Lower back pain is one of the most common physical pain treated by physiotherapists. About 50% to 90% of adults are likely to suffer from lower back pain at least once in their lives. This means about 20% of the Dutch population every year. Some people will experience back pain only once, but for some people it can become chronic problem. The cause of lower back pain is not always clear. Strain, poor movement or incorrect posture can be possible explanations.
Lower back pain is located in the lower back and can radiate down into your buttock(s) or leg(s). It is primarily standing or sitting for a longer period that can be painful. Certain movements can cause discomfort at the (lower) back too. To find the underlying cause of back pain is challenging. In most cases the pain has nothing to do with certain illnesses and it often resolves itself again without any long-term damage. Back pain can have a highly disruptive effect on your quality of life, but don't worry, it will usually get better after some time.
A number of risk factors for back pain are:
Sitting or standing in the same position for long periods
Sudden, explosive spurts of exercise
Exposure to vibrations (by for instance vibrating vehicles or machines)
Self-help for lower back pain
Normally, lower back pain gets better in a few days or weeks. The worst pain often disappears within one or two weeks. Even long-term or persistent back pain resolves within six to twelve weeks. The best advice is to maintain your normal routine as actively as you can, even though this can be difficult. Research shows that inactivity will hinder recovery. Keep moving but don’t overstrain. It is advisable to avoid physically intense housework, lifting heavy objects or maintaining the same position for a long time.
It is helpful to change position every so often or to go for a little walk. Don’t forget to take a break every now and again and to relax. This is vital because stress creates a tense posture which increases the risk of back pain. Bedrest is hardly ever necessary but sometimes it cannot be avoided. If this is the case, try to stay in bed no more than two days. Otherwise, your back will stiffen and your muscles might struggle to maintain their ability to move and exercise.
Let's manage your back pain together! When you decide that you need assistance and proper advice in your individual situation, you can make an appointment at our clinic in Rotterdam city center.
Our intention is to promote practical methods and the latest science on pain education and rehabilitation in order to accurately manage pain and improve quality of life!