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Lower back pain affects approximately 80% of us at least once in our lifetime; seniors in Halifax are not immune to this issue. Many will seek guidance from a Halifax back pain specialist. Although seeing a back pain specialist can sometimes be necessary, most often, a physiotherapist is an easily accessible and appropriate professional for the assessment and treatment of back pain.

At our Halifax location, the physiotherapists at Zoomers spend a lot of time teaching their clients self-management techniques to reduce their back pain symptoms and maximize their recovery. Seeing a physiotherapist can be booked quickly and can help avoid a lengthy wait for a Halifax back pain specialist.

There are some golden rules that our Zoomers physiotherapists find helpful for almost all of our clients. Here are four of our favourites:

1 – Keep moving
Historically, rest was prescribed for lower back pain. However, the research, physiotherapists and back pain specialists agree that staying as active as possible is helpful for recovery. Bedrest increases back pain and recovery time. Walking strengthens the muscles that support your spine and is integral to recovery. Of course, the severity of your symptoms will guide how much activity is possible. Meeting with a physiotherapist can also help you decipher how much (and which) activity is appropriate for you. Getting this information early from a Zoomers physiotherapist, rather than waiting for a Halifax back pain specialist, can help ensure you’re on the right path for recovery sooner rather than later.

2 – Apply ice (or heat!)
We are big fans of applying an ice pack for 10-15 minutes at a time in the first 2-3 days after injury/symptom onset. It typically provides pain relief and reduces muscle spasm; a common complaint amongst our clients with lower back pain. In more chronic situations, some clients prefer to use a heating pad for 10-20 minutes. Halifax back pain specialists would likely agree, whether you choose ice or heat, you should have at least temporary symptom improvement after its application.

3 – Avoid sitting on soft surfaces
It is tempting to sit on the couch to “take it easy” when your lower back is sore. However, sitting on a soft surface puts a lot of stress on the joints of the spine. It can be comfortable while sitting but then feel very uncomfortable as you try to get up and move around. Unfortunately, sometimes this gets misinterpreted as “sitting feels good and moving feels bad” and you might be tempted to sit more and move less. Instead, it is best to try to change position regularly (every 20-30 minutes). When sitting, it is best to choose a firm chair (ie: kitchen chair) with a small cushion behind your back for support.

4 – Don’t panic!
Lower back pain hurts. Many of us know someone who has had serious complications with a lower back injury and it can be easy to feel unsure about the likelihood of your recovery. Rest assured, 80-90% of people with an episode of lower back pain are better in 12 weeks or less. Get (and heed!) professional advice, keep moving and trust that your body is resilient and will recover.

If you have been waiting to see a Halifax back pain specialist and have not yet received physiotherapy advice about lower back pain management and prevention, book with one of our physiotherapists for a full review. We can teach you good body mechanics for home and work. We can also teach you how to maintain and increase your core strength and flexibility to maximize your recovery and minimize your risk of re-injury.

Book an assessment with Zoomers

Use our online booking tool to find a time that works for you!