When Do You Need to See a Doctor for Your Back Pain?

May 14, 2014 | Blog, Educating the community, Orthopedics, Patient Club, Physiotherapy

Back Pain Treatment in Bangalore

Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives. Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain. Acute back pain comes on suddenly and usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Back pain is called chronic if it lasts for more than three months.
When do I need to go to my doctor for back pain?
As stated previously, most episodes of back pain last a few days, and have completely resolved within a few weeks. If you have new back pain, you should contact your doctor to see if you need further evaluation. There are also a few warning signs that may indicate a problem that needs immediate evaluation:

  • Your back pain persists beyond a few days
  • Your back pain awakens you at night
  • Your have difficulty controlling your bowels or bladder
  • You have a fever, chills, sweats, or other signs of infection
  • Any other unusual symptoms

Prevention:

  • Good posture and body mechanics will reduce the stress on your back.
    For both men and women, extra weight in the abdomen area can make it harder to keep the natural curves in the back. Too much curve (swaying back) or too little curve(flat back) can result in back pain. Hence, it becomes very important to watch one’s posture and, if necessary, reduce weight.
  • Smokers tend to have more pain and slower recovery from pain.
  • Exercise such as stretching. Strengthening, and aerobic exercise will help maintain flexibility, strengthen the muscles that support the spine and maintain overall fitness.
  • When you stand and walk with good posture, ear, shoulder, hip and ankle should be in line. Do not lock your knees. Keeping a small curve in your lower back will help avoid back pain.
  • When you sit, keep your shoulders, back and down, chin and abdomen in. Slouching can stress ligaments and muscles in the lower back.
  • Avoid sitting in one position for more than 1 hour at a time. Change positions often.
  • If your chair doesn’t give enough support, you can use a small pillow for your lower back.
  • When standing for long periods, stand with one foot on a small stool.
  • For driving, pull your seat forward so that the steering and pedals are within comfortable reach. Consider using a small pillow for the lower back.
  • Sleep on a firm bed so that your back keeps its natural curves.
  • If you sleep on your back, try keeping a pillow below your knees, if you are sleeping on your side, try placing a pillow between your knees.
  • To rise from bed, lie on your side, bend both knees, drop your feet over the side of the bed as you push up with both arms to sit up.
  • While lifting heavy objects bend your knees, tighten the abdomen and buttocks to further support your back. Keep the upper back straight; do not bend forward from the waist to lift. Keep the load close to your body.
  • Never lift heavy objects above shoulder level.

Exercises to prevent back problems:
Stretches and exercises are one of the most effective methods of treating many types of back pain. In fact, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states on their web site that “exercise may be the most effective way to speed recovery from low back pain.”

  • Stretching: Lie face-down on the floor with your feet extended all the way behind you. Lift your head and arch your back while supporting your upper body with your arms. Locking your elbows straight and keeping your hands by your side will accentuate the stretch.
  • Rotation stretch: Stretch the muscles that rotate your back by sitting comfortably and turning your shoulders to one direction and holding in this position. Sitting on an exercise ball can help you perform this stretch comfortably
  • Sideways bending: Stretch the muscles that rotate your back by sitting comfortably and turning your shoulders to one direction and holding in this position. Sitting on an exercise ball can help you perform this stretch comfortably
  • Hamstring stretch: Hamstring stretches are important to incorporate into any back stretching routine. Proper posture depends not only on the flexibility of your back, but also the muscles that link your extremities to your back
  • Pelvic tilt:
    – Lie on your back with the knees bent and the soles of the feet on the floor. This is your neutral position, with the natural curve of the lumbar spine causing the low back to be slightly elevated from the floor.
    –  On an exhale, gently rock your hips towards your face. Your butt will not actually leave the floor, but you will feel your low back press into the floor. You are essentially taking the curve out of the low back.
    –  After a few seconds, inhale and return to your neutral position.
    –  Repeat this movement 5 to 10 times.
  1. Curl ups:
    – Lie on your back with your knees up and your feet on the ground.
    – Put your right hand on your left shoulder and your left hand on your right shoulder.
    – Try to make your elbows touch your knees and then lower yourself back into starting position. 
  2. Exercises to avoid:
    – Straight leg sit ups
    – Leg lifts
    – Lifting heavy weights above waist
    – Toe touching while standing
    – Fast twisting movements

Home treatment:

  • Applications of heat packs help ease much of the discomfort associated with muscle spasm causing low back pain. Patients can use heating pad, hot water bottles, or even a hot bath to help ease the muscle discomfort that often causes low back pain.
  • Avoid activities or positions that worsen your symptoms, such as sitting for long periods
  • Medication like Paracetamol can relieve pain and help you move easily. If Crocin /Calpol does not relieve pain, try ibugesic.
  • Take short walks for a few minutes every hour or two.
  • Try swimming which is good for the back

Also Read – Snake bite prevention and first aid information

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