Pain in the lower back is one of the most common reasons for consulting a healthcare professional such as a doctor, chiropractor, or physiotherapist. Low back pain is so common that about 40% of the population will suffer at least one episode of it during their lifetime.
In the past, the most common treatment for low back pain was bed rest. While this made sense to many, research has repeatedly shown that rest is far from the best way to tackle low back pain. In fact, we now know that one of the best ways to resolve low back pain is by continuing your daily activities within reasonable limits of pain.
When an area of our body is injured, the healing process is initiated and accelerated by subjecting the body to adequate activity. Without movement, muscles and ligaments become weaker, and over enough time even bones become more brittle and susceptible to injury. With that in mind, individuals that remain active throughout their episode of low back pain generally recover faster. It is, all the while, important to avoid over-exerting the back, causing further irritation and prolonging recovery.
All this, however, is not to say that best rest must be avoided at all cost. In extreme cases with very high levels of pain, a short period of bed rest (one or two days at most ideally), may be beneficial to lower initial pain levels.
If you’re unsure how to manage your episode of low back pain, or are frequently afflicted by episodes of low back pain, consult one of our physiotherapists today.