How to manage and prevent back pain

Estimates suggest that an astounding 80% of us will suffer with back pain at some point in our lifetime, and it’s recently been found that globally, back pain causes more disability than any other condition, affecting 10% of people and becoming increasingly common as we age.

The struggle to identify and manage back pain

One of the great challenges with tackling back pain is that in the majority of cases there are no obvious mechanical or structural reasons for it – meaning that the cause of the (sometimes excruciating) pain doesn’t show up on scans, or during a doctor’s examination. This can make it extremely difficult to identify what is causing the pain and provide an accurate intervention or treatment.

Our clinical experience at Viavi has meant working alongside a lot of professionals within the back-pain arena including orthopaedic surgeons, sports physicians, neurologists, neurosurgeons, chiropractors, osteopaths, physiotherapists, personal trainers, and massage therapists. The length of this list alone shows the difficulty in knowing how best to treat a condition that has its roots and solutions spread across such a diverse range of health professionals.

But, there are undoubtedly some keys features that often apply to people with backpain

However, with increased understanding of back pain and a high level of exposure across these professional fields, some keys features have been identified that often apply to people suffering from back pain.

By identifying these commonalities, we can recognise worthwhile areas to consider when managing existing back problems or working to prevent them occurring in future.

The common threads are that back pain often has a correlation with:

·        Poor posture in both stood and sitting positions.

·        Imbalanced movements and muscle balances - of which the most common seem to be a stiff thoracic/upper spine.

·        And weakness or wasting in the muscles of the bum (gluteus maximus and medius).

How we help our members manage their back pain

For those seeking a solution, we always recommend consulting with an expert to exclude an obvious reason first – whether that’s mechanical or something other. However, in the absence of a clear diagnosis it is almost universally advisable to focus on three important things. These are:

·        Increased levels of movement (aiming for 8-10,000 steps per day!).

·        Adjusting your sitting and work station posture and head position.

·        And specific stretches and exercises to target and strengthen the upper thigh and glute/ bum muscles.

This thinking plays a key part in the development of the exercise sequence delivered at Viavi:be, where there is a unique combination of gluteal strengthening exercises and specific stretch and mobilisation programs for people with postural abnormalities, specifically a stiff thoracic spine. In short, we believe the Viavi:be intervention is one of the most effective mediators and preventers of none specific back pain currently available.

To talk more about how we can help you cope with back pain, get in contact with us to arrange a free tour of the premises with one of our friendly and knowledgeable team members.

Oliver Patrick