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Taking care of Back Pain

Tips for understanding, avoiding, and caring for common types of back pain

           Every day, millions of people are affected by either short-lived or long-lasting pain. Pain is responsible for about 1 billion visits to healthcare providers every year. All of us have experienced some type of back pain in our lifetimes. It can disrupt our lives and limit our ability to manage day-to-day responsibilities.

           Knowing how to deal with back pain is the first step toward relieving it and restoring a healthy lifestyle. This brochure provides information on common types of back pain, self-care techniques that may provide relief, warning signs that indicate you should contact a healthcare professional.

Common Causes of back pain are:

  • Physical labor performed incorrectly
  • Sitting in ackward postions
  • Wearning high-heeld shoes
  • Poor posture
  • Weak abdominal muscles
  • Weak back muscles
  • Being overweight
  • Stress

More Serious causes of back pain are:

  • Spinal tumors
  • Infections
  • Spinal fractures
  • Neurologic disorder affecting the spine (spinal cord etc.)
  • Whiplash
  • Spinal cord
  • Disc herniation
  • Disc displacement
  • Sciatica-pain traveling along the sciatic never, felt in the thigh, buttocks, calf en foot

How to relieve back pain symptoms:

  • Apply cold packs to the painful area for 5-10 minutes, at 30-40 minute intervals
  • Perform low impact exercises, such as walking, swimming, good morning
  • Avoid strenuous activity, heavy lifting, forward/side bending, twisting with weight in hands
  • Avoid prolonged bed rest unless otherwise instructed by your healthcare provider (GP etc.)
  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes
  • Maintain proper (good) posture

Preventing back pain:

  • Maintain your proper weight. (excess weight can contribute to back pain
  • Exercise regularly. It will strengthen bones, ligaments, muscles and tendons and will improve muscle control (stability) and coordination. It also improve your general health
  • Try to manage your stress. Stress can worsen the symptoms of back pain

Maintain good posture:

  • Stand erect, with your chin in, head up and back straight
  • Sit upright with your chin in and back straight

Contact your healthcare professional if you have following signs:

  • Back pain lasts longer than a few weeks in spite of self-care
  • The pain is severe or is accompanied by high fever
  • The pain is accompanied by rapid weight loss
  • The pain moves toward lower leg and foot
  • You feel numbness or weakness in your lower body
  • You are unable to move your lower body