Chronic low back pain

Chronic low back pain is pain which is still present after 12 weeks.

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Symptoms

Intermittent or constant pain across the lumbar region (low back) which can cause reduction in flexibility, time off work and reduce the ability to socialise with friends. Sometimes pain can be referred into the leg.

Cause

There is usually a history of trauma or heavy lifting and sometimes previous episodes of pain.

Prevention

Seek help quickly. This will reduce pain faster enabling you to still go to work, or to go on holiday or even continue with your sport. Early intervention means you will be less likely to develop chronic low back pain.

Lifting correctly will reduce the chances of back pain. If you're not sure how to, ask us.

Treatment

The best management of chronic back pain is to keep as active as possible. NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) has recommended the following to help pain:

Sometimes chronic back pain will require surgery. If so this is not the end of the world. Understand it, strengthen it and control it. Physiotherapy following spinal surgery is recommended, again to facilitate recovery. Cognitive behavioural therapy can also be useful as this helps you to understand the way you think and behave.

Most back pain though is not serious and will not require surgery. Half of the battle with back pain, is understanding why it happens and how to manage it. If you can identify your aggravating factors and then remove them, you will usually get better. Sometimes it’s not clear what’s right and what’s wrong but we can help you to identify that which means you get better quicker.

Preventing recurrence

Sometimes you will be left with ongoing back pain. The degree of pain will vary. To stop it getting worse make sure you seek help from a physiotherapist. We can help reduce your pain and then give you strengthening exercises to reduce the chances of it being as bad again. Seeking the correct help will lead to a better quality of life.