Is Your Cell Phone Killing Your Back
Millions of people do it throughout the day and are totally unaware that cell phone use can be detrimental to the back. Did you know that cell phone use can double or triple the weight of your head and can strain your neck? If you are reading this article on a cell phone or tablet, you are probably doing it right now: Tilting your head forward and down in order to look at your device.
The use of mobile devices such as cell phones offer an easy way to shop online in the store or anywhere. Photo Source: 123RF.com.Cell phones and tablets are changing the way we access information and entertainment. The use of these devices influences our posture and body mechanics in unhealthy ways that contribute to neck, upper back, shoulder, and arm pain. Furthermore, poor posture while sitting, standing, walking, or in a static position can lead to more than upper body pain and stiffnesspoor posture affects other parts of the spine, such as the middle and low back.
Bulging Disc Vs Herniated Disc: Whats The Difference
Disc problems go by many names: herniated discs, slipped discs, collapsed discs, ruptured discs, etc. This can become confusing for patients, especially since different health care professionals dont always agree on the different definitions and various causes of disc problems.
The good news is that despite the confusion about different terminologies, the underlying causes of most disc problems are usually very similar. Doctors might refer to your disc pain by different names depending on what they observe during a physical exam or when questioning you about your back pain, leg pain, medical history and lifestyle, but the same treatment options work for almost all types.
If youve been given several different diagnoses and are confused about what is causing your back pain, heres what you need to know:
A herniated disc is more like a disc opening and spilling its insides out, while a bulging disc is the disc stretching and protruding outward. Herniated discs are also called ruptured discs or slipped discs more often than bulging discs are. Compared to herniated discs, bulging discs are more common, and they might also go unnoticed more often since they can cause less pain. Then again, each persons symptoms are different.
Common symptoms of a bulging disc can include:
The type of pain caused by a bulging disc is a clue to where the abnormal disc is located:
Causes Of Bulging Discs
While they can develop at any age, bulging disks are most common in people over the age of 30, and for reasons not totally understood theyre twice as common in men as in women.
Discs act like soft cushions that buffer the space between vertebrae, which are the small bones in the spinal column. Normally, discs serve as our natural absorbers of shock, allowing us to move around and remain flexible. In healthy adults, discs have a soft, gel-like center made up of flexible cartilage, surrounded by a tougher layer that keeps them held in place.
As someone becomes older, experiences more inflammation or becomes injured, the outer layer of the discs becomes more susceptible to being stretched, pulled or bulged out of the normal place they occupy. Once bulging, a disc becomes wider, stretched and also might become slightly squashed at the same time. Some experts say a bulging disc looks almost like a hamburger thats too big for its bun.
Growing pressure around a disc and poor posture are two common reasons why discs can start to bulge. When a normal disc experiences accumulating pressure, it starts to expand abnormally outward where it can come into contact with sensitive neural tissues. Eventually the bulging disc protrudes into the spinal canal, which is what triggers the sharp pain or tingling sensation thats associated with disc problems.
Bulging Disc Takeaways
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How To Get Rid Of Upper Back Pain
When we think of pain, it is usually associated with an injury or trauma.
But a lot of upper back and neck pain seems to come out of the blue, leaving you uncomfortable and asking how to get rid of upper back pain.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, half of all working Americans report suffering from back pain and another study reveals that nearly 60% of Americans wouldnt tell a medical professional if they were suffering from chronic pain.
This pain can be caused by a number of factors such as working at a computer or simply sitting at a desk too long and can interrupt your life.
If this is you and youre left asking how to get rid of upper back pain, dont worry weve got your back!
Here are ten things to try when you need to know how to get rid of upper back pain.
Upper Back Symptoms: When In Doubt See Your Doctor
Because the thoracic spine isnt as susceptible to certain spinal disorders as the cervical spine or lumbar spine , some people may think its immune to pain or other problems. This certainly isnt the case.
Common symptoms of upper back painlike muscle pain, stiffness, and tightnessare often caused by poor body mechanics or spinal injury. But in very rare cases, upper back pain is a sign of a more serious medical issue. If your upper or mid-back pain just wont go away or if its interfering with your daily life, call your doctor. He or she will get to the root of your upper back pain, create a treatment plan for you, and help you learn ways to potentially prevent it in the future.
Migala J. 11 Signs Your Upper Back Pain Is Serious Trouble. Readers Digest. https://www.rd.com/health/conditions/signs-your-upper-back-pain-is-serious-trouble/. Last accessed January 9, 2020.
Upper and Middle Back Pain. Michigan Medicine. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/aba5320. Last reviewed September 20, 2018. Last accessed January 9, 2020.
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What Is The Upper Back
If you want to understand your upper back pain, start with an anatomy lesson.
Pain in the upper and/or mid back is less common than lower back or neck pain. One 2015 Mayo Clinic review of studies suggests that about a third of people get lower back or neck pain , compared to less than one-fifth reporting upper back pain.
The upper back is the region below the cervical spine and above the low back . The upper back is called the thoracic spine, and it is the most stable part of the spine. The range of motion in the upper back is limited because of the spines attachments to the ribs .
Think of your spine as a tree trunk. It keeps you standing upright. It connects parts of your skeleton to each other. It carries the weight of your upper body.
Since thats a massive job, the spine itself shares some of the physical load with nearby muscles, some of which include:
- Trapezius: Near your shoulder blade, helps you stand straight and throw
- Latissimus dorsi: Lower on your back, helps with arm movement and breathing
- Rhomboids: Adjacent to trapezius, supports your shoulders and helps you pull
When you hurt your upper or mid back doing yard work or playing tennis, chances are high youve injured one of these muscles. The most common reason we see people with upper back pain is a simple musculoskeletal strain, says Reginald Knight, MD, Director of Bassett Spine Care Institute in Cooperstown, NY.
- Tenderness to touch
Muscle Deconditioning And Poor Posture
People can condition their muscles over time to be stronger or more enduring through exercises and weight training.
The reverse is also true. Humans may decondition their muscles over time by not using them correctly.
In some muscles, including back muscles, deconditioning is as easy as sitting at a desk with incorrect posture for too long. A person may do this while at work.
Slouching in a chair over a desk may cause a loss of strength in the muscles. Over time, the weakening of muscles may lead to pain in the area as they experience strains or irritation.
When a person slouches, pressure from gravity and the body itself pushes on the spine, neck, discs, and ligaments. Over time, this pressure can lead to pain and other complications.
It is possible to condition the muscles to be stronger and more durable in most cases. This process starts with correcting the posture while sitting, and taking regular breaks from the desk to move around and stretch.
Exercises may also improve strength in the back, and using a standing desk can help, too.
Conditioning the muscle requires patience, however, and anyone with chronic upper back pain from weak muscles might benefit from seeing a physical therapist to find an exercise routine for their specific needs.
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Sleeping And Lying Down
- Select a firm mattress and box spring set that does not sag. If necessary, place a board under your mattress. You can also place the mattress on the floor temporarily if necessary.
- If you’ve always slept on a soft surface, it may be more painful to change to a hard surface. Try to do what is most comfortable for you.
- Use a back support at night to make you more comfortable. A rolled sheet or towel tied around your waist may be helpful.
- Use a firm pillow that supports the curve of your neck.
- Do not sleep on your side with your knees drawn up to your chest.
- When standing up from the lying position, turn on your side, draw up both knees and swing your legs on the side of the bed. Sit up by pushing yourself up with your hands. Avoid bending forward at your waist.
Other Methods For Relieving Upper Back Pain
There are many other ways through which you can reduce the severity of upper back pain and accelerate healing process.
You should be very careful when lifting objects. If you would like to lift an object, always bend the knees, keep the back straight. Additionally, you should keep the load close to the body when carrying it around.
Use a pain diary. With these methods, you should write down how various aspects of your life affect your pain, including sleep patterns, thoughts, medicines and even moods. This is very vital as it will help both the doctor and you to find the best way to manage your pain.
Stress reduction is also vital in the fight against upper back pain. This is mainly because stress can worsen the back pain. Therefore, you should carry out relaxation exercises, breathe deeply and meditate regularly to bring your stress levels down.
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You Don’t Have To Live With Upper Back Pain After Sleeping
New York Pain Care understands your pain better than the others and we are dedicated to doing everything we can so that patients can live as comfortably and as pain-free as possible. With the help of our highly experienced team of doctors and state-of-the-art treatments, we provide one-on-one care for each of our clients and develop custom treatment plans that will address their pain issues. Call us to schedule your appointment and let’s start working on getting you a pain-free life.
How To Deal With Irreversible Back Pain
Based on the study carried out by world health organization , pain in the lower and upper back is the major cause of disability for folks under the age of forty five in the world. A large number of people are spending huge amounts of money looking for strategies to aching backs.
On a daily basis, many people experiencing severe or modest pain in their lower back or upper backside usually find non permanent ways to ease their pain rather than the actual real cause. It influences many people coming from all age ranges, although a study completed by mayo clinic exposed that people between thirty five and 5 decades are more vulnerable to back again pains. Most of the time they twist and bend hoping that the pain will go away, but unfortunately, the pain may be irreversible. Discomfort experienced in the higher back may be brought on by growth in the chest, spine swelling and ailments of the puls?re whereas pain in the lower back may be related to lower back again muscles and tendons about the disc and spine. Underneath are ways of overcoming permanent lower back pain
1. Start doing corrective circuits and exercises
2. Fashion Accessories
3. Consume anti-inflammatory diet
4. Stop what is creating the pain
5. Changing the intensity of your Workouts
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Treatment Options For Stress
The first thing we do with every patient who has back pain is determine its root cause. Its important to understand that no adult can expect to live 100 percent pain-free or stress-free. However, we can discuss ways to minimize discomfort and help patients feel less tense.
An effective way to reduce stress and back pain is to exercise and stretch more.
Physical activity can release endorphins and improve overall health, which can help reduce stress. Make a point to get up during the work day and do a few laps around the office every few hours, or try a standing desk. At home, reserve time to exercise. Physical therapy also can help relieve spine pain and return your neck and back to optimal flexibility. A physical therapist can show you specific stretches to pinpoint trouble areas in your neck and back.
Eating a healthy diet also can help reduce stress.
When you eat well long term, your general health can improve, and you will likely feel more energetic. Healthy eating is key to weight loss and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight offloads pressure from your spine and improves your posture.
Additionally, its important to make time in your schedule to relax.
Many patients with back pain are very busy with work, family, and social commitments. Carve out time to read a good book, spend time with family and friends, or practice mindfulness or meditation.
Transform Chores Into A Workout
If youre at a loss for where to work out, look no further than your own house. Chores can turn into opportunities for arthritis exercises.
The key is to engage your core muscles. Keep your back straight and gently contract your abdominal muscles to get the most out of your movements.
Bend with your legs and not with your back while tightening your stomach to protect your back muscles.
You can practice this technique during a variety of chores, including:
- doing laundry
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Diagnosis Of Upper Back Pain
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and examine you. They may then be able to diagnose and explain the cause of your back pain or they may need to refer you for some tests. Upper back pain is often caused by muscle strain, but sometimes there might be a more serious cause. There are particular symptoms your doctor will look for that may indicate this. They call these red flags and they include:
- a recent injury to your back such as a car accident or a fall
- back pain caused by a minor injury or lifting something heavy particularly if you have osteoporosis
- if youve had cancer or you have a weakened immune system
- other symptoms such as a fever, unexplained weight loss and chills
- a recent bacterial infection
- if youre younger than 20 or older than 50
Your doctor will also ask you about the pain to understand how severe it is and what could be causing it. It can also mean a red flag if:
- symptoms havent eased despite changing position or resting
- youve had pain for more than two weeks despite having treatment
- you have pain that you dont think has been caused by a sprain or strain in your upper back
- you are very stiff in the morning
- you have pain all the time and its getting worse
Your doctor may ask if youve had any weakness in your legs, or any bladder and bowel problems such as incontinence. This may point towards pressure on the nerves in your spine or spinal cord, which could be caused by a slipped disc or injury.
Treatments For Upper Back Pain
To relieve upper back pain, your doctor will customize your treatment based on your symptoms, risk factors, and medical history.
Your doctor may prescribe one or more of the following treatments:
Physical therapy could include things like helping you improve your posture and the way you hold your body, stretching your muscles, examining your pain tolerance, aerobics, and strengthening your abdomen muscles. These interventions ultimately take strain off of your back muscles and improve pain levels.
Mindfulness and meditation
To manage the emotional side of relieving upper back pain, your doctor may refer you to a mindfulness or meditation specialist. This can help you manage frustration, stress, and depression as you continue down your road of healing.
To relieve upper back pain, your doctor may evaluate your diet. Some foods are irritating to the body, especially foods containing high amounts of sugar or fat. Maintaining a healthy weight and eating healthy foods can help strengthen your back and reduce pain.
Some injection-based procedures can help to relieve upper back pain. For instance, your doctor might recommend a nerve block or epidural steroid injection .
Your doctor may prescribe medications like anti-inflammatory drugs or muscle relaxants to help relieve upper back pain. These medications are usually done for the short term or in conjunction with other treatment options.
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Avoid Prolonged Static Posture
It is important to pay attention to the joints and muscles of your spine and hip. Prevent fatigue and stresses on these joints by following simple tips, such as:
- Avoid excessive sitting or consider using a standing desk while you work. When you sit for a long duration, the pressure on your spinal discs increase. Aim to get up every hour and walk a short distance to take the load off your discs.
When you have a flare-up of symptoms, consider less exertive activities, such as reading a book, listening to music, or crafting. These activities can help divert your mind from the pain and let your back rest at the same time.