1. DON’T WORRY: thankfully the majority of acute low back, even severe may not be serious and can settle over time given the correct advice and management. The reassuring thing to know is that in many cases the level of pain experienced rarely correlates with actual damage done. Pain science is complex and can be influenced by many factors, so don’t worry if there is a lot of pain. There are however some rare signs and symptoms for which you should seek immediate medical attention:
  • Loss of bowel or bladder function (incontinence or retention)
  • Loss or altered sensation in both legs that is getting worse or loss of power in both legs causing a change in the ability to walk
  • Loss of sensation in the saddle region (groin, genitals, buttocks)
  • Sexual dysfunction which has come on suddenly
  • Pain that wakes you in the night and is associated with fever
  1. Keep active: it is usually better to keep active in some way to normalise movement patterns and desensitize pain. Even light activity like short walks or walking in the swimming pool can often help. Do as much as you feel comfortable with and if you have any increasing pain during or after activity wait until it settles back to previous levels before doing some exercise again. 
  1. Seek advice:if the pain is not settling or getting worse, or there are new symptoms present, come and see us. You may not need a series of treatment but after a thorough assessment, we can advise the best way forward. We are here to help.
  1. Resumption of exercise: once your pain has resolved, it is important not to just jump back into your normal exercise routine. Do a few days of light exercise and see how your body responds. If all is good, then gradually build back up to your pre-injury routine. 
  1. Sleep, nutrition, hydration: often overlooked but when injured it is even more important to give your body and nervous system the best chance of recovery. For example try getting an extra 1hr sleep each night, drink an extra 1L of water during the day, and minimise the amount of processed food and alcohol. 

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to drop me an email at david@ruactivephysiotherapy.com or contact our reception team to book an appointment on 04 448 1399