Back pain is an endemic these days. Mention back pain and you realize as if the whole world is suffering from some kind of back or neck trouble. And these days no age group or profession is spared. Different age groups have different causes of back pain. The young executive suffers from what is called a Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) due to the sedentary life style and sitting long hours in front of the computers. The middle and old age have low vitamin D levels and age related degeneration with osteoporosis are also to blame.
For a healthy and good quality of life, it is essential that one takes care of one’s back with utmost sincerity. The key to do so is adopted good lifestyle measures and postural habits.
Spine specialists advise that regular activity is one of the most important ways to keep your back healthy. The disc in the spine does not have any direct blood supply and it relies exclusively on diffusion of nutrients from the adjacent vertebrae. If you undertake a regular physical activity like walking, jogging, swimming etc. this ensures a better diffusion of nutrients to the disc and keep it healthy.
Obese individuals load their spine with abnormal weights and lead to early degeneration and stress injuries. Keeping your body weight and shape under check is another important factor to have a healthy back.
Slouching though very enjoyable and apparently relaxing, makes your back muscles work harder and causes repetitive injury. Adopting a good balanced and neutral posture is essential to prevent straining your spine.
Postural Suggestions that can prevent back pain:
Here are some postural tips for different situations:
- While sitting on a chair with a back support, the buttocks should rest in line with the back support and the rest of the back.
- The height of the chair should be such that one doesn’t have to strain to put his feet flat on the floor (suggestion: keep a foot rest under your feet).
- Keep a rolled towel or small cushion at the hollow of your back to maintain the normal lumbar curve.
- Distribute your body weight evenly on both hips.
- Keep your knees even or slightly higher than the hip level.
- If working in front of the computers or on a desk job, try to move your chair as close to the table as possible so that you don’t have to bend your back to read a document.
What to do if you are suffering from back pain?
- Consult a specialist: However, if one develops back pain despite adopting correct postural measures, it’s time to consult your doctor. There are various treatment options available for back pain. Once the cause of back pain is identified and diagnosed the treatment in the form of physiotherapy and medication is the first line of management. In some cases, depending on the diagnosis the option of spinal injection is offered, followed by rehabilitation and physiotherapy.
- Be open to surgery: Surgical option is reserved for only a few those are not helped by the conservative treatment. Usually, surgery is in form of keyhole surgery with an awake patient under local anesthesia. Sometimes if the disease requires microscopic or open surgery under general anesthesia these are usually very safe are. There is no bed rest advised nowadays and patient is allowed to walk within twenty-four hours of surgery.