Backpain, usually defined as pain radiating through and fro the back, is amongst the common reasons for many of us to get worried. It usually begins with a muscle spasm that causes pain and gradually grows into prolonged pain.
Some of the common causes of backpain are muscle or ligament strain due to repeated heavy lifting or sudden awkward movement, bulging or a ruptured disk without causing pain initially, arthritis affecting the lower back, unusual curving of the spine (scoliosis) and osteoporosis.
WAYS TO MANAGE BACK PAIN
Here are four effective ways to prevent and treat back pain:
1 . Exercise Regularly
– Excessive body weight can be one of the major factors that could strain your back muscles. Make sure you work upon cutting down those extra pounds to prevent back pain.
– Get into the habit of a 30 minute moderate intensity exercise at least 4 times a week. Opt for walking (during winters) and swimming (during summers) as an activity.
– Include low impact aerobic activities in your daily exercise regimen. These exercises will increase your strength and endurance in your back.
– Core strengthening exercises (or resistance exercises that involve weights) for the abdomen and back muscles can help these muscles work together and stay flexible. Include weight bearing exercises (like jogging, brisk walking, stair climbing, sports) in your exercise regimen. Together the two will help in strengthening the muscles and joints
2 . Maintain A Healthy Posture
–Stand straight and smart. If you stand for long hours, make sure you place one of your foot on a low stool to lower the load off your lower back. Alternate the foot during the extended hours.
-Sit straight and smart. If you sit for long hours, make sure you choose a seat that has a good lower back support and a comfortable armrest. Place a pillow on your seat to maintain the normal needed curve.
-Move around and change your positions frequently to avoid any stiffness in the back.
-Avoid lifting heavy weights. However, if needed to lift in urgent conditions, let the weight come to your legs. Keep your back straight. Donot twist. Bend on the knees and hold the load close to your body and lift.
3 . Try Cold/ Hot Therapy
–For immediate relief, place an ice pack or a heating pad on the affected area. It will help reduce the pain immediately.
-In case of acute pain, try cold therapy by using an ice pack. It is recommended to use the cold therapy within the first 24 to 48 hours after an injury.
-Cold packs relieve pain by numbing the affected area and reducing swelling, pain and inflammation.
-In case of chronic pain, try heat therapy by using a heating pad or wet towel heated in the microwave.
-Heat increases circulation, thus removing toxic substances (lactic acid) and reducing stiffness and inflammation.
4 . Opt For Alternative Therapy
-Chiropractic Care, defined as a treatment using hands, involves manipulation of the spinal cord by applying a controlled force to a joint of the spine (the affected regions) using hands or device.
-Massage involves pressing and gradually rubbing of the muscles and soft tissues with the fingers and hands. Pressure is applied on the trigger points using essential oils (such as eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, rosemary oil and sandalwood oil) assisting pain relief.
-Acupuncture defined as a scientifically backed technique, that involves stimulation of points on the human body using different techniques such as penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles manually or by electrical stimulation.
-Yoga, involving conscious breathing, healing through relaxation and involving yoga poses, has been found to strengthen and add flexibility to the overall body.
5 . Make Lifestyle Changes
-Make sure you pick the right type of mattress for getting good sleep. Uncomfortable mattress can worsen your backpains. You can consult your doctor and opt for orthopaedic mattresses instead.
-Recent studies suggest, that it is important to stay active to recover early from a backpain than opting for a conventional bed rest. So make sure you move around little.
-Studies suggest that engaging one’s brain in different activities can effectively reduce the pain. Though difficult to practice, try and divert your mind to reduce the pain.
-In case of severe pain, choose to use NSAIDs or mild pain relievers such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen.
In severe cases, if the pain worsens or persist, consult a doctor who can further evaluate the problem and suggest medications. Stay Healthy, Stay Happy!