In this article you will learn the treatment for back pain, the common causes, and the ways of preventing back injury. Nearly everyone at some point in their life will experience back pain that can interfere with their daily activities, work or recreation.
My wife and I both have suffered from severe back pain. We have gone to physical therapy and to chiropractors and have learned that doing daily back exercises and walking was crucial to the health of our backs.
Common Causes of Back Pain
You can experience back pain after lifting a heavy object, moving suddenly, sitting in one position for too long or having an accident or injury.
The Structural Problems That Can Cause Back Pain:
Ruptured or bulging disc (the cushions between your vertebrae).
Sciatica nerve (discs pressing on the nerve, causing a shooting pain down the buttock and leg).
Osteoporosis (loss of bone density, increasing the risk of vertebrae fracture).
Irregularities of the skeleton (abnormal curvatures of the spine, scoliosis).
Arthritis (narrowing of the space around the spinal cord).
Risk Factors That Contribute To Lower Back Pain:
Physically strenuous work.
Sedentary work or lifestyle.
How To Diagnose A Back Injury:
A thorough physical examination, with medical and family history.
Treatment For Back Pain:
Most back injuries can be treated without the need for surgery. Home treatment for back pain involves using the following methods:
Stop normal physical activities for the first few days.
Put ice on the injured part of the back (the ice pack should be wrapped in a towel). Ice the back several times a day for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time for 2 to 3 days.
Apply moist heat 24 to 36 hours after the initial back injury for several times a day for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time.
Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol)or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) to help reduce pain and inflammation.
Sleeping in a fetal position with a pillow between your knees will help to put less stress on your back while you sleep. If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees to relieve the pressure on your back.
Refrain from doing any exercises, stretching, heavy lifting, twisting or strenuous activities for at least two to three weeks. Then gradually resume your exercise program with your doctor’s approval.
When To Get Medical Attention:
Back pain after a blow or fall.
Loss of bowel or bladder control.
High fever with back pain.
Swelling or redness on the back of the spine.
Severe shooting pain traveling down your leg.
Numbness or weakness in your thigh, leg, pelvis or buttocks.
Blood or burning when you urinate.
Extreme pain when you lie down, which keeps you awake at night.
Back pain lasting longer than four weeks.
Ways of Preventing Back Injuries:
Back stretches, it is important to stretch your back muscles before doing exercises or other strenuous activities.
When standing or sitting, do not slouch (keep your weight balanced when standing on your feet).
When at home or at work, your work surface should be at a comfortable height for you (ergonomically correct).
Wear low-heeled, comfortable shoes.
To reduce stress on your back, sleep on your side with a leg pillow between your knees on a mattress that gives you firm support.
Do not lift objects that are too heavy for you, ask for help. When lifting, bend at your knees not at your waist, use your leg and stomach muscles, while keeping your back as straight as possible.
Do not twist your body when you are bending down to lift up an object.
Do not lean forward while reaching for an object. Stand as close as possible to the object you are lifting.
Place a lumbar pillow or rolled up towel behind your lower back when driving or sitting for long periods of time.
When driving on long distances, stop and walk around at least once every hour.
Stay on a proper diet and try to reduce excessive weight.
To promote new bone growth, take a daily vitamin that includes, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D.
If you smoke, quit smoking. Smoking reduces blood flow to the spine and spinal discs.
As part of our treatment for back pain, my wife and I do daily back exercises, use a Chi Machine, an Inversion Table, a Rebounder and walking to keep our backs in good shape. We have found that these methods work for us!