With long working hours now becoming a common fact of life, many professionals are now suffering from problems of low back pain frequently. Whethern mild or severe, lasting for a short while or for many years, low back pain can greatly impair your daily life. Thought mostly ignored as a medical problem, its negative impact on work performance and overall quality of life can not be denied. And if ignored for a long time, it could lead to severe repurcussions.

Acute back pain is the most common presentation and is usually self-limiting and lasts less than three months regardless of treatment. Chronic back pain is a more difficult problem, which often has strong psychological overlay: work dissatisfaction, boredom and a generous compensation system contribute to it.

COMMON CAUSES

Muscle strain: The muscles of the low back provide the strength and mobility for all activities of daily living. Strains occur when a muscle is overworked or weak.

Ligament sprain: Ligaments connect the spinal vertebrae and provide stability for the low back. They can be injured with a sudden, forceful movement or prolonged stress.

Poor posture: A poor postural alignment like such as slouching in front of the TV or sitting hunched over a desk, create muscular fatigue, joint compression and stresses the discs that cushion your vertebrae. Years of abuse can cause muscular imbalances such as tightness and weakness, which also cause pain.

Age: Normal aging causes decreased bone density, strength and elasticity of muscles and ligaments. These effects can be minimized by regular exercise, proper lifting and moving techniques, proper nutrition and body composition, and avoidance of smoking.

‘Wear and tear’ and inherited factors may cause degenerative changes in the discs called degenerative disc disease and joint degeneration of the facet joints of the spine called degenerative joint disease.

Disc bulge or herniation: It can cause pressure on a nerve, which can radiate pain down the leg. This generally responds well to a strengthening and stretching program and rarely requires surgery.

Other causes of low back pain include bladder/kidney infection, endometriosis, cancer, or ovarian problems.

TREATMENT

Rest: You should take rest from aggravating activity. Avoid prolonged sitting, driving, bending, heavy lifting and twisting.

Ice: Ice applied to the low back for 15 minutes every 1 – 2 hours is helpful in reducing pain and spasm. Avoid using heat for the first 48 hours of an acute injury.

Early Exercise: Gentle exercise for mobility and stretching (especially the muscles of the legs and back) can help decrease the severity, duration and recurrence of low back pain. Try the suggested exercises on the back of this sheet. Do not perform exercises that increase your pain.

Right sleeping position: Modifying your sleeping position can help ease strain to your low back. Make sure your bed is firm enough to give you adequate support, and use a small pillow for you head. If you sleep on your back, try putting a pillow under your knees. Or if you prefer to sleep side lying, put a pillow between your thighs and if you are side bent, a folded towel under your waistline.

Anti inflammatory medication: Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication such as aspirin, advil, aleve, ibuprofen or naproxen sodium.

For BOX content

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE A SPINE PROBLEM

1) Stand at least every hour at your desk

2) Do simple stretches throughout the day such as placing your hands on your lower back and stretching backwards.

3) Get moving: Make conference call on your feet or suggest a moving meeting- walk up and down the hall

4) When seated, make sure you maintain good posture with your butt all the way back to the chair, feet flat on the floor, head straight and with lower back naturally

HOW TO RELAX SPINE IN LONG SITTING IN UNAVOIDABLE

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Reference: http://blogs.fortishealthcare.com/office-strain-trigger-backpain/

 

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