4 TYPES OF PHYSIOTHERAPY THAT WILL HELP REDUCE BACK PAIN…

There are several methods of treating back pain. There are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which help to reduce prostaglandins and deter the COX enzymes… and we also have holistic methods such as acupuncture which works for many, but has no effect on some. I have written about the four I have listed before but not in one post and with us all being at home so much at the moment we have to be careful with our posture to avoid aggravating our spines.

The truth of the matter is that we’re all individuals and no two people are alike. What works for some may not work for another. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, so to speak. This is especially applicable to holistic methods such as physiotherapy.

These methods take time to work, but when you do find one that works for you, the relief you get can be immense. It’s all a matter of patience and finding one that yields results.
Strong medication such as pain killers and NSAIDs can have side effects. Surgery is expensive and has risks. In fact, the thought of surgery alone is enough to make most people’s hearts skip a beat.

It’s best to try the holistic methods first and see how they work for you. In this article, we’ll look at 4 different types of physiotherapy that you can use to alleviate your back pain. Not all may work for you, but you’ll definitely find at least one that helps bring you relief.

COLD TREATMENTS…

This method will require you to place an ice pack on the area that’s affected. Always remember to place a towel on the affected part before placing the ice pack on it. Do not ice the area for more than 20 minutes.
Cold treatment will help to numb the swollen tissues and reduce the pain. It’ll also interrupt the pain messages because the nerve impulses are affected by the cold. Muscle spasms will decrease and any swelling and inflammation will subside to some degree… and this will bring relief.

ACUPRESSURE…

Acupressure is a method of massage where pressure is applied on specific points of the body known as acupoints. This is a Chinese method of holistic treatment and while it has drawn scepticism, many people have benefitted from it.
The theory states that by manipulating the acupoints, the energy in your body can flow freely, and this will aid in healing. You’ll have to try it to know if it works for you.

ACUPUNCTURE…

Similar to acupressure, but instead of fingers massaging you, slim needles are inserted into the acupoints to stimulate and relax the muscles in the area at the same time.
The life force (qi) will flow freely, and you’ll feel better. Millions of people have reported positive results by using acupuncture to treat back pain and migraines. It’s worth a try.

HEAT TREATMENT…

Similar to cold treatment, but you’re using heat this time. It may seem strange that heat works too. After all, unlike ice which numbs the area, won’t heat aggravate it?
Not really. When you place heat on the affected area, the soft tissues will relax and become less stiff. So, there will be more flexible and you’ll be able to move more easily. The heat will also dilate the blood vessels which will help to improve blood circulation.

Your back will feel much better when fresh oxygenated blood that’s rich in nutrients flows around it and aids in healing. Do note that you shouldn’t apply heat therapy to a back injury that’s less than four days old. Only give these 4 methods a try after you have checked with your GP first.

 

YOGA POSES AND BOOKS TO HELP RELIEVE BACK PAIN AND FIBROMYALGIA…

Yoga is very effective for relieving back pain, and thousands of people have used it to strengthen their muscles and alleviate the pain in their backs. It’s great for stress relief, improves your posture, increases your flexibility and makes you aware of the limitations of your own body.

It’s VERY important that you speak to your doctor first before doing any form of yoga. In most cases of acute back pain, yoga will be a wonderful way to relieve the pain. However, if you’re suffering from osteoporosis related back pain, scoliosis, etc. which are more serious conditions, you must get your doctor’s approval FIRST. I know I keep stressing this but it is essential that you should never try any type of Yoga or other exercise without the all clear from your GP as you may do more harm than good, and that’s the last thing you want to do.

Many people may not wish to join a yoga class because it can be intimidating, or even embarrassing if your back hurts and you can’t execute the moves without moaning and groaning. This is perfectly understandable.

The good news is that you can do yoga in the privacy of your own home. All you need is a yoga mat, suitable clothing, and the right poses. In this article, I have given a few common poses in yoga that will really help to soothe the pain in your back while strengthening your muscles, according to lots of websites.

Cat/cow
This is a very easy move that will stretch your torso and back while giving your spine a gentle massage. All you need to do is get on your hands and knees like you’re about to crawl. Then arch your back upwards like a cat would, hold it for a secondor two… then lower the back down till it’s concave. Do this about 5 to 6 times.

Downward facing dog
No yoga routine would be complete without this move. It’ll strengthen your lower back, hamstrings and core. Once again, get in a crawl position with a table top back. Now lift your knees off the ground, and raise your hips up so that your body forms an upside-down V. Hold this position for about 5 breaths, and return to starting position.

Child’s pose
An excellent move to de-stress your lower back. Again, start from crawl position and slowly sit backwards so that your buttocks are on your heels. Keep your upper body straight. Now lean forward till your forehead is almost touching the floor, and stretch out both arms as far forward as you can. Hold the position for about 7 to 10 breaths.

Seated spinal twist
Another excellent pose for really stretching out the tight muscles in your back. This move is highly effective, and in many cases will bring immediate relief to a tight back.
Start in a seated position. Bring your left foot and place it on the outside of your right knee. Now bend your right arm and place your elbow on the outside of your left knee. The right elbow acts as a stabilizer to keep your body from shifting. Now, turn the trunk of your body to the left and try to look over your left shoulder. This will stretch the side of your back. Hold for about 3 to 4 breaths, then switch legs and repeat the move on the other side.

These 4 yoga poses are easy to do, don’t require much space and you can do them safely in the comfort of your own home. Most importantly, they are highly effective. There are many other yoga poses that can help relieve your back pain.
Do your research and compile a list… and you can do them often. Once you start, you’ll never look back. Three great books on Yoga which are all under £5 or free on Kindle are –

The Yoga Bible for Beginners – it has 30 essential illustrated yoga poses for better health, stress relief and weight loss by Charice Kiernan.

We live in a fast-paced world in which our senses are constantly stimulated. Yet, this progress comes at a cost. We are constantly tempted to keep up with Joneses, and many people have lost the connection between their mind and body.

Yoga can help restore this balance. For example, one study showed that yoga – even when practised for the very first time! – can normalize levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

In this book, you will be taken by the hand so you can develop your own yoga practice and take back control of your health and happiness. £2.99 on Amazon Kindle

Ten Minutes Yoga for Stress Release Focus & Renewal – this is by Lisa Shea and us the short version of her full hour-long routine. It can be used when you travel, when your busy, and pretty much any other time that you need to keep your time quick. Free on Amazon Kindle

Study after study finds that yoga helps with lower back pain, depression, energy levels, balance, post-traumatic stress, focus, sleep, and much more. Whether you need to reset after a busy day or wish to have more joy in your daily life, they say yoga can help. It nurtures your body and embraces your soul

It has been written to help those who are in need of support find a step toward a more contented life. This book helps you understand the personal sequence of poses, to create an atmosphere of stress relief and forgiveness.

Finally, the third book is Yoga: 40 Exerecises for Beginners by Sophie Godard. Flexibility, balance, relaxation … These exercises for beginners enable you to practice this multifaceted discipline at home. They will help to relieve stress, strengthen your muscles and your mind so that you can focus on yourself and free yourself from tension. £3.40 on Amazon Kindle

The NHS say this about yogaDozens of scientific trials of varying quality have been published on yoga. 

While there’s scope for more rigorous studies on its health benefits, most studies suggest yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity, especially strength, flexibility and balance. 

There’s some evidence that regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains – including lower back pain – depression and stress.

But they suggest a class first – It’s better to start with a class to learn the poses and breathing techniques correctly. With a DVD, there will be nobody to correct your mistakes, which may lead to injury over time. 

With some experience of being in a class, a DVD can then be helpful for keeping up practice.

They have the following links to Yoga sites –

The main UK yoga associations are:

These associations all list teachers and classes near you on their websites. You can also search for a local class or teacher using our Fitness directory.

SIXTEEN THINGS THAT CAN TRIGGER BACK PAIN…

Believe it or not, there are some very strange things that can trigger your back pain, as well as the usual things that you should avoid.

1.Your wallet in your back pocket can cause sciatica due to you pressing on it while sitting down.

2. Your mobile phone can cause you neck pain due to the way you hold your neck if you use it a lot, it can also cause arthritis of the thumb.

3. Flip flops can cause pain in your back due to the poor arch support.

4. Long-distance driving can cause back pain due to the position you sit in for a long period.

5. Being a couch potato can also cause back pain from not moving around enough.

6. Laptop cases over one shoulder can cause back and neck pain due to the weight on one side of your neck.

7. Large handbags can cause back pain due to the same reason as laptops.

8. Lifting can cause back pain if you do not bend properly. Lift an object by bending your hips and knees and then squatting to pick up the object. Keep your back straight and hold the object close to your body. Avoid twisting your body while lifting.

9. Your workstation can cause you neck and back pain if your chair is not the correct height.

10. Your laptop can cause you neck and back pain if you do not have it at the correct height.

11. Brushing can cause back pain for a short while due to muscles being used which have not been used for a while, the same applies to using a lawnmower.

12. Push rather than pull when you must move heavy objects.

13. Don’t carry excess weight as this can cause back pain.

14. Stress can also create muscle tension, causing a loss in flexibility that can lead to back pain. To reduce stress.

15. If you smoke, stop. It puts you at increased risk for back problems since your blood has trouble delivering oxygen to working tissues, making your back weaker.

16. Don’t overload your trolley as this can cause back or neck pain.

THE FELDENKRAIS TECHNIQUE FOR PAIN AND POSTURE…

Feldenkrais Therapy is an educational programme that enhances the communication between your body and your brain. It accentuates personal awareness of your body’s mobility patterns and uses movement and structural training. The movements are slow and gentle, and the focus is on correcting posture.

Through slow repetition of movements, you “unlearn” inefficient habitual movement patterns which are causing strain to certain areas of your body. It is similar to the Alexander Technique, in the sense that it is a learned method, rather than a therapy which involves manipulation of the muscles or bones.

It is named after its originator, Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984), an engineer and physicist as well as a Judo teacher. The benefits of this therapy include relief from tension and muscular pain, easier breathing, greater relaxation, improved performance in sport, dance music and drama and increased vitality.

By heightening our awareness of our movement, breathing and posture, the Feldenkrais Therapy will bring us closer to realising our full potential. Bringing this into our lives means we learn to move more freely, with greater ease, flexibility and grace.

It has been said that the method can permanently improve our posture, balance and coordination, to help people in pain have a more comfortable life. Feldenkrais UK are

are celebrating an International Feldenkrais Week in May. They say ‘
By heightening our awareness of our movement, breathing and posture, the Feldenkrais Method®brings us closer to realising our full human potential. Bringing this into our lives, we learn to move more freely, with greater ease, flexibility and grace. The Method can permanently improve our posture, balance and coordination, awakening our innate capacity for life-long vitality and continuing self-development.

You can also find a teacher and a class through the Feldenkrais UK website.

TREATING ACUTE PAIN BEFORE IT TURNS INTO CHRONIC PAIN…

Although acute back pain can be frustrating to live with, they say that you should try to remain as positive as possible. Research has shown that people with a positive mental attitude tend to have quicker recovery times and are much less likely to progress from acute to chronic back pain.

For acute back pain, they say you should remain as active as possible. If you find it too painful to return to your normal daily activities immediately, pace yourself and aim to do a little more each day.

Going back to work can help you to return to a normal pattern of activity, and it can often distract you from your symptoms of pain so don’t wait until all the pain has gone before you go back.

People with back pain find that using either hot or cold compression packs helps to reduce pain. Personally, I prefer heat rather than ice.

Placing a small firm cushion beneath your knees when you are sleeping on your side, or using several firm pillows to prop up your knees when lying on your back, may also help to ease your symptoms.

If the symptoms persist then go and see your GP or a professional chiropractor or physiotherapist.