What is Back Pain?
and when a muscle weakens, vertebrae can get out of place and cause pain. The pain can be debilitating. Acute back pain stems from a recent injury or incident, such as twisting your back the wrong way or bending for a long stretch of time. Acute back pain usually subsides with conservative treatment like rest, pain relievers and flexion-extension exercises. Chronic back pain is pain that remains and can be persistent or intermittent, slight or severe. It doesn’t disappear with conservative remedies. Chronic back pain can stem from trauma or from a gradual degeneration of the vertebrae that make up both the cervical and lumbar spines. It is important to identify everyday causes of back pain such as sitting or standing incorrectly, lack of exercising abdominal muscles which causes them to weaken, lifting heavy objects without proper support, and sitting or bending for long periods of time. What are the causes of returning pain?
- Try using an ice pack, a gel pack, or even a bag of frozen peas, and gently place on the painful area for 20-30 minutes.
- Take an anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen torelieve pain.
- Try using a heating pad set at a low temperature for 20-30 minutes.
- Rest on a firm mattress on your back with your knees elevated
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.
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- Muscle Back Pain (robpena21.wordpress.com)