Back Pain

22 August 2019

Are you suffering from back pain? Here's your survival guide

Backache can be debilitating and it’s often hard to figure out what’s causing it. This guide might point you in the right direction.

Back pain is the most common pain after headache. And just like a headache, a backache has the potential to really ruin your day, especially when you can’t determine the cause, or when it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

Back pain, including lower back pain (LBP) or what doctors refer to as lumbar pain, can present in many ways, including aching, tight, stiff, burning, throbbing or pulling sensations along the spine.

Rather than a disease on its own, backache is a sign of an underlying injury or condition.

Back pain can be categorised as follows:

  • Acute back pain is the most common form, starting suddenly and lasting for less than six weeks.
  • Sub-acute back pain lasts up to 12 weeks.
  • Chronic back pain lasts more than three months and is present all the time.
  • Recurrent acute back pain may occur if the cause of the pain isn’t addressed. You may have periods of acute pain, along with pain-free intervals. 

If you suffer from back pain but don’t know what to do, these articles may help:

1. Establish what is causing the backache

Back pain can be caused and triggered by a variety of things, including injury or bad posture. But sometimes, albeit rare, it might be the sign of a serious underlying issue. It’s important to rule out everything else before deciding on a treatment plan. This article discusses when your back pain is a symptom of a more serious medical condition.

2. Understand the structure and mechanism of your back

The back and spine is an intricate structure. Lower back pain is especially common. This video explains the structure of your lumbar spine, to show how lower back pain begins.

3. Seek the right treatment

Treating back pain is tricky and often based on trial and error. This article gives you your best options for treatment. This can be over-the-counter medication, or a list of specialists who might be able to help.

4. Keep your back strong

As you focus on keeping the rest of your body strong in the gym, you may often neglect your back, which can lead to injury. This guide gives 11 exercises for a stronger lower back.

If you prefer running to going to the gym, and you suffer from back pain, it may get in the way of your training. This article discusses the possible causes of back pain while running and what you can do about it.

5. Know when to see a doctor immediately

Backache can be a matter of urgency. As mentioned above, it’s important to find the underlying cause of your pain, but sometimes it is a medical emergency that needs immediate attention. Here’s when you should see a doctor without delay.

6. Know how to avoid back pain

While back pain is a common problem, there are ways to protect yourself. These tips from an expert may help you avoid back pain.

7. Manage back pain in your daily life

There are certain situations when your back is strained more than usual, such as when sitting at your desk for longer than you normally do, or frequent flying. These tips, while aimed at frequent travellers, are just as relevant for those of us who sit at desks for the greater part of the day.

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