Back pain is something that everyone has faced at least once in their lifetimes. Most of the people get alarmed when they experience it but it’s not always as bad as it seems. Many back problems are not usually too worrisome and are easily treatable. The more serious causes are experienced by hardly 5% of the population, and some conditions rarely cause severe pain.
What to do if you develop back pain?
If you are experiencing pain in the back, or legs, do the following:
- Try to keep on moving around even if you do it slowly. Stay as active as possible, the pain will most probably get worse if you rest for long periods.
- Try to do some back exercises and stretches so that the stiffness is relieved.
- Apply heat or cold compression packs to the area which hurts. This provides good short-term relief.
- Stay positive! People who tend to be optimistic usually recover faster than the people who are not.
Your GP might recommend physical therapy or treatment from a specialist if the back pain doesn’t improve with the home remedies. These may include:
- Exercises/ Physical therapy – Proper exercises recommended by a therapist according to your problem or condition.
- Manual therapy – Treatments such as massage and manipulation of the spine by physiotherapists.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy – If you are struggling with the pain and to relieve the stress and anxiety.
Common Causes of Back Pain
Most of the back pain experienced by people does not normally involve any serious underlying cause. People usually have back pain due to:
- Muscle strain or sprain in the back due to excessive physical activity, bending a lot, twisting or repeated lifting of heavy objects.
- Poor posture during sitting, travelling or sleeping. An improper posture is usually the main culprit for most kinds of back pain.
- A herniated or slipped disc. The spinal disc is a cushion like structure present between two vertebrae. They help to support the vertebrae and allow flexibility and movement. A slipped disc occurs when the disc bulges or ruptures due to excessive pressure on the spine or due to aging, and it in turn compresses the surrounding nerves, causing pain.
Sciatica. This is the pain experienced in the lower back and leg due to a pinched nerve
What makes back pain worse than it already is?
There are some very common practices that worsen back pain. These usually go un-noticed because many people are unaware of them and do not consider them important enough.
- Prolonged sitting. Sitting can put pressure on the spine which leads to stiffness.
- Incorrect posture while lifting heavy objects. Even if the things aren’t heavy, lifting them improperly can worsen back pain without you realizing it. Educating yourself on the proper way to lift things is very important, especially if you are already suffering from back problems.
- Poor posture while at work, sitting or standing. Always stand with a tall back, and use back support while sitting or driving if you need to.
- Not taking help from professionals on time. When you start experiencing back pain, like most people, you will try to get it better by first utilizing home remedies. But never underestimate the help of a healthcare professional like physical therapists. It is better to act sooner rather than later to prevent the pain from getting worse and eventually spending a lot of money later on.
- Poor mattress. If you do not have a good supportive mattress, it might be worsening your pain without you even being aware of it.
- Lack of exercise. If you’re not moving a lot during the day, it will stiffen up your spine, reducing flexibility and movement. Performing regular back exercises or stretches are a good way to go. Even taking out time for a walk can do wonders for your back as well as your overall health.
When to see the doctor?
There are some symptoms that warrant a medical checkup. Visit your GP if you experience any of the following:
- Constant back pain, or pain that is worsening
- You have had back pain for more than 6 weeks
- Back pain after some injury, trauma or accident
- Pain that is not improving with home remedies (heat/cold application or over-the-counter medications)
- Numbness or altered sensation in the saddle area
- Weakness, numbness, tingling in legs
- Severe pain at night (pain that is not relieved by rest or one that causes you to wake up from sleep)
- Difficulty in passing or controlling urine
- If your age is less than 20 or more than 50 years and you are experiencing pain
- Pain is accompanied by fever
- Weight loss is present along with the pain
- These signs do not necessarily mean that something serious is going on but it’s better to get yourself properly examined to confirm that there is nothing to worry about.
Preventing Back Pain
In a nutshell:
- Perform regular back exercises and stretches
- Stay active
- Proper posture while doing your daily activities
- Taking care while lifting heavy objects
- Good supportive mattress
- Healthy lifestyle, good nutrition, and lose weight if you are obese.
- Use Backrack Spinal Decompression device to safely treat and prevent all types of back pain at home.