BACK PAIN??? - Here is what you can do!!!!17:11
Guys, usually I don’t write this long article but this post needed the length and depth keeping the importance and priority in mind, so please spare few minutes to read full.
BACK PAIN, the most common complaint or suffering that I hear as a Physiotherapist and a Pilates instructor. When we get diagnosed or think that we have back pain, most of the time we get to hear WHAT NOT TO DO BUT HARDLY HEAR WHAT TO DO, to get rid of this depressing condition!! Today let’s see, what back pain is and what to do when this pierces into your life. The same goes for your NECK PAIN TOO.
Back pain is a condition where you get pain in your spinal region with some or most of the spinal activities or movements. The reasons could be several. To mention few, it could be a spinal muscle strain, spinal stenosis, disc tear/ bulge/protrusion/prolapsed, spinal arthritis, Spondylolisthesis, osteoporosis & idiopathic (unknown cause). Phew!!! Aren’t these names scary and hard to pronounce.
Well, most episodes of back should resolve, usually within few weeks. However, some episodes can persist, which can be frustrating to both the patient and the healthcare professional. When these symptoms persist we, usually, go for an MRI. The radiologists often detect some findings which may be the actual cause of the pain or findings that are normal. Some findings like disc bulge/tear/prolapsed can cause anxiety for patients thinking they are developing some serious spinal problem. This may not be true in most of the cases because studies have shown over and over, that disc bulges are exceedingly common, and can be seen in MRIs of people without back pain or problems.
Here, this does not mean MRIs are not correct or not helpful; this means that just because an MRI has some abnormal findings, there is some problem. As we age, our discs and structures around the spine or spine itself will have some degenerative findings just like graying of hair or skin wrinkles J. This is the reason why you see a written MRI report say at the end TO BE CORELATED CLINICALLY!!!
Now the question still remains, WHAT TO DO WHEN WE HAVE BACK PAIN? The answer is, the disc bulge or the muscle strain does not need any treatment but the primary cause of the back pain needs to be better understood and treated, which is the ROOT CAUSE. I am sure you all will agree that the strain or bulge just did not crop up on its own. There are some factors which have been affecting these structures repeatedly or for prolonged duration or both. These factors* are;
- Prolonged improper/poor postures causing muscular imbalances around spine.
- Repetitive activities, causing strain or injury to the structures around the spine.
If the disc has not come out on its own, then definitely it will not go in on its own!!! This is what you need to do:
- Correct the poor/improper posture (static or dynamic) with the help of your Physiotherapist or any health care professional. This will help in identifying the muscle groups which are tight and/or weak.
- Identify the repetitive activity which is causing the stress. This can be done by careful questioning on your daily activities or history of any injuries.
- After a successful assessment from above two, along with your therapist, negotiate on an exercise program, emphasizing on core strengthening, & which suits you best and which can be done as a daily workout. Every exercise will work for you, provided IF YOU WORK by doing the exercise. Addressing these factors will avoid re occurrences of your back pain.
- Along with a good exercise program, regular MANUAL THERAPY from your Physiotherapist can keep your back healthy.
- Try to be consistent with the exercise program which will help you to reduce the stress slowly on the structures. Do not expect miracles on day one. Everything has a timeline. The recovery will depend on your condition, your previous fitness levels, lifestyle and age.
Guys don't be afraid and sit at homes wining about your pain. Come out and talk to your health care professionals to eliminate this condition to lead a active, non-stressful and productive LIFE.
*NOTE: These guidelines are not for back pains due to accidents or fractures.
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