Recognise early warning signs of back strain
These include :
- stiffness after sitting or first thing in the morning
- twinges of pain with bending or twisting
- feeling like the back has become weak
- feeling like a muscle has been pulled
When warning signs are present, start self treatment for 24 hours. It is especially important to reduce activities that aggravate your pain. If your pain is provoked by prolonged sitting, reduce the amount of sitting – do not sit longer than 5-10 minutes without getting up and moving around. When sitting, make sure that the low back region is supported – use a lumbar roll.
If your pain is provoked by bending/lifting, put off any tasks (where able) that involve bending or lifting ie gardening or housework, otherwise you risk exacerbating the condition.
If you have had previous episodes of this pain, start the exercises and stretches that your physiotherapist provided, every 1-2 hours.
It is important to keep moving, but do so as painfree as possible ie short regualr walks, on flat ground, with supportive footwear; gentle exercises and stretches in water.
If you are no better after 24 hours or if the condition is worsening, contact your physiotherapist.