Low Back Pain; what you need to know

what is low back pain?

This is a very common experience that many people have, in fact almost everyone at some point in his life had low back pain. The lower back is that area at your back from where the ribs end down to your buttocks. Pain the lower back can range from being so mild as to be ignored to being severe enough to make walking or standing up straight difficult. The good news is that most of low back pain gets better on its own. We say it’s acute when it comes on suddenly and chronic if it stays for more than 3 months.

In this post we’ll look at how to prevent it and also deal with it.

What are the causes?

  • work related- lifting heavy loads, sitting or standing for too long,
  • poor posture,
  • ageing
  • overworking in the gym
  • being overweight
  • trauma such as from a fall

The pain is either from the strain on the muscles at the back or more seriously from nerve root compression from a slipped vertebra disc or narrowed nerve root canal

How do we diagnose low back pain?

Your doctor will first ask you a few questions and examine you to determine the cause, he may proceed to requesting some investigations which might include X-rays, CT scans or MRI

How do we treat back pain?

Treatment depends on the cause. If it is due to muscle strain, rest for a few days should do the trick. Exercise alone has been proven to relieve most of back pain. If it is severe you may be given some painkillers. Sometimes surgery may be required if the pain is due to something compressing on your spinal nerves such a slipped disc, shifted vertebra or a narrowed space

Now to the most important part;

Preventing low back pain

Prevention they say is always better than cure. My golden rule for preventing low back pain is “avoid stressing your back”, always “have your back at the back of your mind”

  • avoid sitting or standing for too long

How long is too long? My answer is when you begin to “sense” your back then you’re probably in the “too long” range.

  • When you sit, sit straight with the lower back curved inwards (like a pregnant woman’s), in the office chose chairs that have lumbar support.
  • Avoid assuming awkward positions or postures
  • Avoid bending over from the waist for too long and never bend down from the waist to lift loads.
  • Keep your spine flexible and avoid. We have a few exercises to help with that
  • When you have to lift, please don’t try to impress, if it’s heavy, get help

Danger signs of back pain

Back pain could have more dangerous causes that might need urgent doctor’s attention. Here are some symptoms that should make you visit your doctor.

  • Severe back pain after a fall
  • When it is radiating into your thighs or legs
  • If you have numbness or sensation of pins in your legs
  • When it is associated with loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Weight loss, or swelling along the spine

When you have any of these, please do not hesitate to see your doctor right away

Are you having back pain? You might want to book an appointment, talk to the doctor now or book and appointment.

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