Every day here at Transcend Health we work hand in hand with people just like you who are suffering from lower back pain and a myriad of other injuries or conditions. The very first thing to know when it comes to back pain is that pain is COMPLEX, especially in cases where the pain occurred without a direct injury (like a fall, being in an accident etc) or is chronic (you’ve had it for more than 3 months). So, when you first come to see us with your back pain, we will take the time to help you make sense of your pain before embarking on the treatment journey.
I’ve hurt my lower back… Now what?
The first thing to do if you have hurt your back is to stop what you are doing. Most cases of back pain will resolve with minimal intervention, though most people will find reassurance with having guidance from a health professional. A Physiotherapist is well suited to help you as soon as you have an injury.
Before securing an appointment with your physio, the recommended actions are to protect your back – keeping painful movements to a minimum but taking note of what hurts and what doesn’t. Gentle movements like walking, lying knee rocks and gentle back bends are all perfectly safe to do if you can tolerate the discomfort. You can also manage pain with over-the-counter pain medication.
If you’re able to, gently massage the and don’t forget to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Remember to not force yourself to work through the pain and take things slowly while you engage in activities such as:
- Slowly and gently pull your knees towards your chest – stop if it hurts, give yourself time to rest, and try again a bit later
- Take slow gentle walks for short periods of time – don’t overexert yourself
Exercise, together with education, has the most supporting evidence for successful treatment of back pain, regardless of how long ago you injured your back. Our team of physios and exercise physiologists have the expertise to help create the perfect plan for you, so while you are waiting for your appointment – or in case you forgot what exercises you were supposed to be doing – here’s some of our favourite low-impact exercises for that lower back pain.
- Heel slides – lying on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, slowly slide one heel forward until the knee is completely straight and slowly begin to bring the leg back up before switching legs. Keep breathing throughout.
- Leg lifts – Lying on your back, knees bent and feet on the floor, lift one leg up off the ground, bringing your knee towards your chest. Lower back down and switch to the other side
- Pelvic Tilting – Laying on your back with both knees bent and your feet resting flat on the ground you’ll want to gently tilt your hips backwards while pressing your back against the floor.
- Hold the position for 2 to 3 seconds before slowly moving back to the starting position while breathing regularly.
- Back Bends – also known in yoga as a “Cobra”, lie on your stomach and place your hands underneath your shoulders. Keeping your body as loose and relaxed as possible (Our exercise physiologist says to imagine your body has the rigidity of a well cooked pasta noodle) push through your hands and straighten your arms as much as possible. Pause and relax at the top before gently lowering back to the ground. Even if you can’t straighten your arms all of the way, even doing half or a quarter of the movement can be beneficial. Don’t forget to breathe
- Knee Rocking – Same pose as before but this time keep your knees together as you gently rock from side to side within your pain free range with your hips and back still flat.
- Consider using your breaths to time each movement and do this exercise for 1 to 2 minutes in a controlled and slow manner.
- Child’s Pose – In a kneeling position now, place your hands on the ground before you and while resting your hips backwards on your heels you’ll want to fold your body forward walking your hands in front until your stomach is resting on your thighs.
- Make sure that you folded at your hips and have either extended your arms in front of you palm side down or to your sides with the palms pointing upwards.
- Breath deeply and allow areas of tension and tightness to relax as you pay attention to your body’s signals.
- If you feel comfortable, slowly move your hands further away to increase your stretch.
- If you are not straining yourself, feel free to hold the position for 1 minute
Once you’ve done these exercises it’s time to come in and get one of our talented physiotherapists to create your own workout plan and discuss alternative options for exercises you love to do that are too high impact for your body at this stage. We will include homework exercise as well as exercise to help strengthen your body, including weight lifting movements that mimic every day activities.
As always, be sure to listen to your body and stop immediately if you feel any unusual pain. If you’re not sure you’re doing an exercise correctly, ask us and we’ll work together with you to find a solution.
Take Charge of Your Health
Sometimes we must be our own advocate, so contact Transcend Health today where one of our talented team members will look after you. Remember, you don’t need a doctor’s referral to see a physiotherapist here in Australia.
Call us on (02) 4961 3399 or book an appointment online to see the best physiotherapists and exercise physiologists in Newcastle. Our staff will give you a tour of the facilities and sit down to discuss what Transcend Health can do to get your body moving the way you want it to.