Archive for 'Back Care'
Posted on 03. Mar, 2009 by admin.
Most people, in fact four out of five, have experienced lower back pain at least once in their lives. The back is a masterpiece of muscle, tissue, and bones, and even one unexpected twist or turn can damage one of the hundreds of strands of life managing muscles and it never quiet seems to be the same. Muscle strain, where a muscle is unexpectedly twisted and small tears appear along the muscle, is the most common back injury, however ligament strain is also very common. There are several reasons for back pain, most of them due to injury, but if you have chronic pain, or pain without a known injury, it may be worth looking into.
Such a cause of back pain is herniated disks. The disks of your spine are lined up, so that you can sit and stand without pain, but if one of the vertebras slips forwards and compress the spinal nerves. This can happen with either repetitive motion, such as truck drivers or machine operators, or by improper lifting. It is a radial type pain in which the pain is felt at the site of the injury and also along the nerves to other extremities, making it difficult to pinpoint the pain at first.
Another type of illness is spinal stenosis, which normal occurs only in people aged fifty and over and is a narrowing of the spinal canal either through an arthritic condition, swollen or enlarged ligaments, or bony spurs. It tends to get worse with prolonged periods of walking or weight baring activities and sometimes requires surgery to repair the damage. Osteoarthritis is another arthritic condition that needs medical treatment. Osteoporosis, or a degeneration of bones, is something very serious that can lead to fractures and other damaging conditions if left untreated.
A condition that is just becoming recognized is fibromyalgia, a rheumatic condition causing wide spread tissue pain, sleep disturbances, and fatigue. It takes several months to get a proper diagnosis for this condition but it needs to be treated with medications and therapy or it can become debilitating.
Prevention is worth the time that it takes since an injury to your back is life changing. Stretching before activities, wearing supportive braces for heavy lifting, and just practicing proper lifting techniques are good ways to prevent an injury and are quick and effortless ways to maintain your back. If you have sustained an injury or other ailment, than seeking the assistance of your doctor is highly recommended. You may just need to spend a few days off your feet in bed, with a mix of hot and cold compresses to relieve the swelling as well as taking over the counter anti-inflammatories.
If that does not seem to help, or the pain is recurring, it may be time to consider more drastic methods such as traction, a placement of the body into a held stretched position to relieve tension and muscle spasms, or as a last resort, surgery to repair the effected areas. Surgery is very expensive and will keep you off your feet for several weeks, but in some cases, is the only means for repair. Speak with your doctor about all the options available before making any decision since the last thing that you want to do is make it worse.