If you or someone you care about suffers with a bad back, then make a date to visit the UK’s key event dedicated to back pain this May. The Back Pain Show 2017 is a one-stop shop for the 75% of us who will suffer from back problems, along with the health professionals who look after us.
Organised on behalf of Backcare, the National Back Pain Association, the free two-day show at St Andrew’s Stadium, Birmingham, on 19 and 20 May features some 40 exhibitors. Learn about the latest therapies, buy products and services from exercise equipment to specialist beds, and hear presentations by professionals including personal trainers, physiotherapists and manual handing experts. One speaker is top Birmingham physio David Rogers, co-author of the book “Back to Life”, which offers a new way of dealing with back pain.
“Whether it’s a sudden flare-up or having to deal with persistent pain, back pain can often vary from day to day, making it difficult to plan things,” said David, from the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital.
“But research has meant the rules on persistent back pain have been re-written. Understanding them will promote recovery and help you get back to doing the things in life you enjoy.”
David’s list of 10 tips are:
- Don’t worry about a consistent diagnosis. It’s often impossible to diagnose what’s causing back pain. Some conditions causing it – slipped or worn discs, trapped nerves – are as common in people who have never had it.
- Calm any worries about damage. When back pain persists it feels like something is seriously damaged, but it rarely is. Worrying about damage plays a major role in preventing recovery.
- Return to activity gradually. It’s common to avoid activity when back pain persists, particularly if it hurts, but you mustn’t. Return to activity, initially at low levels, and build up gradually.
- Check your thoughts. When your back goes, banish thoughts such as ‘I’ll never get over this’ and try to replace them with ‘I can get over this’ or ‘this will pass’.
- Do some breathing exercises. When back pain persists, it is common for muscles to feel tense and tight. Breathing exercises will calm down the nervous system and relax tense muscles.
- Exercise regularly. The back is designed to move in variety of ways. Protecting it from these movements might seem logical at first, but in the medium to longer term will prevent recovery.
- Involve your family and friends. Encourage them to help you work towards recovery – and not to be over-protective!
- Manage stress. Ongoing stress winds up your body’s fight and flight system, raising tension in your back muscles, so try to find ways to manage it.
- Focus on a structured plan to help you sleep better. Sleep is essential for well-being, but avoid using technology and develop a bedtime routine leading up to sleep.
- Be prepared for some bumps along the road to recovery. Applying these new rules will make a difference but it probably won’t cure your back pain forever – so have a plan for when things go wrong.
To attend the Show, register for free entry at www.thebackpainshow.co.uk. Information on speakers and how to book free places at their talks can also be found on the site.