Back pain has turned out to be a significant health issue and a common reason for people to consult a spine surgeon. It even became a leading cause of disability worldwide. It is preventing many people from doing their office work and as well as other daily activities. Almost every person experiences back pain at least once in their lifetime.
The back is a complicated structure comprises of bones, muscles, ligaments, and joints. Back pain can occur due to ligament sprain, stretching of muscles, or due to ruptured discs.
Fortunately, you can get relief from back pain or even prevent it by taking some measures. Some simple home remedies and proper exercises can often relieve you from back pain within a short time and keep it functional. In some rare conditions, surgery is necessary to treat back pain.
How Prevalent Is Back Pain?
Back pain can be acute or chronic, and the risk factors like posture, stress, obesity, age, etc., can lead to back pain. Back pain is not a disease; it is a result of some other health condition in the body. In most of the cases, the origins remain obscure and difficult to diagnose. Back pain affects almost all age people, from children to elders.
It is challenging to evaluate the incidence of back pain because the episodes of back pain are already high in early adulthood, and symptoms might recur over time. The prevalence of lower back pain is estimated to be 60% to 70% in industrialized countries. The prevalence of back pain in children and adolescents is less compared to adults but increasing. It is even more prevalent in people of age between 35 and 55 years.
The incidence of this back pain increases substantially with time because, as people age, the intervertebral discs will degenerate in older people. It becomes one of the leading causes of limiting everyday activities.
Tips To Manage Back Pain
Keep moving and stay active: “Movement is very important to any part in the body,” says Dr Surya Prakash, Back Pain Specialist in Hyderabad. Don’t sit idle and keep moving by doing your daily activities. We don’t suggest running a marathon with your sore back, just go for a short walk daily. After you feel better, try regular exercises like swimming, cycling, and walking, which keeps you and your back mobile. But it would be best if you did not overdo it.
Reduce weight: Staying fit is more important to avoid back pain. Extra weight can stress your muscles in the back and causes pain. So extra weight is one of the main factors that trigger your back pain. The best way is to cut down your weight by maintaining a proper diet. Limit processed foods and fatty foods to reduce weight.
Proper posture: Slouching is actually bad for you back. If you are suffering from back pain, poor posture makes it even worse. Especially if you are sitting for a long time in one posture, slumping on your keyboard while working can worsen. Sit straight, relaxing your shoulders, and keep your back straight supported against the chair. Arrange a pillow between the lower back and your seat. Your feet should be flat on the floor.
Physiotherapy and exercises: Physiotherapy is one of the best treatments for back pain relief. It helps to improve the functioning of your joints and movement in the muscles. If you are suffering from back pain, physiotherapy, and some exercises suggested by a physio can reduce the pain and get you back normal.
Stretching and Strengthening exercises: Stretching and exercises are the foundation to manage chronic back pain. It is one of the finest treatment options only when you try them under the guidance of an expert physician and spine specialist. It is because the same set of exercises might not work for everyone. The exercises need to be tailored according to the symptoms and conditions. This exercise can help you in many ways, which include restraining your posture and strengthening your core muscles.
Lifestyle Modifications: When you are suffering from chronic back pain, it’s important to adopt certain limitations. Stop doing strenuous activities like driving, lifting heavy weights, etc. which hurts your back. Take a note of the activities that trigger your back pain and avoid them as much as possible. If you have the habit of smoking, it’s time to give up. It is scientifically admitted that Nicotine triggers pain and delays healing.
Apply Ice and Heat: Applying ice to the sore back might help to reduce pain and inflammation of an injury. It is recommended several times a day to get relief from pain. Wrap some ice pieces in a thin towel and apply them at the site of pain. Switch to a heating pad or warm pack after a few days and apply it to your muscles. It helps to relax and increase the blood flow to the affected area. You may try warm baths for relaxation.
Wear back braces: Wear a brace if you are having back pain issues and need to lift heavy weights or want to do any other strenuous activities. However, wearing a brace all day long is not good because the muscles that provide stability weakens and decreases the core strength.
Medication & Surgery: In some cases, medication is suggested to get relief from back pain. In chronic back pain conditions, surgery is suggested when conventional back pain treatment doesn’t show any improvement. However, surgery is the last option, and it is decided by a spine surgery doctor considering various factors.
Preventive Measures For Back Pain
Strengthen your back muscles: Physical activities and certain exercises can improve your back muscles’ strength and lower your risk of back pain. Do back-strengthening exercises at least two days a week. Practice yoga and aerobics that helps to stretch and strengthen your muscles and improve your posture. Stay active with regular physical activity to keep your back muscles strong.
Watch your weight: We know that excess weight can cause a lot of health problems, and back pain is among them. Extra weight creates pressure on the back muscles, which results in lower back pain. So maintaining a healthy weight can keep you away from many diseases.
Take calcium rich foods and vitamin D supplements : Calcium rich foods and vitamin D supplements can keep your bones stronger and prevent osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that makes your bones weak and more prone to fracture. Spine fractures due to osteoporosis are of the leading causes of back pain.
Quit smoking: If you are a smoker, then it’s time to give up. Tobacco and its products are rich in Nicotine that increases the risk of back and also delays healing.
Quit drinking: Pressure on the nerves is one of the main reasons for back pain and sciatica. Drinking alcohol can dehydrate the water content in your intervertebral discs. The discs become dry and rub against one another, or the discs press the nerves around your spine that leads to pain.
Maintain good posture:
Good posture can help prevent back pain.
- Don’t slouch when you stand and sit
- Sit straight flat back on your chair and keep your feet flat on the floor while you work
- Relax your shoulder and stand tall with your head up
- Don’t stand or sit in the same position for a long period of time
- Maintain good posture while sitting in front of your computer and at the time of sleeping or resting.
Lift weights in the right way: If your job involves lifting weights, then lift them in a proper way. Put more weight on your legs, not your back while lifting. Bend down to your knees and keep your back straight when you lift heavy objects. Get some help if the load is more than your capacity to lift alone. Don’t twist the body when you lift objects.
Avoid wearing high heels: High heels can shift your centre of gravity, which can strain your lower back. A one-inch heel is best if you want to wear heels. Higher the heels height, the more you are prone to back pain. Sometimes it slips and twists your back, which results in back pain.
Don’t live in pain; back pain is treatable. For more information or in need of back pain treatment, consult Dr Surya Prakash, the best back pain doctor in Hyderabad. He has more than two decades of experience as a spine surgeon and treated thousands of patients suffering from back pain.