Get Relief From Your Back Pain

Back pain is common with about nine out of ten adults experiencing it at some point in their life and five out of ten working adults having it at least once every year. World over, acute low back pain is the fifth most common reason for physician visits and causes 40% of missed days off work. Additionally, it'€™s the single leading cause of disability worldwide.

Classification

  • Acute pain: Lasts up to 12 weeks.
  • Chronic pain: Persists beyond 12 weeks

The character of back pain indicates it's likely tissue of origin. Non-specific back pain is believed to be due from the soft tissue such as muscles, fascia and ligaments. Radicular pain with or without spinal stenosis indicates involvement of nervous tissue.

Causes

  • Muscle strains (pulled muscles)
  • Muscle spasm
  • Muscle imbalance
  • Spinal disc herniation
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease)
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • trauma
  • Fractures
  • Radicular pain (sciatica)
  • Cancer
  • Infection & inflammatory diseases

Prevention

Keeping your back strong and supple is the best way to avoid getting back pain. Regular exercises, maintaining good posture and lifting correctly will all help.

  • Stay active, don't sit for prolonged durations, even when at office get up and walk around for 2 minutes every half an hour
  • Wear flat shoes with cushioned soles
  • Avoid sudden movements
  • Try to reduce any stress, anxiety and tension

Exercise

Exercise is both an excellent way of preventing back pain and of reducing it, but you should seek medical advice before starting an exercise program. Activity such as walking or swimming, yoga or Pilates can improve the flexibility and strengthening of your back muscle.

Below are some simple exercises you can do at home to help, prevent or relieving back pain.

Bottom to heels stretch

Knee rolls

Back Extension

Deep abdominal strengthening

Pelvic tilts

Note :

  • Each exercise should be done 8-10 times.
  • Stop the exercises immediately if they make your pain worse.

Posture

Standing

Stand upright, with your head facing forward and your back straight. Balance your weight evenly on both feet and keep your legs straight.

Sitting

Make sure you sit upright with small support in your back. Your knees and hips should be level and your feet should be flat on the floor (use a footstool if necessary).

Driving

Make sure that your lower back is properly supported. If you are driving long distances, take regular breaks so you can stretch your legs.

Sleeping

Your mattress should be firm enough to support your body while supporting the weight of your shoulders and buttocks, keeping your spine straight.

Lifting and Carrying

  • Think before you lift
  • Start in good posture, bend your knees before you bend your back
  • Keep the load close to your waist
  • Keep your head up
  • Know your limits
  • Push rather than pull
  • Distribute the weight evenly

Physiotherapy management

1. Heat therapy reduces the symptoms of acute and sub acute low back pain.

2. Cold compression therapy (e.g. ice or cold pack)

3. Massage may help for those who has relatively long period of low back pain.

4. Exercises already explained in previous section.

5. Electro therapy

  • TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
  • IFT (InterFerential Therapy)
  • Traction

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