Back pain which has been severe or has gone
on for a long time becomes difficult to cope with.
It starts to affect your mood and behaviour and that in turn, affects your ability to
tolerate the pain and even how strongly you feel it.
It’s important to take control of your mental state.
And one way is by learning self-help techniques. Because these can change your mental state
and you can manage and cope with your pain better.
Goal setting is an important way of gradually improving your function and quality of life.
Start with little goals. Try not to get caught up with ticking off
a long of things you’ve made to do that day. Some people try to get over-active and end
up making their back worse. They overdo it and then they get a flare-up.
And then they are laid up again for a few days.
And you’re on this cycle. It may be worthwhile, just deciding on what
you’re going to achieve by the end of the week or the month.
There is a danger if you set the bar too high once again you’ll overdo it or you don’t attain
the goal. That’s disappointing and affects your mood,
as well, as your back pain. It’s been shown that there is a strong link
between stress and low back pain. If you can take time out of your day to do
some relaxation techniques such as, Yoga, Pilates, T’ai Chi, going for a brisk walk
or taking a long hot bath. These are all techniques that can help you
to unwind from the stresses of day-to-day life.
Contrary to what a lot of people think keeping active is actually very good for your back.
Some people are afraid to exercise. Because they actually believe it’s going to
make them worse. There’s no one specific sport that you must do for your back.
Walking or walking fast, jogging or even running. Some sports and activities do put added strain
on your back. For example, golf, tennis, badminton, or bowling
and cricket. People who do that – really should be strengthening
their abdominal and back muscles. Staying active isn’t all about playing sport.
There are lots of little changes that you can make to your everyday life – which can
make a real difference. It may be simply, walking.
Walking a little further than usual, or walking faster, or going for a swim or a cycle ride.
I’ve always felt that exercise will aggravate my back.
But keeping active has made a world of difference. I no longer stay on the bus, I get off the
bus early and walk the extra stop. I no longer use the lift at work, I use the
stairs. It’s simple things like that – that improve
my back. Before starting any new exercise regime it’s
a good idea to speak to your doctor or healthcare professional.
Especially, if you haven’t taken exercise for a long time, or you have a health condition
or injury you’re concerned about. Because back pain can fluctuate quite wildly
and you can have good days and bad days. It can seem unpredictable.
So if you record your pain and the activity you were doing day by day.
You may look back and find a pattern. For example, a long car journey you did two
days before a real flare-up of pain that may be a pattern you can identify.
And therefore change the way you do things. Take frequent breaks from the car journey,
for example. The other important thing is that you seek
help and support and talk to people close to you.
Chronic pain wears you down. It can make you sad, irritable, short-tempered and difficult
to live with. Get advice from your doctor or other healthcare
professional or a local clinic. There may be support groups you can find in
your area which will also give you help. Remember, you don’t need to suffer your pain
alone. This video is intended for general information
only. And it does not replace the need for personal
advice from a qualified health professional.