Back Pain Awareness Week was set up by the charity “Backcare” which aims to reduce back pain by providing information and advice to people and organisations affected by back pain.
This year their focus is on “Back Pain in Carers.”
In Scotland approximately 500,000 people provide unpaid care for a seriously ill, disabled or older family member or friend, saving the state 10.8 billion a year, the cost of running the NHS in Scotland for a year.
If a carer develops back pain and can’t maintain that role, the increased burden on the NHS, as well as the individual and their family is significant.
In Scotland 70% of carers interviewed, reported back pain. They are often exposed to higher than usual levels of physical stress as they often help the person they care for with physical tasks, such as getting in and out of bed, bath or chairs.
What Should I do if I injure my back?
When you have acute or severe low back pain the last thing you feel like doing is moving around, people tend to want to get into one position and stay there, but you should do the opposite.
All the evidence suggests that if you regularly gently mobilize this increases the likelihood of your back pain resolving more quickly, it’s easier to do this if you don’t sit on a low sofa or lie on the floor but sit on a firm dining chair or lie on top of the bed with a pillow between your knees and try to move every half hour or so.
We have some videos here on our website showing how to position yourself and move when in pain. Click here to view them now.
Using pain relief may help you begin to mobilize, if you have paracetamol or an anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen in your medicine cupboard, take that if its safe for you to do so.
Another thing that may help, is the use of an ice or cold pack on the area (frozen peas are just as effective), this can help numb the tissues and reduce the pain. Heat can also help to soothe muscular spasm.
Be reassured that most back pain will resolve quickly. If it doesn’t, give us a call at The Osteopaths on 0141-887-3734