The Facts About Spinal Problems
Did you know that back pain is one of the most common ailments in the world? According to statistics, up to 31 million Americans suffer from back pain at any given time. If you’re prone to back pain, you’re probably keen to turn your back on spinal problems for good. Here is some useful information to help you protect your spine and prevent pain.
What causes back pain?
There are many different causes of back pain, and discomfort can come on acutely or gradually. Acute pain is often linked to injuries and spinal problems, which can occur when playing sport, or as a result of a fall or a car accident. When you feel pain, come on very suddenly, this can indicate damage to the spine, and it’s best to seek urgent advice. If you do suspect that you have a spinal injury, try and remain as still as possible until help arrives.
Many people suffer from back pain as a result of wear and tear that is related to poor posture and increased pressure on the muscles and connective tissue in the back. More and more of us spend most of our days sat at a desk using a computer. This seemingly safe activity can actually be very harmful to your back unless you have good posture. Many of us tend to slouch or reach over when we’re typing, and this can lead to discomfort.
Back pain can also be due to degeneration associated with underlying conditions such as arthritis, and wear and tear caused by aging.
Obesity can also be a risk factor for spinal problems, as excessive weight applies pressure to the spine, and the surrounding tissue. If you’re overweight, you may be advised that you have a greater risk of a herniated disk, but what is a disc herniation? If you haven’t come across this term before, you may more familiar with the name slipped or ruptured disc. This occurs when the soft tissue inside the disc starts to push outside of the boundaries of the disc, causing pain, loss of sensation, and weakness in the arms and legs. These symptoms occur as a result of nerve compression.
How can back pain be prevented?
Sometimes, especially in the case of accidents, it may be impossible to prevent pain. If you’re driving, make sure you wear a seatbelt at all times and pay attention to the vehicles around you. If you’re playing sport, always warm up thoroughly, and ensure you adopt the correct technique. If you start to notice discomfort, stop and rest.
If you think your pain is associated with your posture, try and make positive changes. If you’re sitting, your spine should be upright with your shoulders relaxed. Your keyboard should be positioned so that you can reach it without having to bend forwards. If you don’t already have a chair that offers lumbar support, speak to your boss about getting a new chair.
You should be provided with suitable equipment. You may also find it beneficial to take regular breaks or to spend some of the day using a standing desk. If your job involves lifting, make use of equipment and machinery. If you are lifting light objects, keep your back straight and bend your knees. Use the power in your legs to lift, and don’t make any sudden movements.
If you do suffer from back pain, don’t ignore it, and hope that it goes away. Sometimes, this happens, but if you keep getting pain, this is a sign that something isn’t quite right. See your doctor, and they can assess your injuries. Treatments such as medication or surgery may be recommended for more serious cases, but often, therapies like chiropractic, massage, and osteotherapy can help to condition the back and prevent further discomfort.
You may also find that exercise, such as swimming, can be beneficial. If you have bad posture, your doctor or physical therapist can help you to make changes, which will ease tension in the back and make you feel more comfortable.
If back pain is making your life a misery, it’s time to do something about it. Nobody wants to spend their life in pain. Back pain is often linked to preventable factors, such as lifestyle choices and poor posture. If you often find yourself slumped over a desk or slouching in a chair, make an effort to improve your posture, and try and make sure that your spine is straight.
If you are struggling, seek medical advice. It’s always best to get things checked out, just in case there are spinal problems. If you’re susceptible to pain, your doctor can help, even if there is no clear cause. They can recommend conditioning exercises, and help you to make healthier lifestyle choices, which may have a positive impact.