Backache is one of them most prevalent present illnesses and most usual reason for absence from work or visiting doctors. Even though backache is annoying but normally it is not a serious illness. In fact backache is a general symptom of a number of back problems that their diagnosis and therapy demand various methods.
According to the reason of the backache the symptoms differ. Backache may be slight and minor or severe and chronic. The pain can be detected in a minor part of the back or the whole part of it. You may experience muscle cramps while you have a backache. Backache may lead to leg problems such as pain, numbness or tingling sensation. The majority of problems regarding back is short-term (acute) and after several weeks they would be vanished. If you are under pressure, your backache is prone to be long-term (chronic). The common symptoms of backache consist of the followings:
- Muscular pains around the back
- The shooting pain that can be felt to along your leg to its lower parts (including numbness and tingling sensations)
- Limitation inflicted to back’s flexibility or range of motion (tightness in the back)
- Inability to stand straight
Normally backache appears without any obvious reason, and finding the related reason is not easy. The reasons can cause backache are as follows:
- Muscle pull or muscular spasm which is the most prevalent reason
- Herniated or bulging disc
- Spinal cord compression (spinal stenosis)
- Aging process
- Deviation of the spine (scoliosis)
The other reasons are as follows:
- Abdominal muscles disorders
- Kidney problems
- Legs’ joints disorders
- The person’s inappropriate posture
Everybody even the children and adolescents is prone to backache even though normally the reasons are taught to trigger back pain are as such: obesity, sedentary lifestyle, inappropriate posture while sitting and standing and wrong way of lifting objects. One of the groups that are considered to be more prone to back pains are those who are suffering from mental disorders like depression and anxiety. The persons who are exposed to cigarette smoking are also prone to back pain. One of the most important factors of developing back pain is heavy works and excessive pressure inflicted to the back.
The majority of the back pains would be alleviated after several weeks of rest, home remedies and taking simple tranquilizers. Rest in bed would be suggested for a short while but overdoing it may have more disadvantages other than the merits it would bring up. Carry on your daily activities as much as you are able to handle, light activities such as walking and daily routine activities are of no harm. But if a particular activity increases your pain avoid doing it. If the home remedies wouldn’t be effective after couple of weeks or your pain became intense, you need the doctor to prescribe stronger medication or the other types of therapies.
Pharmacologic Treatment of Back Pain
The building block of back pain treatment us physiotherapy. A specialist and expert physiotherapist can use a wide range of treatments such as heat therapy, ultrasound, electrical stimulation and muscle relaxation techniques for muscles and the backside soft tissues. The physiotherapist can teach you specific exercises that can enhance your flexibility and strengthen your core muscles. Doing these exercises regularly can prevent the probable back pains in the future.
Injection as a Back Pain Treatment
If the other methods of treatment haven’t been affecting you and your back pain has not been subsiding or its pain has been permeated through your leg, your doctor may inject hydrocortisone (anti-inflammatory drug) around your spinal cord area. Cortisone injection would help in decreasing the inflammation around the nerve roots but this type of relief only lasts for a few months.
Operation as a Back Pain Treatment
Not too many persons need to undergo a surgery (operation) to get their back pain treated. If you are suffering from severe back pain along with throbbing pain in your leg or intense muscular weakness due to nerve pressures, the surgery may be of benefit to you. Otherwise surgery is only used in cases of congenital or skeletal structure problems which are not possible to get cured by the normal treatments.
Back Pain Therapy via Traditional or Alternative Medicine
To treat the back pain a number of methods practiced in alternative or traditional medicine can be used which are as follows:
- Iranian traditional medicine: medicinal leeches, cupping treatment and herbal plants
- yoga: of course some types of it releases the pain
- cupping therapy: for alleviating the pain and spasm
- Massage: either for controlling the pain and spasm or for relaxing
- Hydrotherapy: either excessive water intake or using a pool can be effective in treating back pain
Nowadays acupuncture therapies are one of the best options for relieving the pain and muscular spasm and it can contribute a lot in decreasing the back pain. Back pain control via acupuncture can be in such a way that an incurable patient would not experience any pain within two weeks.
Acupuncture’s Contribution to the Patients Suffering from Back Pain
- Pain relief which is done vigorously
- Spasm decrease and controlling muscle cramps
- Anti-inflammatory effects on the back joints
- Controlling neuralgia intensifying the pain
- Quit smoking
- Decreasing the allergies to different foods and cigarette smoke
- Improving some abdominal and pelvic disorders which trigger backache
Helping to improve the other body parts’ problems which bring about back pain
- Weight loss
- Abdominal size reduction and back support increase
- Decreasing the drugs’ side effects
Acupuncture Method for Controlling Backache
Acupuncture in itself has several methods to treat the severe, chronic and incurable back pain which are as follows:
- Chinese traditional acupuncture
- Trigger point therapy
- Segment therapy
- Chinese medicine massage and cupping
- Auricular therapy or ear acupuncture
- Embedding acupuncture
- Periosteal techniques in acupuncture
it will be determined in accordance with the doctor’s checkup. But in traditional methods at least 15 sessions should be taken into account. In trigger point therapy 5 to 7 session are probably acquired and in embedding 3 to 5 sessions are needed.
Acupuncture Follow-up Sessions
Even after eventual treating of the back pain especially in chronic or incurable cases, the follow-up sessions are necessary.
- Lie down on your stomach and hold yourself for 30 seconds in this position.
- At first lie down on your stomach. Bring up your right arm and left leg about 15 cm off the ground and hold it for 6 seconds in this position. Return to the start position and repeat it with the other side.
- Lie down on your back. Bend the knees and put your soles on the ground. Pull one knee toward your chest. Don’t move the other leg. Straighten your back arch and feel a slight tension in your hips. Hold this contraction for 30 seconds.
- Lie down on the ground. The knees should be bent with 90 degree angle. Contract your abdominal muscles gradually and lift your shoulders up. Don’t bend your neck. Hold the position for 6 seconds.
- Lie down on the ground and let you back arch touch the floor. If you are doing it right you would feel an upward force in hip and shoulders. Hold it for 6 seconds.
- Kneel on the floor. Bring your torso forward gradually. Be careful that your forward leg and the backward knee stay still on the floor and your spinal cord and back arch are both neutral. Hold it for 30 seconds.
- This exercise strengthen the back, torso and thigh muscles. Stand opposite to a wall with 20 cm distance. Rely against the wall in a way that your spinal cord touches the wall.Bend your knees a little and let your back completely touch the wall. Hold it for 6 seconds.
- Lie down on the bed and extend your legs. Hold a bed sheet in your hands in a way that its two ends are in your hands and the middle of it is behind your right heel, pull the bed sheet slowly (the knees should not be bent) whenever you felt the pull on your hamstring muscles hold it for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat the exercise on the reverse side.
- This exercise is beneficial for the hamstring, hip and quadriceps muscles. Lie down on the ground. Your heels on the floor. Now press your heels on the floor. Contract your hip muscles and lift it off the ground and your shoulders, hips and knee should be in one line. Hold it for 6 seconds.
A balanced diet is beneficial for body’s overall health. A balanced diet which is laden with minerals and vitamins would decrease the structural problems of the body via proper nourishing the bones, muscles, discs and spinal cord.
As a matter of fact the nutrients play a vital role in strengthening the muscles surrounding the spinal cord or back muscles, thus considering a proper diet can prevent the probable back problems or improve the existing difficulties.
Potassium and Magnesium
Some minerals can loosen up the muscles for instance when the muscle contracts this nutrients return the muscle to its normal length. The nutrients mentioned are potassium and magnesium. Persons who have appropriate potassium intake from the sources like potato, mushroom and citrus fruits are less prone to muscle spasm. Many a times the presence of magnesium is considered an inevitable part of the diet due to its prevention from sudden spasm in back muscles and it is interesting to know that all the leafy green vegetables including spinach and parsley are an essential source of magnesium.
The types of fat that we has either an intensifying or preventing effect on the back pain. The more our saturated fatty acids intake the more our muscles are sensitive to the oxidation and thus they perform weaker in jerky movement.
Thus it is recommended that in our daily diet more amounts of white meat preferably used instead of fatty meats like mutton or beef to prevent this sudden spasms. The processed foods due to its content of saturated fatty acids and oils can weaken the muscles and it is better to consume them as less as possible.
The more the amount of simple sugars in our diet, the more the possibility of getting inflicted by the backache. When the glucose enters the body they would provide the glycogen stores of the muscles and the extra extent would be stores as fat. It means that our muscles will store fat instead of protein and the fat stored there can affect muscular strength and cause the muscles to have weak reflexes whenever needed.
The omega-3 sources can prevent back pain because omega-3 is an anti-inflammatory fatty acid. Sometimes the muscular or nervous inflammation can cause pain and omega-3 consumption can prevent or reduce the pain. Omega-3 is not only existing in fish but the vegetable oils like canola or walnuts oils are omega-3 resources as well.
A lot of people think that their daily water intake is sufficient though it is not true and many of us consume water less than our daily-basis need. It is interesting to know that body dehydration can cause backache because the discs between the vertebras need to remain moisture and many back problems would be obviated only by drinking enough water.
Vitamin A is an antioxidant and plays a role in immune systems’ responses and is useful for the back because it helps the tissues to get repaired and it helps the bone formation. The vitamin A sources are: liver, dairy products, yellow-colored fruits like apricot, cantaloupe, and in leafy greeny vegetables like spinach and lettuce and yellow-colored vegetables like carrot.
Proteins play a prominent role in strengthening and reinforcing the muscles. The persons who do not using the protein sources like dairy products, meat and vegetarian sources of protein moderately, their muscular capabilities are quite low.
This vitamin is essential for collagen development and this is useful to treat the problems due to vertebral tendons, ligaments and discs surgeries.
The main sources of vitamin C are: strawberry, citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables.
This vitamin is essential for bone marrow health and natural functioning of the spinal cord and its sources are including meat products like liver, chicken, fish, various types of red meat, egg and dairy products.
The balanced calcium intake is necessary for the health of the bones and it is essential for strengthening the spinal cord because osteoporosis causes back pain as well. Calcium exists in dairy products, leafy green vegetables and nuts.
One of the reasons of back pain is the lack of vitamin D thus, the consumption of its supplementary sources as well as getting enough amounts of sunlight is necessary to treat back pain.
Phytochemicals are violet, red and yellow pigmentations existing in fruits and vegetables and possess antioxidant properties. Studies have indicated that the more the antioxidant intake the better the muscular performance would be because muscles use fatty acids as their fuel and thus, the necessity of antioxidant consumption increase.
For maintaining the health of your back and spinal cord and preventing the probable problems take the following points into consideration:
regular, low-intensity and aerobic exercise which inflict no pain on the back can increase your stamina and endurance ad help your muscles to perform better. Exercises such as walking, swimming and stationary cycling are appropriate choices. Consult your physician to find the most appropriate exercise for yourself.
Increase your muscular strength and flexibility. The exercises especially designed for the core and back muscles can strengthen the muscles in these areas and turn these muscles into a belt which can prevent the excessive pressure while supporting the body. To find the best exercise for you, you should refer to your physician or physiotherapist.
After acupuncture therapy use physiotherapy to strengthen your muscles.
excessive pressure due to obesity which is inflicted to your back can cause pain. Of you are obese or overweight shedding weight can help you. Especially decreasing the abdominal size can be of great importance in this case.
Consider the following points as well:
- Wear low-heel shoes.
- Don’t try to life the objects that are heavy for you.
- Be cautious while sitting or standing and always keep the straight posture and pull the shoulders back.
- Avoid the rotational or sudden movements on your back.
- Avoid cigarette smoking
- Be careful while lifting the objects: don’t bend to life the object but sit down first and then try to lift them.
- Bed: you should use a mattress that keeps your spinal cord neutral and simultaneously tolerate your hip and shoulders weight.
- Driving: try to adjust the mirrors while driving so that you don’t have to bend to look inside them. Sit straight and adjust your position in a way that your feet placed on the pedals. In case you drive for a long time rest in between.