Things to Avoid When You Have Back Pain

Back pain is such a common experience that it is estimated up to 80% of adults will have at least one severe episode of back pain in their lifetime.  

For many people, the pain quickly resolves and things go back to normal. However the first time this happens to you it can be scary, particularly as very severe pain can occur suddenly and without warning.

Statistics, however, are on your side. Most of the time, acute low back pain resolves without consequence and doesn’t recur. If you happen to be in the middle of an episode, here are a few tips to help you get through.

1. Avoid heavy lifting

While this may seem obvious, there are a few people who will always try to push through the pain. The expression “no pain, no gain” is in many cases outdated and if your work requires heavy lifting, it is more than reasonable to take a few days off.

2. Avoid too much rest.

On the other hand, lying in bed all day is bad for you as well. If you have severe back pain, gentle movement under the advice of a physiotherapist is much better for you than complete rest.

3. Avoid long car or plane trips

If possible, now is the time to avoid long-distance travel. If you absolutely must travel, speak to your physiotherapist about how to manage your pain during the trip.

4. Avoid listening to horror stories

There are always stories about the pain that never went away, requiring surgery, which only made it worse. While worst-case scenarios do happen, being fearful is a negative factor in a healthy recovery. That terrible story is probably not going to happen to you and hearing these stories is only going to impact your recovery negatively.

5. Avoid delaying treatment

While your pain may go away on its own, it is important to have a professional assess your condition to screen for any serious injuries and advise you on how to best manage your pain while you are getting better. They can also help you recover as quickly as possible.

6.   Don’t expect a miracle cure

Back pain is complicated, and a single treatment that works for everyone does not exist. It is important to follow the directions of your therapist and work with them to set reasonable and realistic goals for your recovery.

None of the information in this article is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual injury.




Tips for Managing Tendon Injuries

Tendons, the soft connective tissues that join muscles to bone are known for being notoriously difficult to treat once injured. The reason for this is that often they are injured through stress or overuse, and compared to muscles have relatively small blood flow, which is essential for healing.

Tendons and muscles work together to move your joints and are called a contractile unit. As muscles are exercised and gain strength, the attaching tendons are also placed under tension and adapt to this to become stronger. If the load placed on the tissues exceeds their capacity, the tendon fibres can begin to break down and become stiff and painful.

 

Is my pain related to a tendon injury?

 

For an accurate diagnosis, you will need to be assessed by a physiotherapist. However, some signs that your pain might be coming from an in issue with your tendon are;

· The pain is quite specific and can be felt over the tendon itself.

· The pain is worse when under stress and improves when rested.

· The pain improves after exercise has started, but it might be worse the day after.

· The area around the tendon may feel stiff after periods of rest, particularly in the morning.

 

How are tendon injuries treated?

 

When it comes to recovery, tendons are often treated differently to other injuries. While each tendon injury is unique and will require assessment and intervention by a physiotherapist, there are a few general approaches that usually help with all tendon injuries.

Reducing your activity to a comfortable level is the first step to recovery. Complete rest can actually delay healing as the tendon simply becomes weaker and less able to cope with subsequent loads. Your physiotherapist can provide you with a targeted exercise program to aid your recovery. Eccentric exercises, which are exercises that work alongside gravity, have been shown to stimulate tendon healing and strength.

Stretching may aggravate your injury and should be used with caution. Assessment of any biomechanical faults or stresses that are placing undue load on the tendon is also a central component of treatment. Your physiotherapist is able to guide you with your recovery and return to sport to avoid aggravating any injury.

 

The information in this newsletter is not a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for an assessment of your condition. 

 

Bookings:

Ph: 03 9789 1233

Online Bookings: www.psmgroup.com.au

 

 




Three Telltale Signs It’s Time to See Your Physiotherapist

Your physiotherapist has a wide variety of skills and can help treat so much more than just pain and injury. Here are a few reasons to visit your physiotherapist that can keep you healthy and pain-free, before injury strikes.

Stiffness and Inflexibility

Almost all of us have experienced pain and stiffness after a day of increased or unaccustomed exercise. This kind of stiffness usually wears off quickly and is referred to as DOMS (delayed onset muscles soreness). However, if you find yourself feeling stiff for more extended periods, or even most the time – it might be time to see a physiotherapist. There are many different causes of stiffness and inflexibility; by far, the most common is lack of movement. Our joints and muscles both lose flexibility if not moved through their range regularly. Muscle stiffness can feel like a tightness with a bouncy feeling of restriction, and joint stiffness can create a hard ‘blocked’ feeling when you try to move.

When it comes to stiffness the evolves from lack of movement, you may not even notice that you have lost range, as it can be very easy to adapt your movements to compensate. Your physiotherapist can help you to identify where you have areas of inflexibility and help you to exercise, stretch and mobilise your joints to get them back to a healthy range. Disease processes such as Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis can also cause prolonged stiffness, and your physiotherapist is well equipped to help you deal with these conditions.

Reduced Strength or Weakness

There are many reasons for weakness in the body, from generalised disuse, weakness in one muscle group following an injury, neurological weakness or structural weakness of joint following a ligament tear. Musculoskeletal deficiency of any kind can predispose you to future injuries and can be surprisingly difficult to resolve without targeted exercises. Your physiotherapist can determine the cause of your weakness and determine the best treatment to restore your muscle strength.

Reduced Balance

Keeping your balance is a very complicated process, and your body works hard to make sure you stay on your feet. Humans have a very small base of support for our height, and we use all our senses together to determine which movements we should make to stay upright, including our visual, vestibular, muscular and sensory systems. As balance is so essential for walking, if one system that supports our balance begins to weaken, the others will quickly compensate, so you may not notice that your balance has worsened until you fall or trip over more often.

As a general rule, balance does deteriorate as we age, but this does not mean that falling should be an inevitable part of aging. Actively working to maintain or improve your balance can have a significant effect on your quality of life and confidence in getting around. Your physiotherapist is able to test all the aspects of your balance and provide effective rehabilitation to help keep you on your feet.

 

The information in this article is not a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for an assessment of your condition. 

 

Bookings:

Ph: 03 9789 1233

Online Bookings: www.psmgroup.com.au

 

 




Tips For Setting Up Your Home Office

 

Many of us spend more time at our desks than any other place. While the risk of injury while seated can seem very unlikely, spending hours in a poorly set up workspace can place vast amounts of pressure on your body and lead to overuse injuries. Below are a few tips that can help you set up your workstation correctly.

 

Your Chair

 

Starting with the height of your chair is the best place to begin. Ideally, your feet should be flat on the floor, and if you can adjust the height of the chair, your thighs should be parallel to the floor. If your chair has armrests, they should be low enough to allow your elbows to sit comfortably between 90-110 degrees and resting by the side of your body. A small cushion or rolled-up towel may be added to the back of the chair to add support to the lower back, and this can also help to prevent slouching. 

 

If you are unable to adjust your chair and it is too high, you can use a footrest to allow them to rest comfortably. 

 

Your Desk 

 

The height of your desk should be set so that your arms can rest comfortably at the keyboard and hands, wrists and forearms can sit in a neutral position and parallel to the floor. Where possible, put everything you need within easy reach and alternate days using your mouse and phone with different hands-on different days. 

 

Your Screen

 

The height of your computer should be raised so that the top of the screen is slightly below eye level. Allowing your neck to rest in a neutral position can help to prevent neck pain and headaches. Ideally, if you can set the screen to be 20-40 inches away from your face, this will reduce strain on your eyes while reading. 

 

Some Other Tips

 

Being comfortable is extremely important for productivity and focus if you are struggling with pain; your work will often suffer. Even joint stiffness and muscle tightness can disrupt your workflow, and taking the time to adjust your workstation can save you countless hours in the long run and prevent painful overuse injuries. 

 

Taking active breaks from sitting to move and stretch can help to maintain muscle and joint health, which can be compromised from being in the same posture too long. You can set a timer or make an active effort to take phone calls and meetings while standing. 

 

Speak to our Physiotherapists for personalised advice on your workplace setup. 

The information in this article is not a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for an assessment of your condition.