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Lower Back pain is a very common condition and it is the largest cause of work-related absence in the UK today.
Backache during and after sitting afflicts millions of people worldwide. Many of them are healthy individuals who just find sitting uncomfortable. Others are already being treated for their back pain.
While it can affect anyone, regardless of age, Back Pain is more common in people aged between 35 and 55. In many cases the back will mend itself, but at mybackcare.co.uk we specialise in providing products to help ease the pain, improve posture, and promote a healthy and stable back.
Back pain is a common condition and in the UK. Back pain (also known "dorsalgia") is pain felt in the back that usually originates from the nerves, bones, joints, muscles or other structures in the spine. Back Pain is the largest cause of work-related absence in the UK. Back pain can be very uncomfortable, but it is not usually serious.
Anyone can be affected by Back Pain, Lower Back Pain or Back Ache, regardless of age. However, Lower back pain is more common in people who are aged between 35 and 55. In most cases, the cause of back pain can be linked to the way that the bones, muscles and ligaments in the back work together. Lower back pain is a pain or ache on your back, in between the bottom of your ribs and the top of your legs. Lower back pain is also known as lumbago. Lower back pain affects seven out of ten people at some time in their lives.
Lower back pain can come on suddenly or gradually, and is sometimes the result of an injury or fall. The complex structure of your lower back means that even small amounts of damage to any part of the lumbar region can cause a lot of discomfort and pain.
Pain in your lower back is usually a symptom of stress or damage to your ligaments, muscles, tendons or discs. In some cases, if a nerve in your back is pinched or irritated, the pain can spread to your buttocks and thighs. This is better known as sciatica.
In most cases of back pain your back will heal itself, and staying active and continuing with your usual activities will normally promote healing. Back pain will usually last from a few days to a few weeks. Pain that lasts longer usually clears up after about six weeks.
However, in severe and persistent cases of back pain, it is important to seek medical advice so that a correct diagnosis can be reached and appropriate treatment given. Treatment for back pain will usually depend on the underlying cause of the condition.
The Structure of the Back
The back is a complex structure consisting of:
The lower part of your back is known as the lumbar region. The lumbar supports the entire weight of your upper body (plus any extra weight that you are carrying), and it is under constant pressure, particularly when you are bending, twisting and lifting. The Lumbar region is made up of five vertebrae, known as L1, L2, L3, L4 and L5. and it is under constant pressure, particularly when you are bending, twisting and lifting.
Back Care - Dealing with Back Pain
With a correct first response to back pain, you can reduce the impact that back pain has on your life and promote a swift return to your normal activities. Most people with back pain find that their pain disappears within days or weeks.
The most important thing to do when you experience back pain, is to continue your normal activities as much as you can. Although you might be tempted to rest and move as little as you can, this will only make your pain worse and lengthen the period that you are in pain.
In some cases, the pain might interfere too much with your normal lifestyle. In such cases you could take some simple pain killers (e.g. paracetamol, aspirin or ibuprofen) to control your pain (if in doubt, consult your GP or pharmacist). Also, more effective pain relief can be achieved by taking pain killers regularly instead of waiting till the pain is bad. You should discuss any concerns you have about medication with your GP or pharmacist, especially when you are taking these medications over prolonged periods of time.
The above recommendations would be most effective if you integrate them in your daily life. That will give you the best chance of controlling back pain and continuing your normal activities
Back Care - Staying Active
We believe that you are most likely to reduce your discomfort from back pain if you continue your daily activities as normal as you can. In the past, bed rest was often prescribed but this has now been shown to be counterproductive. Research has shown that prolonged bed rest does result in a prolonged recovery.
Back Care - Exercise
A large number of research studies have shown that exercise is a very good method to reduce back pain. A physiotherapist or a qualified exercise professional will be able to help you in designing an exercise programme that suits your needs and capabilities. Many people find that some gentle stretches gives them some reduction in discomfort. Again, seek advice from a qualified professional before starting any stretching routine.
Back Care - Hot and Cold Packs
Some people find that applying hot or cold packs to the painful area can give some pain relief.
Choosing between applying hot or cold is often a matter of trying; some prefer hot packs while other get more pain relief from cold packs. If you think the back pain comes from a muscle sprain or tear, it is probably better to try hot packs first. If you think that the pain originates from an inflammation, it be better to apply cold packs. Try it out, and you’ll see what works best for you.
If in doubt you are probably safest to start with a cold pack (or a bag of frozen peas) wrapped in a teatowel, which should be applied to the affected area for 10 minutes before removing and allowing the area to warm up naturally. Cold therapy rarely harms, but heat applied to inflammation will exacerbate the symptoms.
If in doubt you could always consult with your GP or other qualified healthcare provider. Back pain (also known "dorsalgia") is pain felt in the back that usually originates from the muscles, nerves, bones, joints or other structures in the spine.
Lower Back Pain
The pain can often be divided into neck pain, upper back pain, lower back pain or tailbone pain. It may have a sudden onset or can be a chronic pain; it can be constant or intermittent, stay in one place or radiate to other areas. It may be a dull ache, or a sharp or piercing or burning sensation. The pain may be felt in the neck (and might radiate into the arm and hand), in the upper back, or in the low back, (and might radiate into the leg or foot), and may include symptoms other than pain, such as weakness, numbness or tingling.
Back pain is one of humanity's most frequent complaints. In the U.S., acute low back pain (also called lumbago) is the fifth most common reason for physician visits. About nine out of ten adults experience back pain at some point in their life, and five out of ten working adults have back pain every year.
The spine is a complex interconnecting network of nerves, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments, and all are capable of producing pain. Large nerves that originate in the spine and go to the legs and arms can make pain radiate to the extremities.
Osteopaths specialise in the care of the musculo-skeletal system, which includes all the bones, joints, muscles, tendon and ligaments of the body. It is a common misconception that osteopaths ‘just do backs’, although this is the most common problem that osteopaths see people for.
When you go to see an osteopath you will be asked in detail about the problem you have now and also about any similar problems you have had in the past. You will also be asked about your general health and well being and some lifestyle questions so that the osteopath can get a picture of how you use your body and how it might have become vulnerable in particular areas.
The osteopath will examine you to assess where your weak points and strains are so that an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan can be made. Treatment ranges from very subtle and gentle cranial work to soft tissue (muscle, tendon, ligament) massage and stretching, through to joint articulation and manipulation.
Because of the wide range of techniques available to an osteopath, treatment is suitable for all ages, from babies to the very elderly and every life stage in between. It can be helpful for chronic long-term injuries and illnesses as well as for more acute episodes of pain.
One of the main principles of osteopathy is that if the structure is balanced, then like a well tuned engine, it functions with minimal wear and tear and uses its energy efficiently. However, as clever as the body is in its ability to adapt, the stresses and strains of daily life can sometimes upset this balance. Physical strains (injury, poor posture, lack of exercise, repetitive actions), emotional stresses (work and home) and chemical imbalance (poor diet, drugs and pollutants) can lead to a wide range of symptoms that may express themselves through the musculo-skeletal system or be affected by treatment to it.
Another important principle of osteopathy is that the body has its own self-healing mechanisms – its own ‘medicine chest’. The role of the osteopath, therefore, is to normalise the musculo-skeletal system, mainly by working on the muscles and joints, in order to improve circulation and nerve communication between all the systems of the body and thus allow these mechanisms to bring the body back to health.
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