How to treat Back Pain?

How to treat Back Pain?

Back pain is one of the most common problems seen in doctors’ surgeries.

While it’s true that in most cases it’s possible to treat it with simple care, it’s no less true that it can eventually become a chronic condition requiring specialised attention.

What is back pain?

It’s a feeling of physical pain in any area of the spine or back.

Among the types of back pain that can manifest are:

  • Acute pain, which occurs suddenly and usually lasts less than six weeks; or
  • Chronic pain, which may last for more than three months, or even indefinitely.

On the other hand, the intensity of back pain varies from mild discomfort to a severe level that could limit our mobility.

What is back pain?

Some areas of the back are more prone to pain than others.

Middle and upper back pain (from the base of the neck to the bottom of the rib cage) is less common than lumbalgia (low back pain, between the base of the ribs and the beginning of the thigh).

This is because the bones in the upper and middle areas do not flex and move as much as the corresponding bones in the lower back.

It’s important to note that the nature of the pain is determined by the causes of the pain.

Possible causes

There are many causes of back pain.

They often have to do with our lifestyle habits, either at home or at work, and can also be the result of injuries or illnesses.

Carrying out everyday and work-related activities

  • Executing repetitive movements such as lifting heavy objects or making a sudden wrong movement.
  • Sitting or driving the vehicle for long uninterrupted periods.
  • Standing for long hours.
  • Bending over abruptly.
  • Fatigue or stress.
  • Assuming improper postures.

back pain high

Back pain causes.

Diseases or injuries

  • Osteoporosis, when the vertebrae are exposed to fractures as the bones are porous and fragile.
  • Arthrosis, which affects the back at the joint level.
  • Muscle strain or other injuries to the muscles, ligaments or discs that support the spine.
  • Pressure on the spinal nerves, caused by various problems, most commonly a herniated disc.
  • Trauma due to accidents…

Low back pain

Back pain rarely occur as a result of infections, cancer or gallbladder disease.

Other causes of pain can be: irregularities in the anatomy of the back, such as scoliosis, excess body weight, fractured vertebrae.

What are the symptoms of back pain?

Among the most common symptoms of back pain are the following:

  • Localised throbbing pain or pain radiating down the leg.
  • A tingling or burning sensation.
  • Muscle tightness or stiffness.
  • Discomfort in the leg, hip, knee or sole of the foot.
Some symptoms are more serious, such as: weakness in the arms or legs; numbness in the arms, legs or abdomen; or even loss of bladder or bowel control.

How to treat it

In general, the treatment of How to relieve back pain is simple and can be carried out at home, except for certain medical diagnoses that require special care.

What can be done at home to treat back pain?

In most cases, it’s possible to control mild to moderate back pain with simple home care and practices.

Here we explain how to get rid of back pain, or at least mitigate it:

  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, although we always recommend that any medication is supervised by a doctor.
  • Take a temporary break.
  • Place a cold compress or heating pad on the affected area. Heat helps to reduce stiffness and pain, while ice helps to reduce swelling and can also reduce pain.
  • Massage yourself with your hands, using moderate strokes, focussing on the painful areas.
  • Hold correct posture at all times. Stand upright when standing and sit without slouching or slumping.
  • Sleep on your side or on your back, with your head resting on a pillow. Placing another pillow under your knees if you’re on your back is recommended, or between your knees when sleeping on your side.
  • Learn how to manage stress. Try meditation, deep breathing and relaxation.
  • Perform exercises, especially those that stretch and strengthen your back, shoulder and core muscles.

Exercises to strengthen your back

If planning an exercise routine for back pain, you should include the following:

Isometric plank

isometric plank

  • Lying on your stomach, support yourself with your forearms and feet, keeping your back straight.
  • Your arms should be at an angle of 90 degrees to the floor.
  • Hold this position for 20-30-40 or even 60 seconds and rest.
  • Try and repeat this 3 – 4 times.

Lateral plank

lateral plank

  • Similar to the previous exercise, but support using one forearm and one foot only, on the same side, with a straight back.
  • Hold this position for the same length of time as the previous one, depending on your physical condition.
  • It’s best to try and do it 2 or 3 times.

Superman

Superman back exercise

  • This exercise consists of lying face down on a mat to stretch the joints of your arms and legs.
  • You have to simultaneously raise your arms and legs slightly, to lift them off the floor.
  • After approximately 5 seconds, lower your arms and legs.
  • Three or four sets of 10 repetitions each are recommended.
Be careful with this exercise and lumbar hyperextension if there’s any pain in your lower back.

Bird-Dog

Bird Dog

  • One arm is raised and the opposite leg is lifted.
  • Your arm and leg will be completely horizontal.
  • Then perform the same exercise with the opposite arm and leg.
  • We recommend 3 or 4 sets of 10-15 repetitions each.

Lifting your head and chest, lying face down

Head-up exercise

  • Lying face down, with your belly against the floor, raise your head and chest, supporting your weight with your forearms.
  • Then arch your back until your arms are straight and support your weight with your hands.
  • Hold this position for about 10 seconds and rest.
  • Try and repeat it 4 or 5 times.
As with the superman, this exercise is beneficial, but should be done with caution if the injury is in your lower back.

Other tips and recommendations

To conclude, let’s remember that the back is our vital axis, we need to take care of it much more than we unfortunately tend to do, and incorporating techniques that correct our posture such as Pilates can also help to keep our back health in optimal condition.

If you’re consistent, these exercises can relieve tension in your back and improve its mobility.

Bibliography.

  1. “El dolor de espalda. Prevención y tratamiento” Dr Claus Knapp 1999.
  2. “Remedios naturales para el dolor de espalda” Knowlegde Treasure Collection.
  3. “El dolor de espalda” Jean-Yves Maigne.
  4. Aportaciones y experiencia personal.

Related Entries

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  • Knee pain affects a large number of people. If you want to know some essential guidelines to help, click here.
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About María José García
María José García
María José has been connected to sport throughout her whole life. She has competed in several sport disciplines such as skating, swimming or gymnastics since she was a little girl.
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