Back pain is a very common complaint and is often severe enough to cause those suffering from it to miss work. Usually, it’s the result of a physical, mechanical disorder. This means that the bones, muscles and connective tissues are not all aligned in the way they should be. In most cases, it’s not an indication of something serious, but it is not something that should be ignored, especially if accompanied by other symptoms. It may be tempting to simply reach for the aspirin and hope for the problem to go away. But, remember that discomfort is often a signal from your body that something is not well.
When Back Pain may Indicate Something more Serious
If nerves are being compressed or are in some other way not functioning properly, seeking medical attention should be done as soon as possible. Pain extending from the lower back to the buttocks and the back of the legs is known as sciatica, which may be the result of a nerve problem. Some other symptoms to watch out for include numbness or strange sensations in the arms or legs, incontinence or difficulty urinating, and unexplained weight loss.
If the pain gets worse when curving the spine forward, one possibility is that you are suffering from a herniated disk, which should certainly be checked out by a doctor before further damaging results. Additionally, a backache that has persisted for longer than a month is not likely to go away on its own, so seeking treatment will be necessary.
Acupuncture and Massage
Although acupuncture is not generally seen as a technique that can help with every possible kind of malady, it has indeed proven to be quite effective as a treatment for back pain. When the pain is being caused by muscle spasms or a nerve condition, acupuncture is frequently a good choice. It can also be complimented by any other kind of treatment or pain management regimen.
Equally, massage can help muscles relax and ameliorate the discomfort caused by spasms. A weekly therapeutic massage can have benefits that last for an extended period of time. Massage can improve a patient’s mobility and can even be self-administered with a little training.
Exercise, Pilates and Yoga
One of the leading causes of persistent back pain is poor posture coupled with a lack of exercise. The spine supports the entire weight of a person’s body above the abdomen. Therefore, it needs to be supported in turn by its associated core muscles. This is especially true when lifting heavy objects. If you are not accustomed to lift heavy objects, arch your spine backward, bend your knees and use your leg muscles to do the work.
Sitting at a desk for extended periods of time is not conducive to good posture. If possible, set a timer and take a break to stretch once an hour. Forms of exercise such as Pilates and yoga are also excellent ways to strengthen the vital core muscles, in addition to the other health benefits claimed for them.
Since back pain is often a structural phenomenon, chiropractic is especially effective for this ailment. According to chiropractors, whenever the vertebrae are misaligned, one or more nerves can be pinched or put under pressure, which in turn can lead to a variety of illnesses. These illnesses may appear to have little to do with spinal health at first glance. A chiropractor can also help to restore a person’s range of motion, treat muscle tension or spasms and strengthen the muscles surrounding the spinal cord. They will often prescribe simple exercises for a patient to do at home, or refer them to a physical therapist.
While it is possible to buy a mattress for either $100 or $10,000, it’s worth remembering that a person spends a third of his life in bed. Pillows also come with a variety of price points, including some that are individually molded depending on a person’s measurements.
Office work is rarely kind to the spine. Sitting comfortably may not seem like it’s putting your tissues under a huge amount of stress, but problems can arise when relatively small pressures are maintained hour after hour. While specialist chairs are not necessary in most cases, it is worthwhile knowing how to adjust your chair to prevent back pain from worsening or even stop it from developing in the first place.
As you are reading this, your feet should be comfortably flat on the floor and your knees bent at ninety degrees, without the front edge of the seat pinching your thighs. With your chair seat adjusted to this level, your desk or work surface should be approximately at elbow height. While obtaining the most comfortable fit may require a new chair or desk, bear in mind that ergonomics are sufficiently important. Some people actually prefer to forego a chair completely and work whole days standing up.