A recent study found that back pain is now considered to be the leading cause of disability worldwide and will affect 4 out of 5 people at some time in their lives.
There are nearly 119 million days work a year lost due to back pain.
Half of the total days lost due to back pain are due to the 85% of people who are off work for short periods of less than seven days,
But the other half of those days are the 15% of people who are off work for more than one month.
Studies show that the longer people are off work due to back pain, the less likely they are to ever return to work
In fact one in eight unemployed people give back pain as the reason they are not working .
For most people their back pain will resolve with simple measures including pain relief, and the right advice.
However, the major part of the cost of back pain to the NHS which is around £500 million annually in the UK is from the small proportion of persons with low back pain whose symptoms become chronic.
So the importance of good assessment from someone like an Osteopath can’t be underestimated because of the costs of back pain to the individual and the NHS.
What Should I do if I injure my back?
When you have acute or severe low back pain the last thing you feel like doing is moving around, people tend to want to get into one position and stay there, but you should do the opposite.
All the evidence suggests that if you regularly gently mobilize this increases the likelihood of your back pain resolving more quickly, it’s easier to do this if you don’t sit on a low sofa or lie on the floor but sit on a firm dining chair or lie on top of the bed with a pillow between your knees and try to move every half hour or so.
We have some videos here on our website showing how to position yourself and move when in pain. Click here to have a look.
Using pain relief may help you begin to mobilize, if you have paracetamol or an anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen in your medicine cupboard, take that if its safe for you to do so.
Another thing that may help, is the use of an ice or cold pack on the area (frozen peas are just as effective), this can help numb the tissues and reduce the pain. Heat can also help to soothe muscular spasm.
Be reassured that most back pain will resolve quickly. If it doesn’t, give us a call at The Osteopaths on 0141-887-3734