Back pain can literally be a pain 

When you have back pain, it may linger around for a while and there is so much information on what to do, and what not to do (and lots of people who have had back pain in the past will often offload their experiences onto you too).

An interesting fact is that 90% of people will have an episode of back pain in their life that is bad enough to rest up for a few days and in 90% of the time there is no identifiable damage to the area!

It’s more normal to have had back pain at some point than to have not!

What is also interesting is that most people with persistent pain like lower back pain will also have lots of multiple pain free moments; we often don’t always remember them.

I have definitely had pain in my lower back before that’s been around for a few weeks then disappeared. (And as I am writing this blog, my lower back is feeling a bit achy!)

One of the most important things to help with back pain is knowledge. Learning about how pain happens can often help how we think and feel about back pain, which is why I decided to write this blog.

massage for back pain

Here are 6 things about lower back pain that you may not have known before 

  1. Most back pain doesn’t have a specific cause.

Most of the time pain in your back can happen for many reasons and only 10% of the time is treated to a nerve or a disc issue. 99% of the time it is not serious at all.

As sports massage therapists, we aren’t able to suggest it’s one specific thing or factor that has caused it, as most of the time there may be many contributing factors. 

The other interesting thing is that an MRI isn’t able to detect pain, only changes. And if you are over the age of 25 an MRI will commonly detect degeneration of bones which is a completely normal ageing process.

  1. Pain is a normal wonderful thing our body does.

Pain is one of our bodies protection systems to keep us safe just like our immune system. It’s a completely normal and wonderful thing to happen, and doesn’t directly mean there is damage happening. Pain can be felt without any damage to your tissues at all!

Although pain feels unpleasant and unwanted, it’s an extremely important system as it keeps us safe. It is a great defender of our body, but sometimes defends really well and protects us so much you feel pain when there is no more danger.

office back pain

If you have had pain for a little while and want some help to move and feel better, you can arrange a consultation call by clicking here.

  1. Massage may help back pain, but if it is used alongside exercise.

For a long time massage has been recommended as a way to treat back pain. For a little disclaimer; I LOVE massage and it can definitely help, but as many of you know I always give you homecare outside of the session as that’s what often makes the longer lasting difference. 

What massage can do is help calm an area of your body where it’s sensitive or painful to then help you move with less pain so you can do all of the everyday activities you love.

  1. A great thing to help back pain is movement.

As humans, we are designed to move, and for a long time specific exercises have been recommended for back pain from Pilates, core stability, posture training etc.

What research now suggests is that there may not be one specific type of exercise that helps improve back pain. Which makes sense as none of us are exactly the same, we are all completely unique. The key is finding the right type of exercise you enjoy and the right amount of exercise for you, so it is completely individual.

Sometimes too little movement can make your pain feel worse, and sometimes too much can make you feel worse.

If you like Pilates and it makes you feel good; then great keep doing it!

If walking or cycling makes you feel good, keep going!

All types of movement and exercise can help improve back pain, it is all about finding the right type for you.

Exercise for Back pain
  1. Finding things you enjoy can help reduce pain.

This links in with point 4. Adding movement that makes you feel good and relaxed whether it’s a class, or a walk or some aerial hoop like I love to do. Do whatever makes you feel good.

Alongside that, activities that you do that helps you relax can also help how you are feeling. Meet up with friends, read a book in the garden or hang out with your dog or cat. Those meaningful activities often can have a positive response to lower back pain. 

  1. What people tell us may influence how we experience back pain.

What you have seen, been told, read can influence how you feel pain. Subconsciously, our brain takes in all of these pieces of information and makes a story about them which can then affect pain.

Remember I wrote above that as writing this my back was feeling a bit achy? Well what is happening is as I write this I am thinking about the times I have had back pain, what I was doing around that time, what things it made me stop doing and what things that helped.

And guess what? These thoughts helped create an achy feeling in my lower back!

So alongside all of the information you pick up about back pain, and when you think about back pain, can contribute to your back pain!

movement for back pain

You may be thinking
“now I know all of this, how do I start reducing my back pain?”

The first thing to remember is that your back is strong; you are strong.

Secondly, find something you love and do it lots! Distractions, movement we love doing and being in social situations we love are great ways of easing lower back pain.