It’s often the simple things that catch us out. October tends to bring a raft of back pain and sporting injuries to Physiotherapists for a variety of reasons.

Something as normal as the last tidy up of the garden before winter – cutting branches down, clearing leaves or even slipping on wet grass, can be enough to have you reaching for the painkillers and your GP’s telephone number.

Physios often hear how something as simple as “I was putting these shelves up…” can result in absolute agony and tottering around gingerly for several weeks or where people have started their winter sports again, like football or hockey and have overdone it – or had plain bad luck.

While you can’t always prevent injuries like this, you can reduce the time that you’re injured for; if the injury site is swelling, put cold on it. If it is a tight muscle, then heat is the way forward – either a covered hot water bottle or a wheat pack is the easiest way to get heat to awkward areas.

Staying active is the best way to stop back pain getting worse – it stops you seizing up. There are some stretches and exercises that Physios can advise you on, which will help too.

Ibuprofen is good for helping to reduce swelling, but paracetamol tends to be better for pure pain relief – if you’re in any doubt, then contact your Pharmacist, GP or Physiotherapist for advice.

By taking a few preventative steps, you can reduce the risk of injuring yourself:

Think about how you’re lifting things – push heavy objects instead of pulling them, hold them close to you if you need to lift, take more trips or get some help.

Think about your posture – lifting things with your legs, not your back, don’t twist into awkward positions and keeping muscles warm can reduce the risk.

Pace yourself – if you haven’t done any activity similar to this for a while, just do an hour and build it up slowly each day.

Hopefully, any injuries aren’t too serious and this advice is enough to get you back on your feet, with nothing but a good ‘weekend-warrior’ story for your friends.

If you have been in pain for more than a week, without improvement, then it’s certainly the time to get some professional advice from a Physiotherapist – at Physiofusion, we give free advice via our advice centre – or you can call us to make an appointment at any one of our clinics: Burnley, Padiham, Barnoldswick, Skipton, Bolton or Lancaster.