The Real “Low-down” on Back Pain

You’ve heard or read the phrase before. It’s one of the favorite buzzwords of techies around the globe – “Information overload”. And nowhere is this truer than in the internet, so much so, they’ve invented “Spam” for information that is inane and useless.

Back Pain. Back Pain Prevention. Back Pain Exercises. Back Pain Causes. These are just some of the health-care fields, among many others, where information overload is such, it may actually have created a degree of confusion.

This article aims to bring down this level of confusion, if not totally eliminate it where the particular subject of back pain is concerned. The National Institutes of Health, after all says back pain is experienced by eight out of ten people.

Untrue – True : The Real “Low-Down” On Back Pain

Untrue : The application of heat will help relieve a aching back.

True     : When you apply heat on a back that’s aching, it can actually worsen the inflammation in the joint and muscles and ligaments surrounding the area. What you can do is put an ice pack on any back injury within the first 48-72 hours. You should then alternate between ice and heat. 20-25 minutes on. 20-25 minutes off. When in doubt call or see your doctor and take his advice.

Untrue : “I’ll never experience back pain.”

True    : Just because back pain hasn’t hit you yet, it doesn’t mean it can’t hit you in the time to come. To avoid it, prevention is key. Apply proper techniques when sitting, lifting, and moving. These will help maintain a healthy back. And let’s hope you don’t get into the circle of the 80% population who will experience back pain at some point in their lives.

Untrue : Being obese or overweight doesn’t lead to back pain.

True    : This is a simple case of more weight equals more pressure on the back. The body’s extra weight compresses the spine and contracts the vertebral disks raising the risk of an overweight person to painful back problems. Moreover, lots of belly fat can cause poor posture and slouching which lead to back pain. Be fit. Do back and abdominal exercises. It’ll keep the central area of the body healthy and help prevent back pain.

Untrue : Sitting up straight all the time will keep back pain away

True     : Sitting up straight for long periods can be just as detrimental as slouching. Make it a point to sit in chairs with correct lower lumbar support. If none, put in a throw pillow or a rolled-up towel to support your back. When you find yourself sitting all day, especially at work with the computer, get up and do some moving about or some body stretching.

Untrue : “I’m experiencing back pain. I will have to undergo a surgery of sort.”

True     : Only a tiny percentage of back pain-suffering people will need to undergo surgery. Talk to your doctor. In the care and treatment of back pains there are a lot of alternatives you can explore. Your physician would be in the best position to know how not to undergo any surgical procedures. These may include minimal invasive procedures.

Untrue : The best treatment for back pain is bed rest.

True     : When the pain is too much and the sufferer is having a hard time handling it, it allows him no choice but to stay in bed. BUT … staying in the same position for long periods can worsen the pain and lead to more pressure on the sufferer’s back and spine. Your best bet is to consult an orthopedic as your condition may require some physiotherapy.

Untrue : “I can’t do my favorite sports and other activities anymore!”

True   : If you’ve got back pains, it’s good to know your body and its limitations. Don’t feel frustrated. Take some time to let your body regain it’s normal form. If you follow a good exercise program with core conditioning and flexibility work-outs, you should be able to get back to your favorite sports or activity. But, make sure, Doc knows about it.

Back pain is not a rare condition that happens selectively to people. In fact, it’s one of the most common pains we’ll have to face as we grow older. Although, of course, it can happen at any age for different reasons. As a common problem, it is bombarded with much information and mis-information.

The rule of thumb is … When in doubt, Go see Doc.

Barbara Lucore

I have been a nurse for 15+ years and as a nurse I understand how to prevent back strain and pain. The correct ways to lift objects, the causes of back pain, treatments available, the exercises to reduce or prevent back pain and the proper ways to move without strain or injury to your back.