Back pain is one thing most likely to elicit a twinge of sympathy from the hardest of hearts. It is estimated that every person in the world will suffer from it in his/her lifetime – mild to serious, chronic or temporary.
You could get an attack at any point along the spine, especially the lower back area which takes on the maximum weight and stress. Most common causes: strain or bruising of muscles; sprain or injury to ligaments; and spasms when the injured muscle knots up as part of the body’s attempt to immobilize it to prevent further injury. Other causes include osteoporosis, arthritis, a slipped disc, or even excessive gas, besides more serious causes like tumors, diabetes or kidney malfunctions that emerge in a doctor’s clinic.
Blame it on your Lifestyle
An important factor and one that is entirely in you hands, is lifestyle. For instance, improper postures while sitting and sleeping, and carelessness during walking, stretching or playing, especially when you are overweight, are few common causes. Grand illusions of being a Hercules incarnate and lifting heavy weights or improperly hefting them around are other frequent errors.
Bad posture is the biggest culprit. Desk jobs mean sitting for hours before computers where we unconsciously slump into odd positions. Or twist our backs frequently while trying to reach for something behind or beside us, or stretch forward too far; too fast. We also unconsciously slip into awkward positions while reading or watching TV sprawled on the bed or sofa.
Chairs with gaps at the lower back level are deadly – avoid them. And if you think you are invulnerable because you have that perfectly ‘ergonomically’ designed chair; know this – most people unconsciously lean forward in such a way that their lower back moves away from the chair base and thus remains unsupported.
Get up and Walk around
Sitting anywhere, anyhow, for long periods means that dangerous pressure points develop along the back. The load on you back is the highest when you are sitting, less while standing and least when you are sleeping.
The golden rule is to get up and walk around every 15-20 minutes. When on a long drive, get out of the car, walk around, stretch you limbs after every two hours. While driving, the back of the car seat should not recline beyond 30 degrees and ideally the seat bottom should be tilted up slightly in front.
It’s not a high
Avoid regular use of high heels – they hamper good posture, ruin you body’s alignment and hurt the back, feet and neck. Our feet are designed to bear the entire weight of the body evenly across their surface. However, the feet and legs are placed in and unnatural position when you wear heels. Most of the pressure is transferred to the front of the foot.
The modern-day stress epidemic is another factor since back pain can be psychosomatic. Stress/emotional problems both cause back pain and aggravate any existing pain. Yoga and meditation sessions are effective in such cases.
Weak stomach muscles heighten back strain and cause you pelvis to twist abnormally. Regular and proper exercise help tremendously since it keeps joints mobile, muscles conditioned and, more importantly, raises your pain threshold.
Don’t over Exercise
Doctors receive many back-pain patients who are victims of improperly-trained gym instructors or half-baked yoga teachers. Suddenly launching into heavy, unaccustomed activity is a sure recipe for disaster.
Back Pain Treatment – Variety Of Options Available
Back pain occurres due to various causes and in 90% of the back pain cases, the pain disappears easily by various back pain treatment. However, proper medical advice and treatment is essential in cases where the pain persists for a long time.
Back pain treatment is effective if the exact cause is identified. The severity of back pain may vary from a dull ache to searing feeling. It may be due a strain in the muscles or an injury or problems like Osteoarthritis, arthritis, bone fracture or tumor or some infection. Although back pain may emerge suddenly, it may be caused by a problem, which has plagued us for a long time. It is essential that we identify the true cause of the back pain, if we want to eliminate or treat it fully.
A number of back pain treatment options are available for people suffering from back pain. However, the treatment may vary from person to person depending on the cause or the reason for the back pain. The exact nature of the pain and its severity can be judged by a specialist who will than suggest the most appropriate treatment.
Exercising is the best back pain treatment. It is a general notion that bed rest is the best cure for back pain. But evidence has shown that rest does not aid in the recovery of a person suffering from Back pain. It is much better if one carries on with normal activities while taking some measures for relieving the pain. The most recommended exercises for curing back pain are short walks, stretching exercises and swimming. However, it is advisable that one starts slowly and than gradually builds up the speed at which the various exercises are undertaken.
Application of a cold pack or a bag of ice to the back is also often recommended by the doctors. This form of back pain treatment is generally used within the first 48 hours after the start of the back pain. A cold pack is generally applied for 5-10 minutes. Ice reduces the inflammation and swelling, numbs soft tissues, and slows nerve impulses in the injured area.
A large number of drugs are also used as back pain treatment that reduce the pain and are easily available in the market. However, many of them can have serious side effects and so should be taken only after consulting a physician. Several non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, Naproxen®, Ketoprofen® are capable of reducing pain. These anti-inflammatory medications help in reducing the swelling and inflammation while healing the injured portion. Acute or chronic back pain may be treated by an anticonvulsant or an oral steroid.
Steroid injections are also effective in reducing the inflammation and the treatment of back pain caused by spinal stenosis, disc herniation, and degenerative disc disease. A steroid is injected directly into the membrane that surrounds the nerve roots (dura).
Other forms of back pain treatment include the massage therapy, the electrotherapy and the adjustment of the spine Chiropractors and osteopaths. Acupuncture may also prove to be effective in some cases. Finally surgery may be recommended in cases where the pain is not curable by any of the other forms of treatment.