Do you suffer from lower back pain?

Well, you aren’t alone. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, National Health Survey 2014-2015, 3.7 million Australians suffer or have suffered from lower back pain currently, or at some stage in their lives. As your spine is involved with almost all movements, it makes sense that lower back pain can have dramatic effects on living day-to-day.

When lower back pain takes over, painkillers are relied upon more frequently, movement is restricted and those somewhat easy, daily chores such as hanging out the washing, lifting or shifting household items, bending over to put your shoes on, or even holding your children in your arms, can become more difficult as the pain intensifies. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be this way. At Beingwell Healthcare, we believe in taking an integrated, holistic approach to lower back pain in order to overcome these challenges. Taking a holistic approach to your lower back pain may lead to both short and long-term benefits to your spine, and thus improving your overall health and wellbeing.

So, What Does the Term ‘Holistic’ Really Mean

A great number of people, including some of those in health and medicine industry, hear the word holistic and think of kooky, crystal healers or non-evidence based treatments. This is simply not the case at all. The holistic approach simply means to view the person as a whole to work out how their pain has arisen, identifying patterns or problems in their posture, movement, eating, sleeping, and more – not just solely focusing on the pain they’re experiencing now.

A holistic approach focuses on the patient as a person in their entirety – both physical and emotional, working to take away pain by changing the fundamental problems that give rise to it.

Remember, there are times when a holistic approach to lower back pain is (at least in the beginning) not your best option. If you’ve broken bones or been in a severe accident, you need to go to hospital. Everyone knows this, and most people do it, but when you’ve been discharged, it’s extremely important to get follow up care. Learning how an injury has affected your movement, mobility and created compensatory patterns in your body is vital and a thorough assessment looking at your whole body is the best way to achieve this.

Our Integrated Approach

At Beingwell Healthcare, we know and understand that everyone is a little different, which is why we care for our patients individually.  There is no ‘one size fits all’ for lower back pain. Our advice and your care plan will vary depending on the nature of your body as well as your goals.  Some people want to run ultra-marathons or ironman events. Some just want the freedom to play with their kids in the park without having back pain. We understand this. As experienced health professionals, we recommend contacting our team before undergoing any of the following suggestions, as your level of pain or injury may vary. The following are just some of the treatments and lifestyle changes that can improve your lower back pain;

Chiropractic Adjustments

Regular Chiropractic care can help to restore movement to your spine and improve the function of your nervous system. Our Beingwell Chiropractors not only treat the medical conditions prevalent in lower back pain like disc bulges, herniations or nerve impingements, but will also address any underlying cause behind the issue. All of our Chiropractic treatments, in both our advanced Prahran and Highett clinics, are carried out safely and gently, and help to eliminate acute and chronic pain. Some other benefits behind regular Chiropractic care include: less reliance on pain medication, increased strength and balance, and improvements in the mobility and biomechanics of your spine. Our Chiropractors are passionate about working within an evidenced based model and are always happy to liaise with your regular GP or other health professional. If you’re suffering from lower back pain, see how you can better look after your spine and book an appointment with one of our experienced Chiropractors today.

Exercise

If you suffer from lower back pain, regular exercise will almost invariably be of benefit to you. Regular exercise will help to increase blood flow in the body, whilst building up a gentle tolerance to stress and movement. If you’re currently suffering from lower back pain, and exercise is the last thing on your mind, rest assured that there are many forms of exercise that you can try which won’t further increase your pain or do further damage. Depending on your level of pain, clinical pilates, yoga and swimming are just three forms of gentle exercise that our doctors may recommend. All three forms of exercise can be beneficial in improving your flexibility and strength in your spine, while reducing pain and other symptoms. If you suffer from lower back pain, and wish to talk to a professional about what exercises would be beneficial for recovery, speak to one of our experienced practitioners who can help create a personalised health program, specific to your goals.

Strength Training

Strength training or resistance training, is the perfect way to strengthen your lower back area and to help retrain the muscles that can be problematic in this region. Most strength training can be performed in the comfort of your own home and is an integral part of a holistic approach to lower back pain. Strength training is vital for men and women of all ages, and helps to treat pain as well as prevent it. At Beingwell Healthcare, our practitioners will work with you to create a personalised strength training program for you to follow, as well as regularly updating it based on your progression. If you wish to find out more about our strength training and personalised health programs, contact our team today.

Stretching

If you’re suffering from lower back pain, stretching regularly can be one of the simplest interventions to implement. In regards to lower back pain, the increasingly seated nature of our world has led to a lack of mobility in a number of areas – particularly the hips and spine itself. Targeted stretching not only allows muscles and joints to move more freely, but can be enormously beneficial for your mental health and stress levels.. At Beingwell Healthcare, our practitioners may recommend various stretching exercises, depending on your pain or level of discomfort, and can tailor a program to help you achieve better movement.

Massage

MassagePatients who suffer from lower back pain often turn to massage therapy to help them overcome pain and stiffness. According to research and evidence, massage, and in particular remedial massage, is a specific treatment that can help overcome stress or injuries in the muscles and tendons in the body. When the body is massaged with skill and precision, circulation increases and natural endorphins within the body are released, reducing stress hormones and muscle soreness. At Beingwell, our experienced massage therapists can work on your affected area, whilst providing a calm environment for you to relax in. To find out more about our massage therapy services, or to book your next appointment, click here.

Diet

At Beingwell, our dieticians understand that what we consume in our diet has an effect on our overall health. Therefore, eating healthy foods, and in particular anti-inflammatory foods, can play a positive role in decreasing inflammation in the human body, and improving numerous aspects of your health. If you’re suffering from pain related to inflammation, we recommend introducing the following anti-inflammatory foods into your day-to-day life: tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, olive oil, fish, nuts and fruit. If you’re interested in professional and personal advice regarding dietary changes, our Beingwell Dieticians can help. With many years of experience and knowledge, they’ll provide you with the information and resources necessary to help improve your overall health and wellbeing, which can help with lower back pain.

Natural Supplements and Herbal Treatments

These days, due to the complex nature of many conditions, and the presence of unwanted side-effects accompanying many pharmaceuticals, natural supplements and herbal treatments are becoming increasingly popular. At Beingwell, our expert Naturopaths are fully qualified and can provide you with a wide range of natural, holistic options and services to assist with your overall health and wellbeing, which can help with lower back pain. If you wish to find out more about our Naturopathy services, or if you wish to book an appointment in our Prahran or Highett clinics, contact our friendly team today.

Sleep

Most medical experts will agree that sleep plays an important role in your overall health and wellbeing. According to the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute, “Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.” However, trying to achieve a good night’s sleep when dealing with lower back pain can sometimes seem almost impossible. Depending on the severity of your back pain, certain sleeping strategies, behaviours and positions can help to improve or reduce your lower back pain issues, and help you to achieve a better, more comfortable night’s sleep. If you want to find out more about how improving your sleep can help to improve your lower back pain, or to find out the best way to achieve a better night’s sleep when dealing with lower back pain, visit one of our Beingwell Clinics today.

Lastly, Don’t Forget…It’s All Connected!

As the spine is central within the body, it is almost always affected by problems happening elsewhere in your life. For example, if you aren’t getting enough sleep or exercise, or your diet is poor, these factors may affect, contribute to, or be the cause behind the your lower back pain in the first place.

By considering our recommendations suggested above, you will be able to make significant improvements to your overall health and wellbeing, which can in turn help with lower back pain. Whether your pain is mild or severe, we recommend seeking personalised medical advice from one of our experienced practitioners before undergoing any of the above methods to ensure our recommendations are right for you.

If you require any further information or if you wish to book an appointment at either one of our Prahran or Highett clinics, contact Beingwell Healthcare today. Our Beingwell Healthcare professionals are there to ensure you continue on your way to living a healthy, happy and balanced lifestyle.

Image via Pintrest