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Coping With Lower Back Pain

If you find that you’re suffering from lower back pain after cleaning your house or performing general, day to day tasks, then maybe you should stop and think about your posture and your flexibility. Back pain isn’t normal. It’s not something that happens just because you’re getting older. It’s something that happens because your body is trying to tell you that there’s something else wrong.

Back pain can be caused by some problems. A weak core, tight hamstrings, damage to the discs or poor posture are some of the most common causes. You can manage lower back pain with rest, painkillers, and exercises to try to restore normal range of motion, but you should always try to protect your back and prevent the pain from coming back.

Women with pain on the beach

Most people will experience a little bit of back pain at some point – either because they tweaked their back lifting something heavy or twisting in an awkward way, or because they sat in an awkward position for a long time, perhaps on an airplane or when they were making some other journey.

When you experience pain, the first thing you should do is stop whatever activity is causing the pain. Try to lie down in a neutral position, and rest. Take an anti-inflammatory painkiller if you can (either diclofenac, or ibuprofen, depending on which you can tolerate), and rest until the pain goes away. If it’s a one-off occurrence, then it’s nothing too much to worry about. If, however, you experience back pain on a regular basis then you should start to question what may be causing it.

The symptoms of back pain can vary. If the pain is accompanied by a shooting pain, numbness or tingling in the legs, then you may have sciatica. This is caused by something impinging on the lower back and putting pressure on the nerves in the spinal cord. It is a good idea to talk to your doctor to try to figure out how to manage this pain. Usually, sciatica can be managed quite well if it is treated early on.

Preventing Back Pain

Good postures are one of the most important precautions that a person can take to prevent back pain from getting worse. A lot of people develop back problems because they spend so much time slouched in front of a computer.

Another thing that can cause back issues is tight hamstrings, which can, in turn, be caused by a weak core and weak glutes. If these muscles are weak, then the hip flexors will take over a lot of day to day activities, and this causes the hamstrings to tighten up, therefore increasing the stress put on the lower back. Strengthening your glutes, TVA, abs and obliques will do a lot for improving your posture and helping you to remain limber and flexible.

Whatever you do, it’s important that you don’t fall back into the habit of taking painkillers to mask back pain, but not treating the underlying cause. If you are struggling with sciatica or lower back pain, talk to your doctor or see a physiotherapist. Be more mindful of your posture during the day, and think about your habits at work and in the gym.

If you carry heavy loads, make sure you use good form. Use a backpack on both shoulders rather than a messenger bag slung over one shoulder. If you lift weights, make sure that you keep your spine in a neutral position. Sit up straight when you are driving or working at a computer, and make sure that your chair is properly adjusted. All those things make a difference.

Most back pain can be managed with physiotherapy and rest. Degenerative conditions are a more serious issue, and they could cause longer-lasting or even chronic pain, but again there are often ways that you can mitigate the effects of the condition if you exercise and look after yourself.

Building up the core muscles will help to stop your spine from being put under so much stress, and will support better flexion and rotation. Stretches, bridges, and back bends can help to keep you limber too. Another important thing for managing back pain is maintaining a healthy weight. The heavier you are, the more stress you end up putting on your spine, and it can make minor injuries feel an awful lot worse.

If you have children, teach them how to sit properly and get them into the habit of carrying their school bags properly as well. They may not feel like it is important now, while they are still young, but it will get them into good habits that will last a lifetime, and it will save them from difficult and painful back problems as they head into middle age and older.

Chiropractor treatment

Chiropractors can help with different medical conditions. Some of these conditions may result from work or stress related causes or affect patients after accidents or major life events. Chiropractors are primary health care providers who can help especially with musculoskeletal disorders (MST). To be certified, a Chiropractor studies for a Bachelor’s degree for four years, and in many countries following graduation joining a formal, governing body or association can be necessary to be able to train and practice in their field.

How can a Chiropractor help?

 

Chiropractors in Quincy IL can diagnose and treat neuro and musculoskeletal disorders and assist in freeing up the movement to help restore normal or pain-free movement. What is distinguished about a Chiropractor is the training to employ what is known in the medical profession as Manipulation to help patients. And manipulation is done by using hands to re-align or adjust joints which have been diagnosed by constrained movement. These could be joints in the spine or patients’ limbs.

Chiropractors have thus earned the recognition of having more medical independence as they can diagnose and work on a treatment plan with patients. Their patients could be suffering from various joint or MSK pain or restricted movement. These could include low back pain, head and neck pain, hip and knee pain, even ones caused by Osteoarthritis, shoulder and elbow conditions. People who experience these pains could be suffering from chronic or ones caused by accidents or stress. Other patients who are reported to benefit from Chiropractors include migraines, especially ones which could be related to neck pain.

How to visit a Chiropractor?

In several places, some clinics employ different healthcare providers amongst doctors and nurses. Some other medical clinics may specialize in the kind of treatment that Chiropractors can provide dedicated to helping with chronic pain or ones resulting from accidents. Depending on where you are in the word you may either visit such specialist places or get a referral from your General Practitioner or Orthopedic Doctor if they were the ones dealing with your condition and advised on getting treatment through Chiropractors.

Who may need Chiropractors?

In addition to the conditions mentioned above, most recently, some articles and research highlight that parents, especially, new mothers suffer increased back and neck pain after having children. The correct and healthy postures can be shown to patients by Chiropractors. Additionally, people who work from home started increasingly reporting back and neck pain, which Chiropractor’s Associations relate to adopting wrong postures and working for long hours on the sofa, bed or sitting in front of a laptop sitting in wrong positions. In shedding light on these wrong practices, Chiropractors also help their patients adopt healthier habits.

Preventive Advice and Chiropractors

More increasingly, chiropractors are proactive about preventive awareness and advice. Especially in developed countries where the practice of chiropractors is recognized and regulated, and sometimes supported by local healthcare funds; specialist associations may work alongside public or official health organizations to create awareness on which life habits and practices can create chronic problems which can be avoided.

Some examples include education women about the health of their spinal cord and back shape to be able to adjust properly. Recent studies by British Chiropractic Association (BCA) show that the shape of women’s profiles may hint at when they can suffer from back or neck pain. Those who have heads leaning forward may experience back or neck pain. Observing such things can help diagnose sources of pain according to BCA as research is showing that the average age for women to start having neck and back pain is 34.

Chiropractors can also advise on positions to take for working, driving and sitting opposite desks and laptops, in short, posture advice. In many countries, chiropractors advocate exercise programs as part of general awareness campaigns.

Guidance and help are also being focused on research and awareness campaigns and articles both online and where target audience are for Do It Yourself (DIY), driving, gardening, backpacks, children’s parents for carrying as well as what postures are good for sleeping to stop or prevent back pain. Help for senior or elderly members of society to encourage exercise is also on the rise by chiropractors.

Visit the ChiropractorPage for an appointment.

Spinal Decompression Therapy

Depending on how to sever the lower back pain or what caused it, there might be either management options or having surgical intervention. The latter kind is spinal decompression therapy which can work for some conditions causing chronic, or long lasting, back pain which can be either surgical or non-surgical.

Who can be treated with Non-surgical Spinal Decompression?

Some conditions can be treated with non-surgical spinal decompression including,

  • • Patients suffering from bulging or degenerative disks,
  • • Neck pain or back pain
  • • Sciatica or pain extending down the leg and can happen to a lot of people, and can be experienced by several pregnant women
  • • Injured roots in the spine

It is still debated, and further research is required to confirm how safe and effective non-surgical spinal decompression is. As there are various alternative treatments depending on how bad or long-lasting pain is which range from painkillers and lifestyle changes, to exercise, steroid injections, physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment, and acupunctures.

How are Non-surgical Spinal Decompression treatments made?

They are performed by doctors by placing a harness on your pelvis and trunk. The procedure is then completed with your Doctor operating a computer which controls the table where you would lie on your face or back, and adjusts the procedure depending on your needs. The procedure may last between thirty to forty-five minutes spanning five to seven weeks. A total of 20 to 28 treatments may take place.

The mechanism being deployed is a motorized traction gently stretching the spine to change the force and position of the spine. The purpose is to take the pressure away from spinal disks or the gel-like cushions found between the bones in your cord. This causes a negative pressure on discs and stimulates the bulging ones to retract, as their herniation is what drives pain on nerves and surrounding structures around affected areas of your spine. In time, this treatment aims to relieve pressure and allow for free movement of oxygen and fluids areas affected areas which might help in reducing pain and healing.
Generally speaking, the risks of the non-surgical decompression treatment are low, but the benefits are yet not confirmed or established yet. Certain additional treatments may include ultrasound, electric simulation, and cold as well as heat therapy.
However, there are certain patients who are not candidates for non-surgical spinal decompression, and these include,

  • • Pregnant women
  • • People who suffered broken vertebrae
  • • People who had spinal fusion
  • • Patients who had implants and artificial discs
  • • Anyone who had multiple surgeries without any improvement in pain
  • • Spinal infection and tumors
  • • Osteoporosis
  • • Condition which affect the integrity of spine
  • • When patients take blood thinners

What about Surgical Spinal Decompression?

Doctors may hesitate in using surgery and leave it as a last resort for several reasons including risks, and the difficulty to determine if it would eliminate pain. So, if surgery can be done, it may take different forms to relieve pressure in the spine which might be,

  • • Laminectomy where surgeons remove small part of the bone, to increase spinal canal size and help with pressure
  • • Diskectomy in which a small part of a bulging disc is removed
  • • Foraminectomy where bone and some tissues may be removed to allow nerve roots to expand
  • • Corpectomy which removes vertebral body and disks

These procedures are carried out under general anesthetic and may take up to an hour or more depending on the complexity of the procedure. Some recovery may be needed at the hospital for one to four days. Walking can be done without assistance on their own, but in some cases depending on the complexity of the operation and the state of the patient’s walking before, this might take up to six weeks.

There are risks associated with lumbar or spinal decompression surgery even though it is usually a successful operation. Some which are general risks for any operations such as infection from the operating room. Others may be a clot developing in the legs or what is commonly known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Other risks, may be causing accidental damage to spinal cord or nerves, in which case not only the back pain continues, but symptoms of weakness in legs and numbness may happen.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy may be associated with the notion of relaxation and spa treatments. So, it may be assumed to be only for leisure and relaxation purposes, which is one of its most popular drivers and markets. It can help with some situations or conditions. It has been known to mankind from ancient times and was mentioned in historical passages and references from ancient cultures including India, China, Arabic countries, Greece, and Rome. In later centuries, it also became known in Europe and nowadays, everywhere.

Trigger Point Massage

What benefits can you get from massage therapy?

Health related issues which may come from stress or other intensive experiences and cause pain in neck, shoulders and back can be managed or relieved by massage therapy, done by a qualified professional. Other cases like sports injuries, stress related anxiety or even depression. The therapy is based on manipulating several soft tissue parts like muscles, ligaments, connective tissues, tendons, and joints. Nowadays, there are different sources to inform you about what may suit your needs. There are even trends which facilitate having treatment which fits a busy schedule including mobile, and home message therapists or professionals which you can book to provide treatments at home or a chosen venue, whether for a single person or groups of appointments.

Others may associate brands with trust and look for professional massage therapies done in spas or hotel spas. It all comes down to what would achieve comfort and convenience to you.

Although there are various forms of messages which may either focus on the neck, shoulders, back and legs or full body treatments, the most common types are:

• Swedish message which is very common is done with light to medium pressure being applied, this helps reduce stress and pain and give a feeling of relaxation

• Trigger point therapy which deals with areas within muscle tissue which cause pain in other body parts. This is done through cycles of pressure and then ones for release

• Sports message, sometimes for a specific area such as a knee or a shoulder. It is depending on the type of sport played and can be tailored accordingly.

• Reflexology treats certain areas in the hand and feet which are referred to as ‘reflex zones’ which not only relaxes them but the gives general relief feeling

• Deep tissue simulates Swedish massage but extends to focus on deepest muscle layers to treat chronic muscle tension

• Parental massage, which can be adjusted based on your individual needs

• Ayurvedic massage is not yet widely common, although it is referred to as one of India’s best-kept secrets

• Geriatric massage which treats anxiety, even depression and improves health especially in elderly patients

• Cranial sacral which relieves spinal column addresses head bones and additionally the sacrum which can be effective for headaches, neck and back pain.

What to look for in a therapist?

Requirements to practice as a massage therapist might vary from one country to another, but with the level of manipulation and attention that is given to sometimes sensitive tissues in the body, it is normal to expect and look for registered and qualified therapists. It also may depend on the type of message that you are looking for or need as the various types include reflexology (which includes foot messages), Indian Head massages, holistic therapies, Oriental therapies, Swedish techniques and remedial treatments which attend to injuries that happened. Some professionals, therefore, prefer to divide the different treatment types into being relaxation messages or rehabilitative ones.

This kind of therapy is not considered, though, to be a primary healthcare, and is classified as complimentary or alternative, but in many countries, therapists benefit from greater exposure when registering and attending professional two or three-year college courses. In some countries, the focus of these programs is not only to teach the techniques and manipulation needed to achieve comfort but also ensure safety awareness and other needed skills for giving appropriate care. Being registered also helps patients claim reimbursement, if possible, from public healthcare funds or private insurance.

As people seek comfort from chronic pain and relaxation, as well as to feel better, one important aspect is to feel at ease with the treatment center and therapist.

Car Accident Treatment

It may not be possible to summarize all the damages which may happen to people getting into car accidents as serious and minor ones may be caused. One important fact, for people who witness car accidents, is that extreme care has to be taken and precaution not to move people if they are not in immediate danger, such as a fire, and are lying on the ground. Moving people who suffered car accidents should be handled by trained paramedics or emergency medical staff who can avoid causing further damages to back and neck.

Some people may experience minor car accidents and decide not to seek medical checkups, but it might be necessary as some bruises and bumps may not show immediate damage, but later on spinal conditions or neck pain from causes like slipped discs may arise. Linking it with car accidents is difficult if the prompt examination was not made after the car accident.

What to do if witnessing a car accident?

If you or anyone witnesses a car accident, they should ensure that no one is in immediate hazard including the driver, passenger or people around. Calling the ambulance services should be done during the time that is checked, but here are some of the important things to check for which are called ABC (Air, breathing and circulation)

  • Ask if the person can breathe and they are ok, keep checking if they can hear you, and are responsive to rule out that they are unconscious. If they are responsive, then they are better left out in the position they are at. If at any point, you feel that their airway is obstructed, you can gently place them on their back if they are not lying this way. You can then make their forehead fall slightly backward and with your other hand lift up their chin with two fingers to prevent the tongue from falling and closing their airway.
  • To check for breathing you may either observe if the chest is rising or falling, or get close to the person/people in the accident and feel their berating for 10 seconds on your face or cheeks. If they are either displaying irregular breathing or gasping for air, then CPR needs to be done while the ambulance services are on their way
  • If the person is not breathing normally or regularly, then this may be due to cardiac arrest and CPR needs to be done immediately.

Common damages

Headaches may be minor symptoms after an accident, or indicate very serious damages such as a clot on the brain, a concussion or a sign of back or neck injury. Therefore, checking after car accidents/impact can help detect and treat any serious conditions immediately.

Whiplash is a common condition from the impact causing the neck of the driver or passenger(s) inside the vehicle to move backward then forward. It can be common with rear-back car accidents, and numbness may indicate that it happened. Whiplash is painful and may last for several weeks, but in rare cases was it serious. Mostly, treatment is done by giving patients over the counter painkillers or prescription ones. Sometimes muscle relaxants are prescribed alongside medicine, and a collar may be used to support the neck.

Back Pain can range from non-serious back injuries which take a few weeks to settle down with painkillers and exercise to longer lasting ones which may need continuous care. Depending on the diagnosis, patients may resort to having regular massages, to visiting a physiotherapist for exercise routines to help regain original strength, chiropractors for manipulation of the injured areas to heal restriction and damage or may even need surgery as a last resort.

Abdominal swelling it is surprising that internal bleeding, which is life-threatening, can be undiscovered for hours, even days. Emergency medical intervention and surgery are needed, this is why an examination of the person who sustained a car accident can help discover areas of bruising, particular pink ones and assess whether there is dizziness.
Changes resembling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms: vision, memory, hearing, personality or depressing problems; which need to be checked by a Doctor to rule out brain injury as it can cause a fatality when not detected.

Back Pain Treatment

Back pain can be caused by a variety of reasons and in different parts of your back. Therefore, the duration and methods, as well as products or professionals who are part of treatment will be based on your needs, the severity of the pain and your personal preferences.

Is it short term or long term back pain?

Sometimes back pain may be temporary or not chronic. Several remedies may be used to relieve pain like over the counter painkillers, home treatments, and exercise. Medications or painkillers prescribed or used, over the shelf, mostly include Paracetamol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), mainly ibuprofen and the stronger codeine. Most people think Ibuprofen is very effective, and codeine is given along with paracetamol. You need to know the side effects, and when any of these painkillers is not suitable, so this is something to discuss with your doctor or pharmacist and letting them know if there are regular medications which you take to treat illnesses or conditions not related to your back pain.

man with backpain in red

Effects of Lifestyle Habits

Other remedies may be tried to treat the causes. Quite opposite to what is commonly believed, people who suffer from back pain can control this pain not with bed rest but with exercise and keep fit and move may help speed up recovery in some situations. When the pain is acute and makes movement difficult, then moving around and making gradual improvements may be advised. Hot water helps with temporary pain or using a hot water bottle where the pain is. Some people will feel considerable improvement after trying these basic treatments and methods after six weeks approximately. Staying relaxed and keeping a positive feeling also helps in easing the pain or making recovery faster.

Examining if you are sleeping position may also help you in managing the pain or possibly find reasons which may be causing it or making it worse. It is advised that if you prefer sleeping sideways that you try to position legs towards your chest and putting a pillow between your legs would help keep your natural back posture to prevent pain.
Longer term and chronic back pain

Your back pain might be classed as chronic if it is longer than six weeks. In addition to all the above-mentioned aspects of your daily life and habits, and painkillers, some more acute and chronic back pain treatments can be relieved by receiving treatments from Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, and/or osteopaths. Physiotherapists may work with patients to improve their life style and teach them exercises which would help with the pain. Other methods of treating back pain may include surgical intervention (As with people suffering slipped discs) and acupuncture helping reduce lower back pain.

Back Strengthening Exercises

Conventional and modern medical wisdom all stress the importance of avoiding and preventing back pain, if possible, through conditioning the spine with exercises which make it stronger in fighting off injuries and chronic illnesses. The importance of exercise is, therefore, championed for prevention and pain management purposes. Orthopedic surgeons, institutions, academics, and institutions advise that there are certain exercises which can be used to relieve stress and pain. These exercises target not only the spine but also the stomach muscles, buttocks and hip ones as well. Pelvic exercises are highly recommended to strengthen women’s back health. The aim is to enhance alignment and make movements extending or twisting the spine easier. Targeted, popular back or core body exercises, which are first practiced with a Physiotherapist, include:

  • McKenzie exercises named after the New Zealand physical therapist who found that pain is reduced through extending the spine via exercise. Designed, theoretically, to help reduce herniation or bulging of the disks which is expected to help take off some of the pressure on the roots. A variety of McKenzie exercises exist, and they may be done standing up or lying down. They all utilize muscle contraction and arm motions are included to stabilize the trunk.
  • In Dynamic Lumbar Stabilization, the physiotherapist attempts to find a neutral position for the spine or one that causes most comfort. It is built around joints positioning and can be rigorous, so not easy for elderly patients. They are sometimes used with McKenzie.
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