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Managing Back Pain

Just some of the senses of our favourite pastimes; our escape from the hub-bub of the World, when it’s us against the elements, us against ourselves, or us against our opponent.

For most active people, nothing is more frustrating than an injury or ailment that stops you from enjoying what you love.

But as we jump, bend, twist, crouch and stretch, our bodies undergo stress and pressure. And whether you’re a semi-professional, an enthusiast or a relative beginner, the chances are that, at some point, you will suffer from an injury.

Most injuries are minor – accompanied by a little pain and discomfort that lasts a day or so. Others can be debilitating. Back pain, in particular, can see sufferers’ entire lives change as they look for ways to manage their discomfort and avoid scenarios that make it worse; forcing changes to their social lives and, in some cases, leading to depression.

Surprisingly, 80 per cent of us will experience some form of back pain in our lives; whether it’s a strain from lifting something incorrectly or a more serious trauma from an accident or injury. In fact, it is estimated that 2.5 Million people in the UK suffer from back pain every single day and over 1 million are classified as disabled, because of their chronic pain.

Thanks to its intricate design, the spine, along with ligaments, tendons and muscles, help us to enjoy freedom of movement that enables us to enjoy our favourite activities and pastimes. This column of 24 bones, stretching from the base of the skull to the pelvis, creates strength, structure, stability and supports movement. However, thanks to its complex make-up, it can also be the source of constant and disruptive pain.

Over the years, advice for how to deal with back pain has varied greatly, from suggesting we ‘rest up’ and ‘take it easy’ to advising that we keep active and keep moving. However, the reality can be more difficult than the theory and, often, movement is not an option; regardless of how much we may want to get back to our favourite hobby.

For most people, their first port of call will be self-treatment from over-the-counter medications before looking for some form of professional help/therapy from a Physiotherapist, Osteopath or Chiropractor.

By using exercise, movement, stretching, massage and manipulation in different ways, these therapies focus on increasing mobility and strength, whilst reducing pain.

Recent scientific research however suggests that back pain is rarely a simple problem. It is influenced by psychological and social factors and requires treatment tailored to the individual’s needs.

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