What is back pain?
It is an ache or pain anywhere in 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:
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
Gender : back pain is more common among females than males
Strenuous physical exercise (especially if not done properly)
What are the causes of back pain?
The human back is composed of a complex structure of muscles, ligaments, tendons, discs 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, it takes time to diagnose the right cause.
The most common causes of back pain are:
Lifting something improperly
Lifting something that is too heavy
The result of an abrupt and awkward movement
Structural problems : the following structural problems may also result in back pain:
Herniated / Ruptured disks : Each vertebra in our spine is cushioned by discs. If the disc 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:
Standing for long periods
Bending down for long periods
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 : This back pain occurs suddenly and persists for a maximum of three months.
Chronic : This pain gradually develops over a long period of time, it 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. Such as:
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 healthcare professional.
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. There is a considerable difference in back pain risk between obese and normal-weight individuals.
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 leveled 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 at the back of your neck. 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 use 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 or 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 your 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 for the back muscles and soft tissues may help reduce 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 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 through:
Reducing abdominal obesity
Strengthening paraspinal muscles (muscles of back) which support the spine
Strengthening core muscles & improving posture