So often we hear these words…
Many times new patients come to us in agony, sometimes with excruciating back pain, sometimes even radiating down the leg (sciatica), that all began after a really simple movement such as tying their shoe, bending down to pick up something they’ve dropped or turning their head quickly to hear someone calling at them.
So why does this happen?
There can be many reasons, but in our experience it may very well be a case of “the straw that broke the camel’s back”. This is to say, a camel can carry many loads however there will be a breaking point where the camel cannot take one more piece of straw!
So how are our spines like a camel?
Well although some people may be developing a bit of a hump (!) that is not what we mean. The reality is, a lot of these patients who did something seemingly small and insignificant (but are now in agony) have a number of things in common:
- A history of prolonged sitting (e.g. a desk-based job, lack of physical activity due to age or other commitments)
- A more sedentary lifestyle
- Poor posture
- A period of increased stress levels or a long period of constant “low-grade” stress
- Little “niggles” of discomfort over time that have been ignored
Our current lifestyles are not conducive to having a healthy pain-free body!
Imagine one day you do something that you have done hundreds of times before, maybe leaning over the sink, washing your hair, picking up a grandchild and BAM! Your body announces for all to hear that it has HAD ENOUGH.
So what could this pain mean?
Perhaps you have sprained some joints and/or muscles in your back, perhaps if the pain is radiating into the leg then the disc may also be involved. Regardless of the exact physiological cause of the pain, there are some easy things you can do when this happens to ease the pain:
- Reduce the inflammation by using an ice pack. An ice pack (or pack of frozen peas will also do!) placed on the area for 10 mins every hour will help reduce any inflammation in the area
- Try to keep moving. Gone are the days of the recommendation of bed rest for back pain! Try to keep walking around and don’t sit for longer than 30 mins at a time. The worst thing you can do with a back pain flare up is stay still for a long time.
- Drink 2-4 litres of water per day. Dehydration may play a part in these types of problems, plus all that going to the toilet will help keep you moving!
- Don’t Panic – seek a professional diagnosis and care as soon as you can. Then you can relax in the knowledge that you know what is wrong and you know the person who can help to make it better.
If you or a loved one needs some help with a new or ongoing pain issue – get in touch with us.