Statistically, 80% of the population will experience some form of back pain once in their life, how true is this for you? Today we will look at the common causes of back pain and what all can we change to make this better.
There will be some simple tips and stretches that you should follow to help you out, but if the back pain is becoming too painful and not subsiding with these tips, I would suggest seeing a physiotherapist or better yet booking an appointment with us at Physio Savvy.
What are the risk factors for back pain?
- An inactive lifestyle- exercise actually reduces the incidence of back pain occurring and helps with back pain once it has occurred.
- Age- the older you are the more prone you get to back pain, however in recent times this does not hold value as even young people are prone to back pain
- Pregnancy- the pressure that is put onto the back while carrying the extra weight of a child can be too much and can lead to back pain
- Smoking- this is indirectly related as it can cause delayed healing
- Exercises if not done in a correct way, before you pick up a hobby make sure you are doing it the correct way to avoid aches and pains later.
- Excessive physical work- especially twisting, lifting and bending
- Excessive driving- being stuck in the same position for hours on end
These are the signs that you may be experiencing a bout of back pain:
- Pain in the spine or sides of the spine
- Difficulty in moving about, especially sitting to standing
- Shooting pain down the legs
- Recent injury or trauma which you have not checked out- go to a doctor and get an x ray to rule out any bone damage before attempting anything else.
- Numbness going down the legs or around the hips or even in the genital area. This again needs to be looked at by the doctors especially if it is getting progressively worse and there is weakness below the waist.
Often, your physiotherapist will be the first person you see when you have pain in the back. They will always assess if you need to be referred onto a doctor for imaging or urgent medical care. In most cases, your physiotherapist can give you treatment, exercise and advice without having to refer on.
What are the common causes of back pain?
- A strain or ‘pull’ of the muscle
- Ruptured disk/ disk prolapse
- Sciatica- pain in the sciatic nerve travelling into the leg
- Osteoporosis- especially in women above 55
- Scoliosis or Kyphosis: abnormal curvatures of the spine.
- Even Vitamin deficiency can lead to pain. (Have a read at my other article which links vitamin D deficiency to back pain)
What can I do to help myself? These are the tips to relieving back pain.
- Relative rest- but only from anything that strains your back more, like sports and lifting. One of the best things you can do is continue your everyday movements and any exercises your physiotherapists gives you. Staying in bed can actually worsen your condition.
- Apply a heat pack if the pain has been there for more than 3 days, or cold pack if it is something new.
- Avoid driving
- Avoid sitting for too long, every 45 mins get up from the desk and stretch about.
- Simple stretches can go a long way
Here are some simple stretches which can be done, make sure you do the correct position otherwise you will be causing more harm than good. If any of these cause more pain, check your technique or see your physiotherapist before continuing.
If the pain still persists after following the above tips, then it is time to see a physiotherapist who will be able to help you.
Still not sure? call Physio Savvy for your free phone consultation today!