Monday, 12 September 2016

Causes And Treatment Of Back Pain

Back pain is a common issue that affects many people. Everybody experiences back pain at some point of time. It can be caused by bad posture while walking, standing, sitting, bending and lifting weight inappropriately. It can also be caused by underlying medical condition. Most of the back pains usually subside within a few weeks or months; however, some people experience chronic pain.

Causes of back pain
Back pain, also known as backache or lumbago, can be experienced in any part of the spine i.e. from the neck to the hips. Following issues can cause backache –
  • Mechanical injury or fall
  • Prolapsed disc – slipped disc causing compression of nerves
  • Sciatica – compression of sciatic nerve due to disc herniation
  • Whiplash – sudden impact on the neck injury
  • Muscle spasm – due to improper posture
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis – chronic condition caused by rheumatic disorder

The risk factors associated with back pain are obesity, pregnancy, smoking and bad effects of certain medicines such as corticosteroids. Some of the people with back pain do not have an obvious cause. Physicians often describe this as a non-specific backache.

Treatment of back pain
Acute backache is easily manageable. All you need to do is perform physical activities and remain active. Over the counter medicines such as ibuprofen or Paracetamol are effective in reducing the pain. Hot or cold fomentation can provide great relief from acute back pain.

If your back pain persists even after OTC painkillers, you need to see your GP, who can assess your condition and recommended appropriate treatments, which include –
  • A course of strong painkillers
  • Lumbar or back exercises to strengthen back muscles
  • Physiotherapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Counselling
  • Support and advice

In advanced cases of prolapsed disc, spinal surgery or decompression surgery is advised.

Preventing back pain is easy. Try to avoid applying too much pressure on your back. Regular exercise, walking and swimming are an excellent way to prevent backache. Physical activities like pilates or yoga can enhance muscle strength and flexibility.

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