October 07, 2018

Back pain is a common reason for absence from work and for seeking medical treatment. It can be uncomfortable and debilitating.

a-man-with-spine-and-back-pain


Back pain can affect people of any age, for different reasons. As people get older, the chance of developing lower back pain increases, due to factors such as previous occupation and degenerative disk disease.Recent studies by the World Health Organization and the Archives of Internal Medicine suggest that workers who sit for long periods of time, as many as 6 hours a day, are 40 percent more likely of dying at any given point, of a variety of afflictions and diseases, than people who sit less.

Lower back pain may be linked to the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, lower back muscles, abdominal and pelvic internal organs, and the skin around the lumbar area.

Pain in the upper back may be due to disorders of the aorta, tumors in the chest, and spine inflammation.

Frequent causes of back pain are:

  • strained muscles or ligaments
  • a muscle spasm
  • muscle tension
  • damaged disks
  • injuries, fractures, or falls

Activities that can lead to strains or spasms include:

  • lifting something improperly
  • lifting something that is too heavy
  • making an abrupt and awkward movement

While you can't avoid sitting in the office environment, learning how to sit properly wherever you're sitting can help keep you healthy and safe.

How to sit correctly:

  1. Push your hips as far back as they can go in the chair.

  2. Keep your shoulders back and your back straight. 

  3. Adjust the seat height to fit your body. 

  4. Adjust the back of the chair to a 100°-110° reclined angle.

  5. Make sure that your upper and lower back are supported. 

  6. Rest your feet on the floor

  7. Stay as active as possible at work. 

  8. Take regulated breaks 

man back pain

Back pain usually resolves with rest and home remedies, but sometimes medical treatment is necessary.

Home treatments:

  • Applying a hot compress or an ice pack to the painful area may reduce pain.

  • Resting from strenuous activity can help, but moving around will ease stiffness, reduce pain, and prevent muscles from weakening.

  • Pulleys and weights are used to stretch the back. This may result in a herniated disk moving back into position. It can also relieve pain, but only while traction is applied.
  • Using Posture Corrective Braces  will help you achieve a good posture and relive back pain! You can get one right here !

If home treatments do not relieve back pain, a doctor may recommend medication, physical therapy, or both. 

Physical therapy: Applying heat, ice, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation — as well as some muscle-release techniques to the back muscles and soft tissues — may help alleviate pain.

As the pain improves, the physical therapist may introduce some flexibility and strength exercises for the back and abdominal muscles. Techniques for improving posture may also help.

Yoga involves specific poses, movements, and breathing exercises. Some may help strengthen the back muscles and improve posture. Care must be taken that exercises do not make back pain worse.

Prevention

Steps to lower the risk of developing back pain consist mainly of addressing some of the risk factors.

Exercise

There are two main types of exercise that people can do to reduce the risk of back pain:

  • Core-strengthening exercises work the abdominal and back muscles, helping to strengthen muscles that protect the back.
  • Flexibility training aims at improving core flexibility, including the spine, hips, and upper legs.

Diet: Make sure your diet includes enough calcium and vitamin D, as these are needed for bone health. A healthful diet also helps control body weight.

Smoking: A significantly higher percentage of smokers have back pain incidences compared to non-smokers of the same age, height, and weight.

Body weight: The weight people carry and where they carry it affects the risk of developing back pain. 

Posture when standing: Make sure you have a neutral pelvic position. Stand upright, head facing forward, back straight, and balance your weight evenly on both feet. Keep your legs straight and your head in line with your spine.

Example of good back posture when using a computer
If you regularly use a computer, it is important to ensure that you have a chair with good back support and adopt a good posture and head position.

Lifting: When lifting things, use your legs to do the lifting, rather than your back.

Do not lift and twist at the same time: If something is particularly heavy, see if you can lift it with someone else. While you are lifting keep looking straight ahead, not up or down, so that the back of your neck is like a continuous straight line from your spine.

Moving things: It is better for your back to push things across the floor, using your leg strength, rather than pulling them.

Shoes: Flat shoes place less of a strain on the back.

Driving: It is important to have proper support for your back. Make sure the wing mirrors are properly positioned so you do not need to twist. The pedals should be squarely in front of your feet. If you are on a long journey, have plenty of breaks. Get out of the car and walk around.

Bed: You should have a mattress that keeps your spine straight, while at the same time supporting the weight of your shoulders and buttocks. Use a pillow, but not one that forces your neck into a steep angle.


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