Back pain affects a large part of the population. If these pains are persistent and well known to the medical profession, their healing is often complicated.
Does your back make you suffer regularly? You are not alone! Contrary to popular belief, low back pain does not only affect the elderly, hard workers, or overweight people. On the contrary, an employee sitting behind his computer is just as likely to develop back pain. It is indeed a frequent problem, which can occur at any age and among all social classes.
Doctors note a peak in consultations for low back pain in the 30 to 40 age group. The back is a particularly sensitive area of the body. The lumbar spine is very mobile and supports most of the body’s weight. It is therefore vulnerable, and tensions are reflected therein.
1. What can be the causes of back pain?
Many different structures, such as joints, nerves, muscles, and discs, can cause back pain. These sometimes occur for no apparent reason or can be triggered by a simple movement. It is not always easy to identify the cause of their occurrence, as most of the time, it is an accumulation of various events that have led to an imbalance.
In rare cases, pain is a sign of more severe pathologies such as infection, tumors, fractures, and rheumatism-inflammatory disease. By being used daily, the back can cause pain. But do you know where your back pain comes from? And above all, how to relieve the pain? What exercises, sports, or drugs to choose? If the answer is No, then we are here to make it easier for you to get rid of your chronic or acute back pain.
Relieving lumbago or acute back pain:
Classic lumbago is an intense and acute muscle contracture. Concretely, the spine defends and the muscles contract, which produces an inflammatory reaction and, therefore, pain in the back, usually between the 12th rib and the bottom of the buttocks. It is a common back pain if it lasts for 7 to 10 days, which occurs after a false movement, an injury during a brutal effort, or when you solicit your back cold. Its causes are mechanical. They do not result from a particular dysfunction of the spine, unlike scoliosis or kyphosis (deviation of the spine).
What can you do to get rid of acute back pain?
As soon as you feel pain in your back, you have to grow as much as possible to stretch your spine. It is important not to stay in bed for several days, saying that the back pain will go alone.
On the other hand, stillness accentuates backache. You have to stay active and keep walking to avoid ankylosis and prevent relapse. However, you should avoid practicing any kind of sporting activity during the first 24 to 48 hours. You can also relax and warm your back muscles by applying a hot water bottle to your back or taking a hot shower.
What medication can one use for treating acute back pain?
If necessary, the doctor can prescribe an anti-inflammatory or a muscle relaxant for about a week. But beware, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or muscle relaxants require a medical prescription. These drugs should not be taken for too long to avoid physical addiction.
Besides, they have renal toxicity and known long-term side effects (gastric toxicity such as stomach aches and risk of ulcers). They are also contraindicated for people with high blood pressure problems because certain anti-inflammatory drugs can modify blood pressure.
2. Relieving chronic back pain:
Chronic back pain or low back pain from wear can be the result of repetitive gestures or movements made by certain professions, repeated shocks, overloading, or inappropriate postures. Gradually, the spine will collapse, and the intervertebral discs will be damaged by absorbing the shocks. And as a consequence, the back pain will become chronic. It will be more continuous and start regularly occurring, causing more pain and annoyance.
What can you do for your chronic back pain?
When you have had back pain for more than three months, you should consult your general practitioner. Latter, the practitioner can then advise you to do radio, then an MRI if necessary. Depending on the results, advice from a specialist such as a rheumatologist may be required.
- The first step in treatment is to do sports rehabilitation in a physiotherapist. The objective of this activity is to teach the person to use their back correctly, define possible muscle improvements, and reduce the pain threshold.
- Flexibility, muscle strengthening, and massage exercises can then be performed according to the patient’s needs.
- It is also possible to use osteopathy to reduce muscle pain. To do this, the osteopath manipulates the patient to unblock the joints and eliminate reflex contractures.
- Acupuncture can also improve pain by regulating the energy of the body with needles pricked in specific places.
- It may be useful to readjust your driving position or work station (seat, the position of the screen, etc.) with the advice of an occupational doctor.
- It may be advisable to change your lifestyle, such as losing weight if necessary, and practice regular physical activity.
What drugs can you use for your chronic back pain?
The drug treatment is done piecemeal. A specialist combines an analgesic type paracetamol with a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory. He then administers it for a short time to reduce pain and lessen inflammation. Often prescribed for back pain, medicines codeine, or based on opioid derivatives (tramadol) have the risk of addiction, it is better to avoid taking them.
In addition to physiotherapy sessions, a general practitioner can prescribe the lumbar belt depending on the intensity and type of pain. The belt acts as a kind of tutor. It helps support the bottom of the spine and forces you to adopt a good posture when you bend down or bend your legs. However, it is a backup solution that you should avoid following every day to avoid damaging the muscles.
Stretching exercises to relieve back pain:
Stretching and flexibility exercises help relax the back and help relieve pain. Make sure to do it gently and smoothly so as not to accentuate the back pain.
- In the night before going to bed, take a chair and lie on the floor on your back. Rest your legs on the seat, feet flat against the backrest. Advance your buttocks so that they are slightly under the seat of the chair. Breathe through your stomach.
- Standing, feet apart at the width of the pelvis, gently stretch your shoulders back 4 or 5 times in a row.
- Lying on the bed, raise your legs vertically and stretch your arms horizontally above your head.
- Kneeling and sitting on your heels, roll up your back until you have your forehead against the ground framed by the elbows and forearms that rest on the ground.
Tips to prevent back pain from becoming chronic:
Upper back pain, low back pain, or sciatica? There are numerous kinds of back pain which affects a significant number of people. How can you prevent them from becoming chronic?
1 out of every 5 persons suffers from back pain. The causes are multiple and can have two origins: a “mechanical” (herniated disc, compaction of the vertebrae, low back pain and malformations), and the other “inflammatory.”
If, in 90% of cases, the back pain heals in less than 4 to 6 weeks, it is better to take certain precautions before the back pain settles longer and becomes chronic.
1. Move to build muscle:
Movement is the first reflex. Contrary to what you might think, regular physical activity helps to avoid back pain. Since muscle movement is the right treatment for back pain.
However, make sure to practice good sport and do not hesitate to ask your doctor for advice. Various doctors recommend that certain sports are better than others.
It is also advisable to practice yoga or relaxation activity. It makes it possible to relax the back. Flexibility and stretching avoid overloading the lower back located at the level of the spine. Also, keep in mind that stress can be another cause of back pain. So, it is an additional reason to relax.
2. Adopt a good position:
If you are sitting all day in front of a computer, beware of the consequences. It is most likely that you will have back pain if you are in the wrong position.
So be sure to stay straight, without bending your legs and raise your feet with a step if necessary. You should not neglect the seat and must take care of yourself by choosing a suitable chair. To keep yourself in a good position, know that there are smart clothes that can protect your back.
3. Choose the right shoes:
Even if walking is excellent for your health, standing can be very painful in your back, especially if you wear ballet pumps or pumps. When you have to buy a new pair of shoes, choose them neither flat nor too high with a small heel.
4. Good bedding:
Some people suffer from backache at home, but not when they sleep elsewhere. It could mean that the mattress is bad and that you have to change the bedding. They say you have to change it every ten years.
Same advice for your pillow. Ideally, choose a memory pillow. Otherwise, take a firm pillow if you sleep on your back and a soft pillow if you sleep on your side.
5. Good gestures:
Some movements are extremely bad for the back. To avoid any risk of chronic pain, take good habits. When you have to pick up an object, for example, do not lean forward but bend your knees.
Also, be careful when you have to carry a heavy load. Make sure to lift it gradually. Above all, avoid the movement, which consists of turning your back. If necessary, wear a lumbar belt. Remember, you can also pull or push loads rather than lifting them to keep the vertebrae aligned.
6. Watch your weight:
Sometimes to avoid chronic back pain, you just need to go on a diet. Indeed, belly fat pulls on the back, thus wearing out the intervertebral disc and aggravating ligament pain. If you suffer from obesity, consider losing weight. It is an excellent way to avoid chronic back pain.