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Did you know that at least 60% of the population has experienced back pain at some point in their lives? Back pain can affect people of any age or occupation, certain lifestyles can also increase the chance of suffering from it.
But first, you need to know the root causes for your back pain.
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Why Should You Be Worried?
Our spine is very fragile, especially our lower back. Back pain usually develops in the lower back region because it carries the weight of the body. Back pain is caused by both spinal and non-spinal cases.
A few common spinal issues are:
1. Ligament inflammation, or otherwise known as ‘Back Sprain’, is a common one. This occurs when there is any damage or inflammation of the ligaments connecting the bones.
2. When there is an injury to the muscles of the back, it is called ‘Back Strain’. Both the back strain and sprain are caused by improper posture, heavy lifting, or extensive stretching.
3. According to the Arthritis Foundation, when the rubbery substance that works as a cushion for the vertebrae begins to shrink, it is called disc degeneration. This can subsequently lead to vertebrae abrasion and cause severe pain.
4. A herniated disc is when there is damage to the exterior of the disc and the jelly-like substance inside is pushed out. This instance can be compared with a doughnut with filling. When the exterior is torn, the filling inside is squeezed out.
5. Scoliosis usually occurs during a rapid growth period. Scoliosis refers to an abnormal curvature of the spine, which can turn into a C-shape or an S-shape. This curvature can also occur when you put tremendous pressure on one part of your spine.
6. Spondylolisthesis is one of the most common and serious issues when it comes to back problems, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. It occurs when, due to an injury, a crack in your vertebrae causes it to shift out of place.
7. When the canal with the spinal cord nerves narrows, it’s called spinal stenosis. It happens due to herniated discs and degenerative discs.
8. The breakdown of the joint and disc cartilage in the neck and lower back is called arthritis of the spine. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis are common types of arthritis that lead to back pain.
9. Injuries from trauma (such as a car accident or falling) are common causes of back pain. A traumatic injury can overly compress the spine, leading to a herniated disc, or put pressure on the spinal cord nerves.
10. A traumatic injury is another very common reason for spinal injury. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, an accident or fall can lead to a herniated disc or deshape the spine.
A few of the non-spinal back issues are also caused by menstrual cycles, kidney stones, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, etc.
If you have already been diagnosed with one of those serious issues like herniated discs, scoliosis, or spondylosis, you need to be under specialist care and do exactly as your doctor suggests.
There are so many innovative options out there now, all thanks to the tremendous growth of medical science.
These days, physical therapy combined with surgery can help empower patients who do not have control over their limbs due to spinal injuries. Epidural Stimulation is one of those scientific breakthroughs.
Exercises to Avoid with Back Pain
If you have a history of back pain, there are certain exercises that you need to avoid. The biggest culprits are usually the most common ab exercises. Another thing that you need to keep in mind is, the best thing for back pain is to keep it engaged.
If you are moving, more blood will flow to your muscles and help the muscles relax. While it is tempting to stay in bed, you need to engage your back and not be bedridden for days.
Confusing your natural lumbar curve is the last thing you want to do when you have back pain. Staying engaged and working out in the wrong way can both cause injuries.
1. Toe Touching
One of the most popular forms of stretching is standing toe touches. This puts a lot of stress on your lower back, the ligaments, and discs of your spine. Because this puts a lot of pressure on the disc, overdoing this can lead to abrasion and degeneration of the vertebrae.
This can also harm your lumbar posture.
Do this Instead: Take a towel and use it to stretch your legs. Wrap the towel around one foot. Keep the other foot on the ground with your knee bent. Stretch by pulling on the towel. During this exercise, you need to keep your back on the ground.
2. Sit Ups/Crunches
Sit-ups are another favorite for a core workout but they only target 20% of the desired muscle area. While you are pulling yourself up with your hands behind your neck, it can strain your upper back and while your hip flexors work to pull you up, they hit the lower back.
Do this Instead: Try planks. Planks are a great core exercise that hits the targeted areas way more than a sit up. It is also good for your back.
3. Double Leg Raisers
Double leg raises are a good way of exercising your core, but it can put a lot of strain on your lower back. When you pull both of your legs up, you create tension in the lower spine because it is almost impossible to keep your back on the ground.
You can try to use your hands for support, but try to avoid it if you have a back injury.
Do this Instead: Do a single leg raise. Keep one of your legs on the ground with the knee bent. Keep your hands flat on the ground. Lift the other foot from the ground just like you would in a double leg raise. Repeat this for the other foot.
4. Spinning Bike
When you are on the spinning bike and you are leaning forward, it puts a lot of pressure on your lower back. Cycling for a long period of time can also create unwanted tension. Do this Instead: Always cycle in an upright position even though we have a natural tendency to lean forward while biking.
This supports your natural lumbar curve and keeps your back strain-free.
5. Superman Back Extension
This is used to stretch your back, but it puts a lot of pressure on it. You start off by lying face down on the ground. When you raise your opposite hand and leg up, your lower back undergoes a lot of pressure, which can create a negative impact.
Do this Instead: Bird-dog can be an alternative to the superman back extension because it doesn’t overload your spine. Start on your hands and knees. Engage your core and simultaneously lift up one arm and the opposite leg.
While lifting the leg up, raise it up to your hip level and do not tilt your pelvis.
5 Tips to Relieve Your Back Pain
Here are a few tips that will help you relieve your back pain. We strongly advise going to a specialist if the back pain gets too severe and consulting a doctor before taking any medication.
It’s normal to need to abstain from utilizing your back when it hurts. But surprisingly enough, you need to keep it engaged. For most kinds of back pain, inertia – particularly bed rest – accomplishes more damage than anything else.
Bed rest can moderate the mending procedure and make your muscles more fragile and in increasing agony. Despite the fact that you would like to keep away from exercises that exacerbate your agony, you need to put on a brave face and work through the pain.
You may need to explore options to seek comfort while you rest. A lot of people found it helpful to lie on their with their hips and knees twisted, with pads under their knees. Lying on your side with your knees twisted and a cushion between them may also help.
Icing the Affected Area
Try putting ice on your affected area. A bag of frozen peas on your back can help relieve the pain. Heat is good for loosening up tight muscles. You can try to alter between these two as many found that to be the most helpful.
But always remember to put a towel so that the heating pad or ice cannot come in direct contact with your skin. Try it for 15 minutes every hour to lessen your pain.
Try basic painkillers to get temporary relief. You should always go for over the counter painkillers. These simple medications usually work best to take care of back pain. Never try a higher dose than recommended.
Always consult with your doctor before switching to a new medication.
BSR (Body Stress Release)
BSR is a technique that uses a thumb or finger to release stress from different parts of your body. It appeals to the part of the brain that initiates the self-healing process. You can try it out with a properly trained specialist.
Always remember, do not try to work with tight muscles or put more stress on already stressed muscles. Your first priority is to release the tightly locked muscles. Remember to treat your back well!
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