Prevention and Treatment of Back Pain
Most people will have back pain at some point in their life. Today I will suggest some ways to prevent it and show you ways to treat back pain to alleviate the symptoms.
The most common causes of back pain are injury, being over weight, and having a weak core. If you have a back injury you need to follow what your physiotherapist or doctor prescribes. When you are over weight the back needs to support more of the load and this puts stress on the spine. People tend to put weight on around the hips and stomach and this reduces flexibility of the hips and spine. Tightness is often associated with pain, so try to maintain flexibility by losing weight and by doing back and hip stretches. Weakness of the core muscles is almost always associated with pain. You need to develop the deep muscles that support the spine as well as the visible abdominal muscles that you can see. Do Swiss ball exercises and yoga. Both of these put focus on the deep core muscles. Don’t forget to do back exercises. Most people only focus on the six-pack abs and this creates a muscle imbalance and causes poor posture. Do back extensions to strengthen the back and to reduce pain. To perform back extensions, stand up straight, place your hands on your lower back, and then bend backwards to your point of comfort. Repeat 15 times.
The most common way to cause a back strain is from lifting. Always bend your knees and keep your back straight when attempting to lift a heavy object. Posture is also a cause of back pain. Prolonged periods of sitting causes rounding of the shoulders, extension of the neck, and flattening of the lower back. These positions put a lot of force onto the musculoskeletal systems, which eventually leads to back pain. To maintain a good posture try to keep your shoulders “back and down” and pull your chin “back and in.” Other things that can affect your posture include sitting on your wallet. This tilts your spine and presses on your sciatic nerve. Wearing high heels. This causes tension in the calves and lower back. And do not sleep on your stomach as this causes your neck to be rotated in one direction.
To relieve back pain try putting a heat pack on the affected area to increase blood flow and temporarily improve flexibility and muscle spasms. Heat also is useful in treating inflammation and arthritis. After applying the heat pack massage may be administered to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and help loosen tight muscles. Anti inflammatory cream or gels such as Voltaren or Anti-flam are also effective for increasing flexibly and for temporary relief from pain. Acupuncture is effective for releasing tight trigger points and a chiropractor can help with postural issues.
Vitamins and supplements are effective in relieving pain and providing the body with important nutrients to help support joint and connective tissue health. Vitamin B12, A, C and K play a role in maintaining a healthy back. Vitamin D is important because a deficiency in vitamin D can cause osteoporosis. Calcium is also important for strong healthy bones. Glucosamine and Chondroitin are useful for maintaining joint lubrication and joint strength.