Back pain is a common ailment that has a variety of causes. In some cases, it’s caused by an acute injury, while in most others, it is a result of weakness or sedentary living.
A simple movement, like bending at the hips to tie your shoe or pick up a delivered parcel, can cause you to “throw your back out” at any given moment, sometimes leading to debilitating pain that lasts weeks.
Sometimes back pain can happen and last for months with no apparent origin.
Given the myriad causes that contribute to back pain, there is no one-size fits all approach. Further, the scientific evidence for different treatments is not always clear-cut. There are, however, things you can do to help get the best result.
One of the things you can do is get the most accurate possible diagnosis of the type of disorder that is causing the pain. When the cause of the pain is identified, you can choose from the appropriate options.
Get someone experienced and certified to look at it. When someone understands the type of problem you have, they can offer the best recommendations for treatment.
Work with your doctor in deciding your care – this is called being an “active participant.” It means fully understanding the risks and benefits of the various treatments you’re considering and other alternative treatments that could be available.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion if your doctor recommends an invasive, experimental, or expensive treatment. Doctors tend to welcome it when patients fully participate in health care and should support your request.
Sometimes a second set of eyes can be the difference between surgery or an expense like a chiropractor compared to working with a physiotherapist.
Back pain, when not the result of an acute injury, can often be treated with more movement and muscle-strengthening through inexpensive measures.
Getting to a physiotherapist can be very helpful, provided you perform the prescribed mobility and strengthening movements at home.