Lower back pain

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Back pain
Back pain

Lower back pain is common and usually not serious. Standing or sitting for a long time and moving around can be quite painful.
If you keep moving as normal as possible, you increase the chance of recovery.
Do not force yourself and do not sit or stand in the same position for a long time.
You can contact a physiotherapist for information, advice on sensible movement and specific exercises for your back.

What is low back pain?

Low back pain is also known as lumbago or lumbago. It is common: four out of five people experience it at some point. What causes the pain is often difficult to determine. For most people, low back pain is related to the muscles, ligaments and joints in the back. They are then – simply put – temporarily ‘out of shape’. Even in severe pain, there is usually no disease or permanent damage.

The symptoms of low back pain

The symptoms of Patients with low back pain have pain in their lower back. The pain may also radiate to the buttock or leg. Standing or sitting for a long time, as well as moving around, can be quite painful. In some people the back pain is a one-off, others have regular complaints. back pain

The treatment of low back pain

In most cases, back pain is not caused by a serious illness and will go away on its own. A reassuring thought, but that does not mean that pain in your back can be very difficult and annoying. There is no panacea for back pain, but it does help to keep moving. You can read about how to move responsibly with back pain under ‘What you can do yourself’ and ‘What physiotherapy can do’. In case of an acute attack of back pain, you can take a painkiller in consultation with your doctor. Bed rest is usually not necessary, but sometimes there is simply no other option. Try not to stay in bed for more than a day or two, otherwise your back will stiffen and your muscles will get used to movement.

What can the physiotherapist do for you?

If you have low back pain, you can go to a physiotherapist for information, advice and exercises aimed at your posture and (the structure of) your daily activities. You will also receive information and exercises for the problems you experience when moving. In acute complaints, the pain does not go away immediately due to the specific back exercises, but the treatment can make you feel better. In the case of chronic and long-term back complaints, the specific exercises often produce demonstrably positive results.

Physiotherapeutic guidance is aimed at ensuring that you know what to do in the future if you get back problems again. Which movements are good, what should you (temporarily) avoid? Your physiotherapist will teach you to live with your back.

Tips to prevent or relieve back pain


Lift and carry things close to your body. If you want to lift something, don’t bend over. Better to get down on your knees. Do you have something heavy in your hands? Then don’t turn your back at the same time.

Sitting and standing

Use a chair that provides good support for your lower back. Check that desks and tables are a comfortable height. Do you have to sit or stand for a long time? Then change position regularly.

Staying in shape

Make sure you stay in shape. This reduces the chance that the back pain will return. Walking, swimming, cycling: it doesn’t matter what you do. As long as you move.

Stay Relaxed

Stress creates a tense attitude. This increases the risk of back pain. Try to relax.

Healthy living

Obesity and smoking are risk factors for back pain.

What can you do yourself for low back pain?

Research has shown that it is important to exercise as normal as possible when you have back pain. 
Stay active, that offers the best guarantees for a smooth recovery, but take your body’s signals into account.

With these tips against low back pain you can already take the first step towards a speedy recovery.

Walk around and switch positions regularly.
In severe pain: lie briefly on your back with the hips and knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
Heat can increase your comfort.
An anti-inflammatory medicines can be helpful in the early stages of your pain. If necessary, you can take paracetamol (maximum 4 times a day 1 gram) and/or tramadol for additional pain relief.
Always take medication in consultation with a doctor.
The aim of painkillers is to make it easier for you to perform your daily activities, but dosing remains important. You are not supposed to go beyond your limits by taking painkillers.
Return to your normal daily activities as soon as possible, taking into account your body’s signals. Respect your limits and dose as needed.
Resume your work as soon as you can.
Be patient Research shows that other things in your life may have an influence on the pain. For example, emotions such as sadness and/or excessive fear when performing activities or movements can be detrimental to your recovery. Consult your doctor if you notice these signs.

What should you not do if you have low back pain?

  • Sit for a long time and lean forward.
  • Lying in bed for a long time is bad for the back.
  • Wearing a corset.

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