Are you dealing with back pain?
Back pain is a common ailment for men and women of all ages and it can be particularly debilitating if you don’t take preventative measures to reduce the causes of back pain, or seek appropriate treatment to correct it. The back is a complex structure with a multitude of joints, muscles, bones and nerves, so it is no surprise that seemingly innocuous activities such as sitting on a chair, lifting or carrying can trigger pain. Most back pains are not serious but they can cause undue pain and stress, even if it is a pinched nerve or minor strain.
Possible causes of back pain include poor posture, slouching in chairs and bending at awkward angles. This can occur when playing a sport, at work or even at home. Overstretching or sitting for long periods in the same position can also lead to back pain. You may be at higher risk of back pain if you are pregnant, due to the additional strain it brings, if you are a smoker, overweight or have medical conditions such as arthritis, sciatica, cancer or kidney stones. Fortunately, there are many ways to treat back pain and return to full fitness.
Short-term back pain caused by strains and pulled muscles often requires simple rehabilitation such as exercises and stretching. Experts now believe that keeping active and moving are the best means to recover, rather than rest. This may involve walking round the house or local area and completing short bursts of exercises such as sit-ups, to strengthen the back area. Back pain may also be caused by a poor sleeping position. To rectify this, you should take the strain off your back, so try to use pillows under your knees or legs to create a more natural curve for your lower back. Positive lifestyle changes such as taking up yoga, swimming or sports can help, and be a key preventative measure in the future. Painkillers such as ibuprofen can also be effective in the short-term for more painful back injuries.
Chiropractors are the musculoskeletal experts, so they are hugely helpful for both short-term and long-term back injuries. Chiropractors use their hands and manual therapies to treat disorders in the joints, muscles and bones of your back, and are well versed in treatments related to the spine in the lower back. Long-term treatments for back pain also include exercise classes such as aerobics and stretching, or acupuncture, which involves the use of fine needles to reduce pain. These methods are ideal for those suffering from back ailments that are seriously affecting how they conduct their daily activities, and who need professional help.
In some instances, back pain may require surgery. Your GP will recommend this course of action if the other treatment options have been exhausted. Two procedures may be carried out to ease your back pain – a discectomy or a spinal fusion. The former involves the removal of part of the discs in your spine to prevent nerve pain, while the latter stabilises the spine by fusing two or more vertebrae together.