Low Back and Joint Pain

What is back pain?

An ache or pain anywhere on the back, and sometimes all the way down to the buttocks and legs. In most cases signs and symptoms clear up on their own within a short period. 
Back pain is a very common complaint.

Even though back pain can affect people of any age, it is significantly more common among adults aged between 35 and 55 years. 

Experts say that back pain is associated with the way our bones, muscles and ligaments in our backs work together. 

What are the risk factors for back pain?

The following factors are linked to a higher risk of developing low back pain:
  • A mentally stressful job
  • Pregnancy : pregnant women are much more likely to get back pain
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Age : older adults are more susceptible than young adults or children
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Gender : back pain is more common among females than males
  • Obesity/overweight
  • Smoking
  • Strenuous physical exercise (especially if not done properly)
  • Strenuous physical work

What are the causes of back pain?

The human back is composed of a complex structure of muscles, ligaments, tendons, disks and bones : the segments of our spine are cushioned with cartilage-like pads. Problems with any of these components can lead to back pain. In some cases of back pain, takes time to find. 

Strain : the most common causes of back pain are:
  • Strained muscles
  • Strained ligaments
  • Lifting something improperly
  • Lifting something that is too heavy
  • The result of an abrupt and awkward movement
  • A muscle spasm
Structural problems : the following structural problems may also result in back pain:
  • Herniated /Ruptured disks : each vertebra in our spine is cushioned by disks. If the disk bulges or ruptures there will be more pressure on a nerve, resulting in back pain. 
  • Arthritis : patients with osteoarthritis commonly experience problems with the joints in the hips, lower back, knees and hands.
  • Abnormal curvature of the spine : if the spine curves in an unusual way the patient is more likely to experience back pain.
  • Osteoporosis : bones, including the vertebrae of the spine, become brittle and porous.
Everyday activities or poor posture 
Back pain can also be the result of some everyday activity or poor posture. Examples include:
  • Bending awkwardly
  • Pushing something
  • Pulling something
  • Carrying something
  • Lifting something
  • Standing for long periods
  • Bending down for long periods
  • Twisting
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Muscle tension
  • Over-stretching
  • Sitting in a hunched position for long periods (e.g. when driving)
  • Long driving sessions without a break (even when not hunched)
  • Bad mattress : if a mattress does not support specific parts of the body and keep the spine straight, there is a greater risk of developing back pain.

What are types of back pain?

Usually back pain is categorized into two types:
  • Acute : back pain comes on suddenly and persists for a maximum of three months. 
  • Chronic : the pain gradually develops over a longer period, lasts for over three months, and causes long-term problems.

How can I prevent back pain?

Steps to lower the risk of developing back pain consist mainly of addressing some of the risk factors. 

Exercise : regular exercise helps build strength as well as keeping your body weight down. Experts say that low-impact aerobic activities are best; activities that do not strain or jerk the back. Before starting any exercise program, talk to a health care professional.
  • Core-strengthening exercises; exercises that work the abdominal and back muscles, help strengthen muscles which protect your back. 
  • Flexibility : exercises aimed at improving flexibility in your hips and upper legs may help too.

Smoking : a significantly higher percentage of smokers have back pain incidences compared to non-smokers of the same age, height and weight. 

Body weight : the fatter you are the greater your risk of developing back pain. The difference in back pain risk between obese and normal-weight individuals is considerable. 

Posture when standing : make sure you have a neutral pelvic position. Stand upright, head facing forward, back straight, and balance your weight evenly on both feet - keep your legs straight. 

Posture when sitting : a good seat should have good back support, arm rests and a swivel base (for working). When sitting try to keep your knees and hips level and keep your feet flat on the floor - if you can't, use a footstool. You should ideally be able to sit upright with support in the small of your back. If you are using a keyboard, make sure your elbows are at right-angles and that your forearms are horizontal. 

Lifting things : the secret for protecting your back when lifting things is to think "legs not back". In other words, use your legs to do the lifting, more than your back. Keep your back as straight as you can, keep your feet apart with one leg slightly forward so you can maintain balance, bend only at the knees, hold the weight close to your body, and straighten the legs while changing the position of your back as little as possible. Bending your back initially is unavoidable, when you bend your back try not to stoop or squat, tighten your stomach muscles so that your pelvis is pulled in. Most important, do not straighten your legs before lifting; otherwise you will be using your back for most of the work. 

Do not lift and twist at the same time. If something is particularly heavy, see if you can lift it with someone else. While you are lifting keep looking straight ahead, not up nor down, so that the back of your neck is like a continuous straight line from your spine. 

Moving things : remember that it is better for your back to push things across the floor, rather than pulling them. 

Shoes : flat shoes place less of a strain on the back. 

Driving : it is important to have proper support for your back. Make sure the wing mirrors are properly positioned so you do not need to twist. The pedals should be squarely in front of your feet. If you are on a long journey, have plenty of breaks - get out of the car and walk around. 

Your bed : you should have a mattress that keeps you spine straight, while at the same time supporting the weight of your shoulders and buttocks. Use a pillow, but not one that forces your neck into a steep angle. 
Physiotherapy) : the application of heat, ice, ultrasound and electrical stimulation, as well as some muscle-release techniques to the back muscles and soft tissues may help alleviate pain. As the pain subsides the physical therapist may introduce some flexibility and strength exercises for the back and abdominal muscles. Techniques on improving posture may also help. The patient will be encouraged to practice the techniques regularly, even after the pain has gone, to prevent back pain recurrence. 

Cortisone injections :

Surgery : surgery for back pain is very rare. If a patient has a herniated disk surgery may be an option, especially if there is persistent pain and nerve compression which can lead to muscle weakness.

Lower back and joint pain treatments at Define Aesthetics

Ion Magnum helps for back pain by following mechanisms:
  • Reducing abdominal obesity
  • Strengthening paraspinal muscles (muscles of back) which support the spine
  • Strengthening core muscles & improving posture
  • Testi1 Thumb I had a very good experience with this facitily. Staff is very nice and cooperative. The sessions have done good to my overall physical condition. A very good technique to correct muscle disorder. Well done! Best wishes to all the staff.
    B. D. Deshpande
  • Testi2 Thumb I am really glad that I took treatment of Ion Magnum, because it increased my muscular strength. I has a muscular spam which has weaknes my leg muscles. Thanks to this treatment I am able to do many things which I could not before.
    Asha Shrinivas

Case Study 1

A 55 year old man had left sided "FROZEN SHOULDER" because of injury while playing golf. He had severe pain during any activities of shoulder with restricted range of motion i.e reaching high on the shelf , cleaning back , lifting weights but more importantly over head activities were impossible. He also had muscular wasting and spasm around the shoulder girdle. At Define Aesthetics we treated him with 10 sessions of ION MAGNUM. Slowly the spasm reduced as due to the pumping action of the muscle during treatment also the range of motion and muscular bulk improved. By the end of the sessions he was able to do all the overhead activities much better than before.

Case Study 2

2) A 48 year old lady had severe Osteoarthritis of both knees. She had pain in knees during siiting, walking, ascending and descending stairs, squatting and all weight bearing activities of the knee. She also had reduced thigh muscle strength. She was then treated on ION MAGNUM for her thighs for 10 sessions, within 3-4 sessions her knee pain reduced and in total 10 sessions her muscle strength improved. Activities like squatting, walking and other weight bearing activities became painless and effortless, this also boosted up her confidence level.

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