Back pain, commonly called backache, is a frequent complaint by 80 percent of the global population at any point of their life cycle.
Our back consists of structured bones along with muscles and tissues, which are very soft. Backache always plays a main part in delaying or missed work. Our every movement solely depends on our back and since prevention is possible it has to be taken utmost care. Home remedies along with proper body mechanics helps in keeping body ache away from us. Treatment for back pain does not require surgery. Pain relievers help a lot and rest plays a main role.
Back pain can be from a slight ache to a strong pain.
Severe backache occurs abruptly and may last for one or two days. If the pain is felt for more than weeks together it's referred as chronic. This type of pain normally fades as time passes but the duration will be long. Bed rest for more than two days will worsen the condition of the patient. If back pain is felt after injury it is important to get examined at the earliest.
Reason for backache may be due to lifting heavy things in an improper position or a swift change in the body position. Our lower back is very important as it carries majority weight of the body. Increase of stress towards a particular location or muscle tremor in the lower back muscles can also lead to back ache. But in several cases the reason for backache is not clear. Risk factors also include the type of occupation, Poor posture and lack of physical work or sedentary.
If the disc on the back gets pressed to the nerve it may lead to Herniated disc.
Sciatica occurs at the sciatic nerve due to the influence of herniated disk and creates unbearable back pain inside the buttocks and leg. Due to over growth of bone or because of arthritis
Spinal stenosis occurs where the space shared by the spinal cord with the nerve roots gets limited or reduced which in turn creates pinching feeling on the nerves. Spondylosis occurs due to aging.
Spondylolisthesis happens in the spinal column if one of the vertebras slips above another vertebra in forward position. Loss of control in the bladder or insensitive feeling in the groin part along with legs getting weakened are neurological problems known as Cauda equina syndrome.
Cancers in the spine or a fever with warm feeling in the back area along with pain are also some of the reasons for backache. If the patient has undergone many surgeries for varied reasons it can lead to chronic back pain where the possibility of treatment is limited.
Symptoms of back pain includes intense pain while you are lying down and pain spreads from one leg to another and pain in the abdomen followed by fever or weight loss drastically with out any reason. Back pain could be due to an injury in the back and can lead to serious health problems in the future.
Diagnosis for back pain will not be through laboratory tests but assessment will be made on the posture of the back and actions like sitting, standing and lifting legs. A reflex hammer, which is made of rubber, will be used to test the reflexes of your body. The examined results help in identifying the exact location of pain, the degree of activity you can perform without pain and the possibility of muscle spasms. They also aid in ruling out other serious reasons of back pain.
Back pain could be totally avoided by improvising your health condition and following body mechanics like good and smart way of standing, sitting, lifting and sleeping in a regular way. Aerobics and Physical activity with less stress along with balanced height and weight help in avoiding back pain. Smoking has to be stopped as it slows down the healing process.
Back pain can be effectively treated less expensively through regular exercise and by practicing smart posture. If back pain is not controlled, it may lead to other complications that may be too costly to treat.
Treatment for back pain does not give instantaneous results.
First step taken by individuals is alleviating back pain through ice or heat and medications. If this doesn't show effects medical evaluation was the next step. The symptoms of the patient along with the period of back pain are taken into account for treatment. Patients with acute back pain need not worry as the period is short and it resolves by itself. Sub-acute needs attention, as the period is longer than acute. Back pain has to be treated if it's chronic which means the presence of pain for more than 3 months. Pain for day's together, awakening during sleep in the night because of pain, Dysfunction of bowel or bladder, fever and infections with unusual symptoms are warning signs to start treatment.
Back pain treatments that are done at home like applying ice above the strained muscle relieve pain and heat can be applied to relax the stiff muscles. Bed rest for two days is recommended and after rest normal activity can be done.
The commonly prescribed medication for pain relief is ibrufen and also acetaminophen but the advice of a physician is a must for all medications. For Acute back pain narcotic and non-narcotic pain relievers are prescribed. Anti-inflammatory drugs are also suggested. Oral steroids are also used but they have after effects like headache and weakening of bones. Chronic back pain, which occurs due to damage of nerves, is treated by tricyclic antidepressants and nortriptyline. Side effects like constipation, dryness in the mouth and lethargy are possible.
Steroid injections are injected in the membrane of nerve roots to reduce the pain instantaneously to a certain extent.
Physical therapy is normally practiced to reduce pain, bring back normal activity, boost functions and avoid recurrences.
Massage therapy influences the increase of circulation of blood in the affected area. Massage therapy has various devices to be used and techniques that can be followed.
Electrotherapy is also very effective as it passes mild currents on the skin and stimulates contraction of muscles, strengthening of muscles and increasing the level of neurochemicals on the area. Ultra sound reduces pains and muscle spasms as the sound in the form of waves penetrates into the skin and makes the soft tissues to vibrate. It also creates gentle heat, which in turn increases the flow of blood in the body.
Acupuncture helps in reducing back pain without medication and the side effects are less. Thin hair needles are inserted inside the skin for less than 30 seconds. But frequent sessions have to be undergone.
Surgery is undergone for chronic back pain with symptoms like compression of spinal cord, weakness of muscles and problems in bowel or balder. The herniated disc, which presses the nerves, is removed by discectomy. Spinal cord gets compression by the lamina and this can be removed by Laminectomy. Bone grafting is also done for spinal instability.
Exercise strengthens bones and minimizes injury risk. Regular exercise rectifies physical problems and prevents from new ones. For back pain exercise helps in speedy recovery and makes the back muscles strong. The soft tissue around the spine, which includes the ligaments, the muscles and tendons, gets benefited through stretching. Different muscles when stretched gains flexibility and also maintain mobility. The muscles targeted to stretch are Hamstrings (back part of leg), Piriformis (back part of thigh bone and the spine), Psoas Major (front part of lower spine) and the Gluteus muscles (around the buttocks). Muscle flexibility increases if stretching is done daily and frequently. Aerobics with walking, bicycling and water therapy minimizes pain throughout the body.
Prevention can be done through maintaining weight, healthy diet, awareness of suitable body mechanics and avoiding same posture for longer duration.
For back pain relief try these back exercises
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