Low Back Pain

Low Back Pain is a very common condition (second only to the common cold),most of the individual at least once in his lifetime suffers from back pain .This is price we are paying for  standing erect .  It is not  only a problem of old people – 50% of children will have experienced back pain by the time they reach 15.
Low back pain is a common problem and is caused by many different things. Often a definite source of the pain is never found.

Recovery Is The Rule but  recurrence too 
Fortunately, low back pain is mild and short lived in most cases. 80 to 90% of people with acute low back pain recover within a week but sometimes it can take longer. Serious injuries are uncommon, and can be identified relatively easily.
Unfortunately low back pain has the bad habit of recurring  from time to time. Do not be surprised if you have more than one episode.

What To Look For
Some symptoms should be taken seriously if associated with back pain:

  • The young (<15 yrs) and the elderly (>60 yrs ).
  • Pain at night  more than day or when resting pain is more than activity .
  •  weight loss > 10 % body wt .
  • fever
  • Sudden severe pain after trivial trauma (a simple fall).
  • Repeated infections.
  • Sharp pain that radiates  down the leg to the ankle and foot.

Contact you doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms.

Treatment
The medical evidence in favour of early, progressive activity and avoidance of bed rest of more than 3-5 days  for the management of Low Back Pain  is substantial. Early activity and exercise are the key to successful management of acute low back pain.

REST , MEDICATION AND PHYSIO , generally cures most patients  for short term.But most pain can reoccur if your ergonomics (working and sitting posture) is not right.Long term solution of problem is EXERCISE AND RIGHT POSTURE.

Individuals who remain active and physically fit have fewer recurrences (and their attacks are also shorter). There is ample evidence that bed rest for more than 3 or 5 days is not an effective therapy and often delays recovery.

Surgery
Back surgery is only required in very few occasions (less than 1%). There are different types of surgery but low back pain (generally) is NOT a surgical condition.

Medication
Your doctor may prescribe medication (usually painkillers and anti-inflammatory tablets). They all have the same goal (to reduce the pain) but their effects are different. Make sure that you take your tablets as you have been advised.

Even if you need to rest in bed, you should be active (up and about) at least one hour every day doing physical activity (like walking up and down the corridor, or in the garden, street or local park).

Prevention
Low back pain is often the result of a combination of factors…

  • Poor physical condition.
  • Poor health.
  • Bad postural habits.
  • Stress and lifestyle.

In children hamstring tightness and hours spent in front of the television are also risk factors for low back pain. Healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and identifying the causes of stress are the foundation to prevent or minimize low back pain.
Low back pain is frequent but generally not serious. Most people recover quickly.

  • AVOID PROLONGED SITTING > 45 MINS –  do not sit more than 45 min at a stretch , get up after 45 mins take 2-5 min walk than sit again
  • AVOID FORWARD BENDING –  Bending forward causes double the stress over neck n back, our head wt is around 5 kg which increases to 30 kg if we bend our neck up to 60 degree. so keep your  head in centre of shoulders . If u want to bend n lift something from lower down than bend from knee and hip as well so that stress on spine is less.
  • AVOID HEAVY WT LIFTING – keep yuor back as straight  as possible  while lifting wt or ask for help while lifting heavy wt.
  • FULL CHAIR SITTING – Try to sit in office chair with hips at the back of chair and back fully supported with back rest, by this your back is fully supported n slightly backwards tilted , keeping stress low on spine . do not sit half chair.
  • LAPTOP TO DESKTOP – with laptop one has to bend forward and work as in laptop screen and keyboard is so close to each other that  u cant work without bending forward. So dissociate screen from keyboard by using external keyboard( preferably  wireless ) and external mouse with laptop stand to keep screen at your eye level.
  • HOLDING MOBILE AWAY FROM BODY – So that neck does not bend too much for long , keep neck as straight as possible .
  • NEVER WORK IN  BED OR WITH  BAD POSTURE – as it causes severe stresses on back and neck.
  • DAILY EX- Daily exercise of neck and back strengthens muscles so that they can take stresses of sitting.
  • Take enough pain killers or anti-inflammatory tablets (as your doctor has advised you). Do not wait “until the pain is bad”.