What to do for lower back pain

Physiotherapy, Massage Therapy, Pain Management

Lower back pain (LBP) is a common condition, often referring symptoms to the buttock and the back of the thigh. Quite similar to the common cold, almost all of us will experience LBP at least once in our lifetime with both conditions having a good prognosis, meaning they typically get better week to week over a four to six week period.

If we sit, stand, walk or lie down for too long, we can get LBP.  Sometimes, even coughing and sneezing instigates it. LBP often gets us thinking that something serious could be wrong when it starts to change how we engage in our regular activities of daily living, but in actual fact, most back pain is not serious and almost always gets better.


Here’s how to help ease lower back pain:

  1. Keep moving! Countless studies have shown that bed rest won’t help most injuries, including LBP.

  2. Choose early gradual return to activity for the best outcome. You may consider reducing the amount of activity you engage in for the first week, but this will need to followed by a period of building back up to the things you love to do. Keep in mind that as you start to get more active, you will likely have to work through some discomfort. However, in most cases the discomfort is not harmful.

  3. Be confident in your movement! The back is strong, resilient and robust, so trust that it will gradually adapt to your life demands again.

If you are still unsure about how to manage your back pain, have chronic pain or if you have had recurrent episodes, its best to chat with physiotherapist to help determine what could be causing this. Likely, you and your physiotherapist will find a few things to work on, set a few short and long term goals, and come up with a specific plan together to get you back and re-engaged with all of life’s offerings.

Sean Overin, Physiotherapist

By Sean Overin, Physiotherapist