what to do with back pain

REST is not always BEST

When you’re in pain, sometimes it feels impossible to do anything. Sometimes it feels like you can’t move, like it would hurt more if you did move. If you’ve broken your leg, then it will definitely be hard to move, however if you’re suffering something like back pain, knee pain, hip pain or even a headache, then movement is the key to your recovery!

There was a time when medical professionals advised rest from all activity if you were in pain, that simply is not the case anymore. Evidence has shown that gentle movement and exercise are important factors in overcoming pain. If you’ve been told by your medical professional that you should simply rest because you’re in pain, then it’s probably time to see another professional. Here’s what our team of Osteo’s and Physio’s at Alpha Sports Medicine recommend you should do if you find yourself in pain.

Gentle Movement

Particularly for back pain of headaches, gentle movement is really important to help ease the tension around these areas. To make it simple, by moving your body, you promote blood flow, which brings good nutrients to the muscles, which in turn flushes away any inflammatory toxins in the area. Often fear of creating more pain is why people will avoid movement, but try some gentle stretches, mobility work or even a light walk. You’ll be surprised what a difference this might make.

Ice or Heat?

This is always a topic of debate, if you’re in pain should you cool it down or heat it up? The answer isn’t always simple, so let’s break it down. Ice will cool down an area potentially slowing down an inflammatory response, often used to help soothe sudden onset pain. Heat will bring blood to the area, which may loosen tight muscles and flush away any lingering inflammation, often used to help soothe ongoing pain. The answer really comes down to the type of pain you have, how it occurred, and of course your personal preference, so why not try both!

Relative Rest

What’s the difference between rest and relative rest? Relative rest is something the team at Alpha Sports Medicine are big advocates for, because we understand that tissue healing needs a degree of rest, but if there’s an activity you love doing, not doing that activity will have a great impact on not only your physical but your mental and emotional health too. If for example you’ve developed a sore knee from running 10km per day, and you want to keep running but you don’t want to have a sore knee, then a degree of relative rest will be needed. Relative rest will keep you moving, allow for tissue recovery and keep you doing what you love doing. Our elite team in Newport will always consider your goals in your recovery program, and give you exercises to help overcome your pain.

So if you’re in pain, rest is not always best, but what is best is an opinion from a highly trained professional. Our team of Osteopaths and Physiotherapists at Alpha can help you understand the cause of your pain and give you the right advice, treatment plan and exercises to get you back on track and living a life without pain.