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Back Pain

Old man with hat recovers with back pain to play golf

Managing and Avoiding Back Pain

Back pain is considered a significant cause of work loss10. However, most back problems are treatable and curable.

How Can I Relieve My Back Pain?

Whatever you suspect to be the cause of your back pain, the first step in treating it, should be to see your doctor.

A typical course of treatment for the pain of a muscle spasm or back injury could be the following:

  • Bed rest for a few days, and generally taking it easy not to aggravate the injury
  • Local application of either heat or a cold pack, depending on the type of injury
  • A massage of the area, mostly for a muscle spasm
  • An over the counter pain medication such as Advil (which contains ibuprofen)

How to Help Avoid Back Pain

Proper lifting techniques and the right exercises can help both those who have never experienced back pain, as well as chronic sufferers.

Lifting

  • Always bend at the knees and not at the waist
  • Never twist while lifting
  • Avoid lifting anything above shoulder height
  • Ask for help with lifting heavy objects

Posture

  • Stand with one foot elevated and shift positions often
  • Walk with erect posture and wear comfortable shoes
  • Sit with both feet on the floor and your knees at least as high as your hips and firmly against the back of the chair
  • When driving, move your seat close enough to allow your feet to reach the pedals easily, and drive with both hands on the wheel

Make sure you do your exercises every day and lose weight if necessary. Remember to also take breaks to avoid overworking your back.

References:

  1. 10Cavanagh & Weinstein. “Low back pain: Epidemiology, Anatomy and Neurophysiology.” In: textbook of Pain, Wall D. & Melzack R. (eds) Churchhill Livingstone, 10994