Right-sided low back pain seems to be more common than left-sided low back pain according to a recent clinical audit.
Back pain may develop relatively quickly, perhaps after lifting or moving something and is often due to tissue strain with associated sensitivity and restricted movement.
Knowing what to do, and what not to do can help you recover quicker with a reduced risk of recurrent right-sided low back pain recurring in the future.
Here are some tips to help you if you start to experience right-sided low back pain:
- Avoid movements or positions which aggravate the pain. Generally, it is essential to keep moving in a way which either eases the pain or has no effect on the pain. Some discomfort is okay as long as it is acceptable to you and eases shortly after moving.
- Avoid repeatedly 'testing' the back to see if it is still painful by moving or stretching the painful area in an overtly provocative way. This is likely to aggravate your back and delay recovery further.
- Try to get out for a 10 to 20-minute walk each day, not too fast, preferably outdoors, leave your phone behind.
- It is essential to move from sitting for at least 2-3 minutes every hour, 10 minutes every two hours and for a good half hour, preferably taking a walk, at lunchtime. Some may benefit from getting up and moving from sitting even more regularly. Moving from a sitting position reduces the cumulative stress on the back throughout the day and will speed up recovery.
- Those who move about often, get better quicker....' motion is lotion'.
- If you have leg pain, try to move in ways which do not aggravate the pain or other symptoms. This may mean avoiding excessive bending, twisting, standing on one leg while dressing.
- See your pharmacist for advice about medication such as analgesics or anti-inflammatories which may assist with pain relief and recovery.
- If your right-sided low back pain is not improving in 2-3 days, I would recommend attending the clinic for an assessment with one of our chartered physiotherapists. We will diagnose the cause of your pain and put a treatment programme in place. Most types of lower back pain do not require a scan or X-Ray right away. However, if needed, we will arrange a referral for further investigations in consultation with your GP.
In good health,
Simon Coghlan MSc, DipMedAc, MISCP