Back pain is commonly described as pain in the lower back, but it can be felt in any other part of the spine. It’s not necessarily caused by anything serious, and if managed properly it can get better over time.
The main symptoms of back pain include pain, tension or stiffness in the area in question.
Causes Of Back Pain
There are several risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing low back pain:
- Sitting or standing for a long time
- Being overweight or obese
- Heavy lifting
- Awkward postures
Low back pain or low back pain can have a mechanical origin that affects the muscles, causing nociceptive pain, but at the same time irritation or injury to the nervous system can cause pain known as neuropathic pain. The appearance of various pain components in low back pain is known as mixed pain; in fact, mixed-type low back pain can occur in up to 5 out of 10 people with mixed pain.
For example, muscle pain can be caused by stretching of the back muscles, or it can also be the result of a fall or sports injury. However, pain can also be caused by nerve damage.
Back pain can be treated with medications that relieve pain and inflammation; however, because mixed pain combines two types of pain, medication must be combined to relieve each.
How to Relieve Back Pain?
One of the options to temporarily relieve back pain may be to apply hot or cold packs in the area where the pain is suffered. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor for advice on the best way to relieve back pain.
There are some stretching exercises that can help relieve pain. Before starting to perform them, consult a doctor or a specialist.
Why Can Ibuprofen Help Relieve Back Pain?
In the case of needing some medication to relieve back pain, there are analgesics such as Nurofen 400mg coated tablets containing ibuprofen, indicated in adults and adolescents over 12 years of age for the symptomatic relief of occasional mild or moderate pain. Visit the doctor if the pain does not improve in 3 days or 5 days in adults.
Back Care At Home
When we talk about lumbago we refer to the pain felt in the lower back. You may also have a stiff back, decreased movement in your lower back, and difficulty standing up straight.
There are many things you can do at home to help improve and prevent back pain in the future.
A common myth about back pain is that you need to rest and avoid activity for a long time. In fact, doctors do NOT recommend bed rest. If you don’t have any signs of a serious cause for your back pain (such as loss of bowel control, weakness, weight loss, or fever), stay as active as possible.
Here are some tips on how to manage back pain and activity:
- Suspend normal physical activity only for the first few days. This helps ease symptoms and reduce any swelling (inflammation) in the area of pain.
- Apply heat or ice to the area with pain. Use ice for the first 48 to 72 hours, then use heat.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
- Sleep in a stooped or fetal position with a pillow between your legs. If you usually sleep on your back, place a pillow or rolled towel under your knees to relieve pressure.
- DO NOT do activities that involve heavy lifting or twisting your back for the first 6 weeks after the pain starts.
- DO NOT exercise in the days immediately after the onset of pain. After 2 to 3 weeks, slowly start exercising again. A physical therapist can teach you which exercises are right for you.
Exercise To Prevent Back Pain In The Future
Through exercise you can:
- Improve your posture
- Strengthen your back and abdomen and improve flexibility
- Lose weight
- Prevent falls
A complete exercise program should include aerobic activity such as walking, swimming, or riding a stationary bike. It should also include stretching and strength training. Follow your doctor’s or physical therapist’s instructions.
Start with light cardio training. Walking, riding a stationary bike (not recumbent bikes), and swimming are great examples. Such aerobic activities can help improve circulation to the back and promote healing. They also strengthen the muscles in the stomach and back.
Stretching and strengthening exercises are ultimately important. Keep in mind that starting these exercises too soon after an injury can make pain worse. Strengthening your abdominal muscles can relieve stress on your back. A physical therapist can help you determine when to start stretching and strengthening exercises and how to do them.
Avoid these exercises during recovery unless your doctor or physical therapist says it’s okay:
- Sport jogging
- Contact sports
- Racket sports
- Raise legs while lying face down
Take Steps To Prevent Future Back Pain
To prevent back pain, learn to lift and bend properly. Follow these suggestions:
- If an item is too heavy or out of proportion, get help.
- Spread your feet apart for a wide base of support.
- Stand as close as possible to the object you are lifting.
- Bend over with your knees, not your waist.
- Squeeze your stomach muscles as you lift or unload the object.
- Hold the object as close to the body as you can.
- Lift using leg muscles.
- As you stand up with the object, don’t lean forward. Try to keep your back straight.
- DO NOT twist while bending down to pick up the object, picking it up, or carrying it.
Other Measures To Prevent Back Pain Include:
- Avoid standing for long periods. If you must stand for work, place a stool near your feet. Alternate resting each foot on it.
- DO NOT wear high heels. Wear cushioned soles when walking.
- When sitting down to work, especially if you use a computer, check that your chair has a straight back with an adjustable seat and back, armrests, and a swivel seat.
- Use a stool under your feet while sitting so your knees are higher than your hips.
- Put a small pillow or rolled towel behind your lower back when sitting or driving for long periods.
- If you drive long distances, stop and walk every hour or so. DO NOT lift heavy objects right after a ride.
- Stop smoking.
- Lose weight.
- Do exercises to strengthen your abdominal muscles on a regular basis. This will strengthen your core muscles to decrease the risk of further injury.
- Learn to relax. Try methods like yoga, tai chi, or massage.
When To Go To The Doctor For Back Pain?
You should see a doctor if you feel any of the following symptoms:
- Tingling or numbness in the area
- Severe pain that is not relieved by rest
- Pain after a fall or injury
- Pain accompanied by difficulty urinating, numbness in the legs, fever or weakness.