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LOW BACK PAIN

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January 15, 2020 0 4 minutes, 15 seconds read
Anand Naik - Max Hospital
Senior Consultant
Orthopaedics and Joint Replacement

Back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work and is one of the leading causes of disability in India. Most people have back pain at least once in their lifetime.

fortunately, you can take measures to prevent or relieve most back pain episodes. If prevention fails, simple home treatment and proper body mechanics after heal your back within a few weeks and keep it functional. Surgery is rarely needed to treat back pain.

Symptoms

  • Muscle ache
  • Shooting or Stabbing pain
  • Pain that radiates down your leg
  • Pain that worsens with bending, lifting, standing or walking
  • Pain that improves on reclining

When to see a doctor

Most back pain gradually improves with home treatment and self-care, usually within a few weeks. If yours doesn't improve in that time, see your doctor.

In rare cases, back pain signals a serious medical problem. Seek immediate care if your back pain :

  • Causes new bowel or bladder problems
  • Is accompanied by fever
  • Folks a fall, blow to your back or other injuries
  • Weakness or loss of strength in your legs
  • Increasing numbness in your legs
  • Spreads down one or both legs from back to buttocks to thighs to below the knee.

Also see your doctor if you start having back pain for the first time after the age of 50, or if you have a history of cancer, osteoporosis, steroid use or excessive drug or alcohol use.

Causes

Low back pain caused by spinal degeneration and injury.
Back pain that comes suddenly and lasts no more than six weeks ( acute) can be caused by heavy lifting or fall. Back pain that lasts for more than three months (chronic) is less common than acute pain.
Back pain often develops without a cause that your doctor can identify with a test of the imaging study. The condition commonly linked to back pain include:

  • Muscle or ligament strain
  • Bulging or ruptured disc
  • Arthritis
  • Skeletal irregularities
  • Osteoporosis

Risk Factors

Anyone can develop back pain, even children and teens. These factors might put you at greater risk of developing back pain:

  • Age: back pain is more common as you get older, starting around age 30 or 40
  • Lack of exercise: weak unused muscles in your back and abdomen might lead to back pain
  • Excess weight: excess body weight put extra stress on your back
  • Diseases: some type of Arthritis and cancer can contribute to back pain
  • Improper lifting: Using your back instead of legs can lead to back pain
  • psychological conditions: people prone to depression and anxiety appear to have a greater risk of back pain
  • Smoking: this reduces blood flow to the lower spine, which keeps your body from delivering enough nutrients to the disc in your back. Smoking also slows healing

Prevention

You might avoid back pain or prevent its recurrence by improving your physical condition and learning and practicing proper body mechanics.

To keep your back healthy and strong :

  • Exercise: Regular low-impact aerobic activities - those don’t strain or jolt your back - can increase strength and endurance in your back and allow your muscles to function better. Walking and swimming are good choices. talk to your doctor about which activities you might try.
  • Build muscle strength and flexibility: abdominal and back muscle exercises, which strengthen your core, help condition these muscles so that they work together like a natural corset for your back. flexibility in your hips and upper legs aligns your pelvic bones to improve how your back feels. Your doctor or physical therapist can tell you which exercises are right for you.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight strains back muscles. If you're overweight, trimming down can prevent back pain
  • Quit smoking: talk to your doctor about ways to quit

Avoid movements that twist or strain your back. Use your body properly :

  • Stand smart: Don't slouch. Maintain a neutral pelvic position. If you must stand for long periods, place one foot on low footstool to take some load off your lower back. Alternate feet. Good posture can reduce stress on the back muscles.
  • Sit smart: close a seat with good lower back support, armrests and a swivel base. Placing a pillow or a rolled towel in the small of your back can maintain its normal curve. Keep your knees and hips level. Change your position frequently, at least every half hour.
  • Lift smart: avoid heavy lifting, if possible, but if you must lift something heavy, let your legs do the work. Keep your back straight - no twisting - and bend only at the knees. Hold the load close to your body. Find a lifting partner if the object is heavy or awkward.

Buyer beware

Because back pain is so common, numerous products or therapies promise prevention or relief. But there's no definitive evidence that special shoes, shoe inserts, back supports, specially designed furniture, specially designed therapies or massages (Ayurvedic or Kerala massage) or stress management programs can help.

In addition, there doesn't appear to be one type of mattress that's best for the people with back pain. it's probably a matter of what feels most comfortable to you.

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