Can Back Pain Be Prevented
Recurring back pain resulting from improper body mechanics may be prevented by avoiding movements that jolt or strain the back, maintaining correct posture, and lifting objects properly. Many work-related injuries are caused or aggravated by stressors such as heavy lifting, contact stress , vibration, repetitive motion, and awkward posture.Recommendations for keeping ones back healthy
Exercises That Improve Posture And Reduce Back Pain
If youre sitting at your desk right now like you do every day for eight-plus hours theres a strong chance you feel a twinge of discomfort somewhere.
Maybe its your lower back that starts to ache. Or your neck and shoulders get stiff by mid-afternoon.
Wherever the pain creeps up, it’s may be a sign that prolonged sitting is having an adverse effect on your body. Poor posture may also be to blame.
Poor posture and a weak core are two of the underlying causes of back pain and it’s often hard to avoid if you spend a lot of time behind a desk. You may not be able to ditch your desk, but there are simple movements you can do throughout the day to improve your posture to reduce back pain.
How Is Low Back Pain Diagnosed
A complete medical history and physical exam can usually identify any serious conditions that may be causing the pain. Neurologic tests can help determine the cause of pain and appropriate treatment. Imaging tests are not needed in most cases but may be ordered to rule out specific causes of pain, including tumors and spinal stenosis. Occasionally the cause of chronic lower back pain is difficult to determine even after a thorough examination.
Blood tests are not routinely used to diagnose the cause of back pain but might be ordered to look for signs of inflammation, infection, cancer, and/or arthritis.
Bone scans can detect and monitor an infection, fracture, or bone disorder. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream and collects in the bones, particularly in areas with some abnormality. Scanner-generated images can identify specific areas of irregular bone metabolism or abnormal blood flow, as well as to measure levels of joint disease.
Discography involves injecting a contrast dye into a spinal disc thought to be causing low back pain. The fluids pressure in the disc will reproduce the persons symptoms if the disc is the cause. The dye helps to show the damaged areas on CT scans taken following the injection.
Electrodiagnostics can identify problems related to the nerves in the back and legs. The procedures include:
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Effective Yoga Poses For Back Pain Relief In Minutes
If youve been experiencing back pain and want quick relief in just a few minutes, then this post is perfect for you.
Yoga poses are an effective way to relieve back pain without the use of drugs or surgery. They also offer other benefits such as improved sleep, reduced stress levels, and increased energy.
In this post, we will discuss 7 effective yoga poses that can be done in under 10 minutes each day with instant relief from your pain. Get ready to stretch it and say goodbye to back pain.
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.
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How Can You Get An Upper Back Pain Diagnosis
When you go to a doctor for your upper or mid back pain, youll start with a conversation. Expect the doctor to ask you about any events that may be directly responsible: A fall, a car accident, or any changes or increases to your fitness routine.
You might be asked to rank your pain on a scale of 0-10. You should also be prepared to talk about how your pain does, or does not, interfere with the activities of your daily life. Can you cook dinner, get dressed, take a shower?
Then comes the physical exam: the poking and prodding part of your visit. The doctor wants to see how your upper back pain affects your movement. Expect to sit, stand, reach, and bend in the exam room. After that, youre likely to get an X ray.
If symptoms persist or you have red flags such as a progressive weakness or bowel or bladder control problems, you may get more advanced testing, Dr. Knight says. He explains that MRI would be the likely choice.
Heres a look at several types of advanced testing for upper back pain.
Medication From The Store
There are two kinds of over-the-counter pain relievers that frequently help with back pain: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen. Both have some side effects, and some people may not be able to take them. Talk to your doctor before taking pain relievers. And don’t expect medication alone to solve your pain problem. Studies show you’ll probably need more than one type of treatment.
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How Can Bad Posture Lead To Back Pain
Back pain is widespread. People get it quite often and for all sorts of reasons. But there are some cases where the pain is a symptom of a severe issue like a damage in the spine. In these circumstances, corrective surgery may also be required. In this post, we dive into how the wrong sitting posture can exacerbate pain and the surgery that resolves it.
Wrong posture = Back ache
If your daily routine involves repetitive action in your back, it puts stress on your spine. For example, lifting heavy weights every day, performing physical labour, or even sitting at a desk for hours together. All these create tension on your back which leads to muscle tightness. Slowly, the muscles begin to wear and tear. This causes pain.
How does the wrong posture cause spinal pain?
The spine is made of three natural curves:
- The cervical curve it is the curve in the neck that bends backward.
- The thoracic curve it is the curve on the upper back that bends forward.
- The lumbar curve it is the curve in the lower back that bends backward.
A bad posture means these three curves are not in balance because the weight of the body is not distributed equally on the two sides. When you sit with the wrong posture for a long time, it puts pressure on the spine, pulling it in the wrong direction. Ultimately, it results in:
- Strain on the joints.
- Stress on ligaments and muscles.
- Slowly, the uneven distribution of weight changes the natural curvature of the spine leading to chronic pain.
What To Look For In A Pillow
Your pillow should cradle your head and neck and help to support the upper portion of your spine.
If you sleep on your back, your pillow should completely fill the space between your neck and the mattress. If you sleep on your side, try using a thicker pillow to keep your head in line with the rest of your body in this position.
Whatever you do, dont place your pillow under your shoulders.
For back sleepers: You may do best with thinner pillows and those that have extra padding in the bottom to support the neck.
Memory foam is a good material that molds specifically to your own neck.
A water pillow is another option that gives firm, all-over support.
For stomach sleepers: You should aim to use the thinnest pillow possible or no pillow at all. In fact, you may try sleeping on your side while holding a body pillow. The body pillow will give you the feeling of something against your stomach while helping to align the rest of your body.
For side sleepers: You may want to look for a firm pillow. Better yet, try to find one that has an extra-wide gusset that will help with the space between your ear and shoulder. And dont forget to place a firm pillow between your knees. You may even substitute a rolled towel.
While youre at it, remember to change your pillow every 18 months or so. Those pillow protectors can be a good barrier, but pillows still hold lots of allergy triggers like mold and dust mites.
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How Bad Posture Can Cause Back And Neck Pain
Hyperextension and hyperflexion
The low cervical spine faces hyperflexion when the vertebrae tilt far towards the front. In this case, your upper cervical spine faces hyperextension as your brain keeps up your head so that your eyes can look forward. This alteration in the curve of your spinal spine causes neck pain.
High stress on your cervical spine
When you hold your head forward while remaining in a bad posture, the cervical spine has to support heavyweight. The average head can weigh up to ten or twelve pounds. This can increase the load on your cervical spine causing neck pain.
Few muscles in your upper back and neck can overwork themselves to counterbalance the gravity pull on your forward head. As a result, they are susceptible to spasms and painful strains.
When you hunch while sitting or standing, it can cause the core, back, the abdominal muscles to sprain. This happens due to a low blood supply reaching these parts.
Unsupported position of sitting
An unsupported position can cause a forward bend on your spine. This can cause herniation in your lower spinal discs.
The incorrect technique of lifting
The incorrect technique of lifting can herniate your lumbar disk. This can cause lower back pain.
Treatments For Back Pain
More than 85 percent of people with lower back pain improve with minimal treatment in a matter of days. However, if back problems persist, doctors generally prescribe one or more of the following treatments: proper exercise, rest, heat and cold, posture training, weight loss, stress management and relaxation exercises, medication, spinal manipulation and/or surgery. For some back conditions, the doctor may refer you to another specialist such as an orthopedist, rheumatologist, physiatrist, physical or occupational therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist or surgeon.
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Hot And Cold Treatments
Many people have found that hot and cold treatments help relieve back pain. You might try both to find out which works better for you. Heat relaxes muscles and soothes painful areas. There are many ways to apply heat. Some people like hot showers or baths, while others prefer using heat lamps, heating pads or warm compresses. If you have arthritis, heating your muscles first might make it easier for you to do back exercises. Be sure not to fall asleep while using heat. Cold has a numbing effect. This often helps relieve pain. You might try one of these methods for applying cold:
- an ice bag
- a large ice cube used to massage the area
- a frozen package of vegetables
- a commercially made cold pack.
- Be sure not to leave ice on after the skin becomes numb. This could lead to localized frostbite. Do not use cold if you are especially sensitive to it or
- have decreased circulation or sensation. Read the pain management article for more information about heat and cold.
Why Does It Happen
This is a result of a weak erector spinae, which is a group of muscles that moves vertically to prop you upright. Being in this C shaped posture persistently overstretches the erector spinae, thereby increasing load on the discs our natural shock absorbers and protective pads for our vertebrae. Other structures in the area, such as the ligaments are also stretched, causing lower and middle back pain, and is worse cases, disc herniation.
Continue reading poor posture and mid back pain
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Stress Poor Sleep And Physical Ailments Over Time Can Lead To A Pain In The Neck
Everyday life isn’t kind to the neck. You may be all too familiar with that crick you get when you cradle the phone between your shoulder and ear, or the strain you feel after working at your computer.
Neck pain rarely starts overnight. It usually evolves over time. And it may be spurred by arthritis or degenerative disc disease, and accentuated by poor posture, declining muscle strength, stress, and even a lack of sleep, said Dr. Zacharia Isaac, medical director of the Comprehensive Spine Care Center at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital and director of interventional physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School.
The following six tips can help you find neck pain relief:
No : Improve Your Posture
Slouch and your stomach pooches. Straighten up, and your tummy looks trimmer without breaking a sweat! For better posture, align your ears over your shoulders, shoulders over hips, hips over knees, and knees over ankles. Keep your shoulders open like a shirt on a hanger, not one draped on a peg. Draw your navel to your spine. Not least, keep your weight even on the balls of your feet and your heels.
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Complementary And Alternative Techniques Include:
- Acupuncture is moderately effective for chronic low back pain. It involves inserting thin needles into precise points throughout the body and stimulating them , which may cause the body to release naturally occurring painkilling chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin, and acetylcholine.
- Behavioral approaches include:
- Biofeedback involves attaching electrodes to the skin and using an electromyography machine that allows people to become aware of and control their breathing, muscle tension, heart rate, and skin temperature people regulate their response to pain by using relaxation techniques
- Cognitive therapy involves using relaxation and coping techniques to ease back pain
Spinal injections include:Trigger point injections can relax knotted muscles that may contribute to back pain. An injection or series of injections of a local anesthetic and often a corticosteroid drug into the trigger point can lessen or relieve pain.
What Can I Do
Do you deal with lower back pain? Youre not alone.
The Global Burden of Disease study named lower back pain the leading cause of disability across the globe.
Whats even more interesting is that most back pain isnt caused by serious medical conditions, like cancer or arthritis. Instead, its often brought on by stress or strain from bad posture, awkward sleeping positions, and other lifestyle habits.
Here are the best sleeping positions to try if you have lower back pain, as well as some other things you can do to get a better nights rest.
If lying flat on your back feels uncomfortable, try shifting over to your side:
Whether you use one pillow or opt for two, you should resist the urge to always sleep on the same side. Doing so many cause issues like muscle imbalance and even scoliosis.
How does this position help? Sleeping on your side alone wont make you feel better. Its using the pillow between your knees thats the trick. The pillow will keep your hips, pelvis, and spine in better alignment.
If you have a herniated disc, you may want to try sleeping on your side curled in a fetal position:
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What Can Cause Lower Back Pain
Most acute low back pain is mechanical in nature, meaning that there is a disruption in the way the components of the back fit together and move. Some examples of mechanical causes of low back pain include:
- Skeletal irregularities such as scoliosis , lordosis , kyphosis , and other congenital anomalies of the spine.
- Spina bifida which involves the incomplete development of the spinal cord and/or its protective covering and can cause problems involving malformation of vertebrae and abnormal sensations and even paralysis.
- Sprains , strains , and spasms
- Traumatic Injury such as from playing sports, car accidents, or a fall that can injure tendons, ligaments, or muscle causing the pain, as well as compress the spine and cause discs to rupture or herniate.
- Intervertebral disc degeneration which occurs when the usually rubbery discs wear down as a normal process of aging and lose their cushioning ability.
- Spondylosis the general degeneration of the spine associated with normal wear and tear that occurs in the joints, discs, and bones of the spine as people get older.
- Arthritis or other inflammatory disease in the spine, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis as well as spondylitis, an inflammation of the vertebrae.
Nerve and spinal cord problems