An estimated 3.7 million Australians or 1 in 6 people have been reported to have had back pain so severe long-term sick leave was required.
Published data shows that in Australia, back pain is the leading cause of work loss days with 25 per cent of sufferers in the 18-44 age group taking ten or more days off per year, costing Australia around $4.8 billion each year for health care.
The statistics are so alarming that one-quarter of the population is suffering from some back pain at any given time, and nearly 80 per cent of adult Australians will experience back pain in their life at some point.
While poor workstation set-up is a significant factor in most cases, it is a combination of factors that can lead to pain, and symptoms can be hugely improved through the right exercise, physiotherapy and some simple lifestyle changes.
Not only can early intervention help you to get back to full health as quickly as possible, but it can also reduce the number of time employees are being forced to take off work. Back pain also triggers stress and anxiety that can be caused as a result of the problem, not being correctly diagnosed.
If you are experiencing back pain, here are some of the most common questions to ask your Physio at your appointment.
What caused my pain/injury?
At your first session, your Physio will take a detailed history of your injury and assess the injured area to get the best diagnosis. Once this has been established, your Physio will develop a plan not just to ease the pain but to address the underlying issue of what caused the pain or injury to begin with. The plan will also address strategies to decrease the chance of the injury happening again.
How long will it take to reduce the pain and get rid of it permanently?
There is no magic answer to this question. It will depend on the type of injury, how long you’ve had it and the damage done. Your recovery plan will have a lot to do with the consistency of staying on the plan with the right exercises at home. Your Physio will give you an estimate of the time of recovery, mostly as your strength and control are regained.
What should I avoid?
Depending on the severity of the injury, your Physio probably won’t prescribe bed rest for long periods. It’s often much better to do light exercise, and they will work with you and your back for the best cause of action for your problem. You’ll be advised what things to modify and what to incorporate into your daily life.
Do I have to stop going to the gym?
Again, it depends on your injury, but that doesn’t mean avoiding the gym or training sessions altogether. Sometimes you’ll be able to incorporate a moderated program that you can tailor at your gym.
Should I call if the conditions start to get worse?
Yes! You should always call your health practitioner if your symptoms or injury becomes worse so they can modify your treatment. If you are concerned that your injury or back pain or neck pain is increasing or you have concerns regarding the exercises you’re shown, your Physio will be happy to address those issues and modify your program.
Will the exercises mean I have to take off time from work?
The exercises that are given for you to do at home won’t change your regular daily patterns. They can be incorporated into your normal daily activities, and your Physio will even give you some exercises which you can do at your work. The whole idea is to provide long-term outcomes by providing movements and exercise that will leave your back pain-free and stronger, so you’ll be able to get your routine and quality of life back to normal as quickly as possible.
At Proactive Physiotherapy, we have a comprehensive treatment plan called The PUSH spinal treatment pathway. It’s designed for all levels of spinal strength and stability and will get your back and neck functioning correctly to give you long-term relief from pain.
We will help you retrain your mind and body to move more effectively and safely to give you the type of spinal care that will remove your back pain and neck pain forever.
If you are experiencing any pain or have any injury you are concerned about, contact us at Proactive Physiotherapy so we can start your treatment plan today and remove your back pain as soon as possible.