves in the spine that give it an “S” shape when viewed from the side. These curves help the spine withstand great amounts of stress by providing a more even distribution of body weight.
What is low back pain?
Low back pain is common: four out of five people sometimes suffer from it. It is often difficult to determine what causes the pain. In most people, low back pain has to do with the muscles, ligaments and joints in the back.
The symptoms of low back pain
Patients with low back pain have lower back pain. The pain can also radiate to the buttock or leg. Standing or sitting for a long time, but also moving can hurt a lot. Yet most people can continue to work despite their back pain. For some people the back pain is on-off, others regularly have complaints.
The treatment of low back pain
In most cases, back pain is not caused by something serious and it resolves itself. A reassuring thought, but that does not alter the fact that back pain can be very difficult and annoying. A panacea for back pain does not exist, but (dosed) movement promotes recovery. You can read how you can move with back pain in a responsible manner under “What you can do yourself” and “What physiotherapy can do”. In the event of an acute attack of back pain, you can possibly take a painkiller in consultation with your doctor. Bed rest is usually not necessary, but sometimes it simply cannot be otherwise. Try not to stay in bed longer than a day or two, otherwise your back will become stiff and your muscles will get used to this position.
What you can do yourself
Research has shown that it is important to move as simply as possible if you have back pain. Moving does not damage your back. The motto is: keep moving, but don’t force. Try to continue with your daily activities, even if you are in pain, but heavy (domestic) work, lifting or standing or sitting in one position for a longer period of time should be avoided. Nor is it wise to do a lot on days when you have little pain and little on days when you have a lot of pain. Gradually try to do more and to pick up normal life
Tips to prevent or relieve back pain
Lift and carry things close to your body. Bending over is not a good idea, it is better to fall through your knees.
Sit and stand
Provide a chair that supports your lower back, in which you do not sink. Do you have to sit or stand for long periods of time? Then change your posture regularly!
Stay in shape
Make sure you stay in shape. This way you reduce the chance that the back pain will return. Walking, swimming, cycling: it doesn’t matter what you do. As long as you move.
Stress creates a tense attitude. This increases the chance of back pain. Try to relax!
Being overweight and smoking are risk factors for back pain.
What physiotherapy can do
If you have low back pain, you can go to our physiotherapy for information, advice and exercises that focus on your posture. You will also receive advice on how you can build up your daily activities and information and exercises for the problems you experience when moving.
With acute complaints, the pain does not go away immediately due to the specific back exercises, but the treatment can make you feel better. In the case of chronic and long-term back pain, specific exercises often produce demonstrably positive results.
Physiotherapeutic counseling is aimed at knowing in the future what you can do best if you get problems again. Which movements are good, what is better (temporarily) avoided? Your physiotherapist teaches you to live with your back.
[AMC treatments – links]