In a world where sitting at a desk for countless hours is the norm for many, back pain is a common issue which many of us face in our day to day life. It is usually easily treatable; unless the situation is more severe.
What is Back Pain?
Back Pain is the broad term used for many injuries and conditions, from minor ailments to more serious underlying issues. Tense muscles can cause pain, along with sporting injuries and day to day accidents.
Types of Back Pain
The most common two types of back injury are:
Spondylolisthesis is when a vertebra slips in the spine; this can lead to aches, pains and some loss of feeling in the lower back as the vertebra slips backward causing strain on the spinal cord. This type of injury is one in which it is advisable to visit a spine surgeon, as they will be able to secure the vertebra back in place.
Cervical Radiculopathy occurs when a vertebra compresses in the cervical region of the spine, causing strain on the spinal cord and nerve damage to the lower back, neck, arms and even shoulders.
How To Treat Them
The treatment of back pain depends on the type and severity of the injury. If you seem to have pain in your lower back after a day of sitting at your desk, it may be worth looking into improving your posture. There are many different exercises you can do to loosen up the back and alleviate pain, and yoga is an excellent example of a natural way to cure back pain.
Of course, if the injury is a little more severe, you need to visit a back expert and get a full examination from them. After diagnosis, you may be prescribed painkillers such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen. These medicines will help alleviate symptoms and allow you to move around without too much discomfort as your back heals.
Physical therapy is another method of treatment which will include gentle hip and neck movements to free up tension in muscles and help to push vertebrae back into a comfortable position.
In extreme cases, patients may have to have an epidural, which is where a pain killer is injected directly into the spine. And of course, there are surgical procedures required for more severe injuries which put a strain on the spinal cord. A procedure called decompressive laminectomy can be carried out which widens the spinal canal to allow more room for the spinal cord and decrease chances of paralysis. If you are unlucky enough to suffer from a slipped disc, you will have to undergo minor surgery where a doctor will remove part of the disc in question to take pressure away from the spinal cord and restore nerve function.
Prevent Back Pain
You can avoid back problems by living an active, healthy lifestyle and exercising it regularly. If you work in a job which requires heavy lifting, always remember to follow the health and safety instructions and bend from the knee, not the hip. This will take the strain away from your back and allow for the safe lifting of objects.