Kauvery Hospital | Patient Newsletters | Back Pain Reasons and some Myths busted

Age catches up sooner or later and "Ah! My back!" is a very familiar refrain everyone hears. Though with today's work culture many young people also clutch their backs or suffer from back pain. For those of you who suffer from back pain and at some point thought about the good posture lessons taught at school, which regretfully you did not follow, well here are a few pointers to dispel those myths.

1. Slouching: How often have you heard that slouching is bad? Well, sitting up too straight also stresses your back, equally. If you have the type of job or spend long periods sitting, take a break every now and then, during the day. Rest your feet firmly on the floor / ground, and lean back allowing your spine to curve, slightly. Alternatively, standing for some parts of the day, will prevent that back pain from occurring.

2. Lifting Heavy Objects: Often lifting a heavy object can cause the muscles in your back to be strained or sprained. The sprain or strain was not caused by the weight that was lifted but because the right technique was not used. Always get in front of the object that needs to be lifted. Then squat near the object, keeping your head up and back straight. Place your arms around the object, stand while pushing up the object with your legs and holding the object close to the middle of your body. Never bend or twist while carrying the object or you may injure your back. Also do not lift objects that are too heavy for you to carry.

3. Resting Your Back: Bed rest does dispel the pain but spending more than a day in bed can aggravate back pain.

4. Occurrence of Back Pain: Is not just due to injury to the back or because of a strain or sprain. It can happen when the discs in the spine degenerate or because of diseases / infections. Inherited disorders are sometimes the cause of back pain.

5. Increase in Body Weight: Long periods of sitting with no exercise and an improper diet, can cause increase in body weight. The increase in weight puts an added stress on to the back. In most cases people who are out of shape suffer from back pain, as well those who work out only during the weekends and not daily. So staying fit is very important.

6. A Skinny Body: On the contrary, staying skinning does not mean the person will not have back pain. Back pain can occur due to loss of bone and crushed vertebrae. This can happen to people who are anorexic.

7. Exercises: It is a myth that exercise is bad for back pain. The physiotherapist or doctor may recommend a gentle exercise regime for people who have injured their lower backs, most recently. Once the initial pain has receded, the physiotherapist will provide an exercise plan with an increased intensity, ultimately helping the pain to go away. The exercise regime must continue, in order to keep the pain away.

8. Spinal Care: It is recommended that patients suffering from back pain refer to their doctor / specialist doctors and think of alternative options which have given proven results... options such as spinal manipulation and massage therapy.

9. Other options: Include Yoga, acupuncture, cognitive behavioural and progressive relaxation, which provide relief from back pain, when standard self-care does not provide the required relief.

10. Firmness of Mattress: A very firm mattress could cause back pain, therefore using a medium firm mattress may help alleviate back pain, provided the back pain is not due to other causes such as infections, injuries, etc.

Check with your doctor

If suffering from continued back pain it would be wiser to check with your doctor, an Orthopedic or a Spine Specialist and seek a proper diagnosis, instead of self-treating.

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