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Back Pain

 

Back pain or backache is pain felt in the back that may originate from the muscles, nerves, bones, joints or other parts of the spine. Acute back pain usually has a sudden onset, and is short-term, lasting from a few days to a few weeks. Chronic pain lasts for more than 3 months, and is much less common than acute pain.

Causes

Common causes

  • Physical stress or trauma
  • Mental stress
  • Bad posture
  • Lack of  physical activity
  • Inappropriate bed
  • Chair ergonomics

 Uncommon causes:

  • Disc prolapse
  • Infections
  • Tumor

Symptoms

  • Constant or intermittent pain that may radiate to other areas
  • Dull or sharp ache
  • Burning or piercing sensation
  • Weakness
  • Numbness or tingling

Treatment

  • Rest: It is best to rest the back to recover faster.
  • Medications: Taking over-the-counter analgesics to relieve the pain helps. Medicines have limited usage as they can cause side effects, and cannot be given for a prolonged period of time.
  • Mechanical means: The more common mechanical back pain can be treated by mechanical means such as adopting a proper posture, use of an appropriate bed and by regular back strengthening exercise.
  • Physiotherapy: Physiotherapy is integral to the treatment of acute back pain. It helps to reduce muscle spasms of the back, which are the main cause of pain.
  • Surgery: Surgery is the last resort, when all the other means fail to cure the patient. Proper selection of patients is of utmost importance in the success of such cases that require surgery.

Prevention 

  • Regular back strengthening exercises under expert supervision
  • Proper posture
  •  Use appropriate furniture
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Take calcium and vitamin D supplements if your doctor prescribes them
  •  Try to stand up straight, and avoid lifting heavy weights when you can
  •  If you do need to lift something heavy, bend your legs and keep your back straight.