Does your back hurt?

Does your back hurt?

Have you seen the doctor or taken time off from work because of back pain? Are you wondering if a good massage might help you get through the days?

You are not the only one.

One in eight people in Finland suffer from back pain every day. One in three adults reports experiencing back pain during the past month.

There are many possible causes to back pain. As much as 90% of cases remain undefined, meaning the doctors have not been able to define a specific reason for the pain suffered. As little as 5-10% of back pain is caused by a specific illness or a problem in nerve roots.

It is known that obesity, stress, smoking and insufficient exercise are best friends with back pain, but it can also be connected to discontent at the workplace. It is also a common reason for sick leave.

It used to be thought a person suffering from back pain should lay down and rest as much as possible, but today we know immobility can make the symptoms worse. A back that hurts is not a useless back.

When suffering from back pain it is recommended you return to your daily tasks as soon as possible. Exercise has been proven to speed up recovery, and thus the treatment for back pain is no longer based on medication.

It is recommended to take up light exercise, such as walking, as soon as your condition allows it, even during your sick leave. The point is not to exercise heavily when undergoing acute back pain, but every day motion such as taking the stairs and walking the dog can promote recovery.

Although in some cases back pain requires further examination and medical care, getting better fast is likely for most patients. Approximately 80% of patients have been able to return to work within a month after their first severe symptoms.

After the acute phase of back pain is over, the important part is to make sure it does not come back. The best way to prevent and manage symptoms is to stay in shape.