Back pain problems may be the result of an injury, a degenerative disease, poor posture or even infection. In many cases, back problems manifest themselves in the form of pain, stiffness and impaired gait, which can lead to decreased activity. In some cases, these problems are serious enough to warrant a person taking time off from work and seeking medical help. Treatment for back pain problems are our specialty here at Peak MSK Physiotherapy in Cheltenham.
Common back problems
- Herniated discs – This occurs when the discs in the vertebrae of the spine become ruptured. This can be a very painful condition.
- Injuries, as in the case of sprains and fractures, may be brief or chronic and may occur from improper lifting or twisting, falls and/or accidents can also lead to injury.
- Scoliosis or curvature of the spine throws the spine out of alignment and causes pain later in life.
- Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Spinal stenosis – a narrowing of the spine that puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.
- Osteoporosis – while not painful in itself can lead to fractured vertebrae which cause pain.
- Fibromyalgia – this causes widespread pain and fatigue.
- Infections, as in the case of osteomyelitis. This involves the vertebrae and can cause pain.
- Stress – This causes back muscles to become tense and painful.
The lower back is a region that is easily susceptible to back pain, as it connects the upper and lower back and bears most of the weight of the body. Housewives, athletes, gardeners and workers or anyone who does any kind of heavy lifting in their jobs often sustain back injury during the course of their duties.
Preventing back problems
Back pain problems such as arthritis and osteoporosis that result from wear and tear may be unavoidable. However, some back problems can be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight through proper diet and exercise. Exercise, especially weight-bearing exercises like walking and weight training, helps to keep back muscles strong and prevent osteoporosis.
Proper body mechanics can prevent back injury and a host of problems. The rule is to use the quadriceps muscles at the front of the legs when lifting and hold the object close to the body so as not to strain the lower back. Also, use common sense. Do not attempt to lift something that is too heavy for you. Get help if necessary.
Correct posture when sitting and standing is important. Do not slouch, as this puts pressure on the lower back and neck. Sit with feet flat on the floor and knees slightly lower than your hips.
At Peak MSK Physiotherapy, we will educate you in ways of preventing your back problems from recurring and/or train you to manage these problems and alleviate pain. Intervention will include the use of heat or cold as well as stretching and strengthening exercises. By following our guidance, you will be on your way to living a pain-free life and restoration to normal movement.