01206 572761 769935 Receptionist Jane or Diane 
 
Your first acute episode of back or neck pain 
 
"I am in severe low back pain (may be sudden or gradual onset). 
The first few hours - what should I do?" 
 
Preferably lie down and avoid or minimise sitting down. Lie anywhere, any position that you find comfortable or near comfortable, on soft or hard surface as you prefer. 
 
Ignore the advice of all friends! 
 
They are a different shape, weight, and just about everything else from you so they know what is good/bad for them, and you what is good/bad for you. Stick with you! 
 
Myth – lying on your back on boards is good for a bad back. 
Preferable do not unless you are really comfortable and it clearly 
relieves your pain or, you simply enjoy pain! 
If in pain, lie for about 20 minutes and then be gently active for 20 minutes and then lie again … an so on. 
At this stage it is important if at all possible to control your own environment and NOT be at the "beck and call" of others. 
Keep yourself hydrated. Use your own choice analgesic from the chemist. 
 
If you find resting/lying for twenty minutes too challenging, then consider listening to a short play via ITunes or the web created by Frequency Theater www.frequencytheatre.co.uk. They have around 70-80 plays available of around 20 minutes each - just what the osteopath ordered! [As it happens, the owner and creator of the site is my daughter!] 
 
If the problem for you is or becomes un-manageable – then you must seek advice from your GP practice or my practice on 01206 572761 
 
 
Words and phrases to avoid: - 
These words/phrases have all been relayed to patients by professionals from many disciplines. They contribute to negative expectations and unhelpful beliefs for you, the patient. Beware! 
 
The painful back: 
Worn back 
Crumbling disc 
Slipped disc 
Trapped nerve 
Weak back 
You need to strengthen your back 
Your “core” muscles are weak 
The brain has no memory of pain 
You are imagining your pain 
Loose weight you are too heavy 
Past life events have nothing to do with your pain. 
Workplace causes back trouble. 
"We can pinpoint the cause of your back pain and 
recommend the treatment required" 
 
A "whiplash" related injury: 
may last for years 
pain on day one means you do not have one 
will leave “damage” to your neck/spine 
will increase the risk of “wear and tear” 
 
Drugs: 
will cure your back trouble 
For back and neck pain, all GPs know what they are talking about 
GPs can not do anything for back or neck pain 
 
Imaging: 
An Xray will help us decide what to do 
An MRI is a valuable Primary Care tool 
An MRI will tell you: - 
what is wrong 
will pin-point the cause of your pain 
 
Others:  
Keep away from work until completely fit. 
 
Treatment at regular intervals when free of pain is good for your back. 
 
AND FINALLY (until I discover others) – 
 
The patient was 30 and told “you have the back of an eighty-year-old”! 
 
Any questions? Contact our receptionists on Tel: 01206 572761 or 769935  
or greg@colchesterosteopathiccentre.org.uk 
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