Back Pain

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Back pain usually originates from the spine - a complex interconnecting network of bones, nerves, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Back pain (dorsopathy) is one of the most common ailments of human beings. The pain can be sudden or chronic, constant or intermittent and dull or sharp. It can stay in one place or radiate in other areas. The pain in the upper zone like shoulder, neck etc is termed as upper back pain whereas that in the lower part of the spinal cord is called lower back pain (Lumbago).

Causes behind back pain

Muscle pulls or muscle imbalances are common causes of back pain. Muscle imbalances create a mechanical problem in the bone structure, building up pressure at certain positions along the spine. Another cause leading to low back pain is Meniscoid occlusion. The more movable areas of the spine contain Sinovial membrane that helps the smooth movement of the bones. This membrane, which is well endowed with nerves and blood, gets pinched or trapped and causes serious pain.

For below 50 years of age, individuals suffer from back pain owing to spinal disc herniation, degenerative disc disease or Isthmic spondylolisthesis. For adults above fifty years, common causes include osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, etc. Non- anatomical factors like stress, repressed anger, depression or tension myositis syndrome can also cause back pain.

Treatment of back pain

In general backaches do not require instant medical interventions, as they are self-limiting and non-progressive. However, it is not wise to ignore it for long, as there may be underlying problems. There are several treatment procedures and they often vary from one individual to another.

Heat therapy, especially moist heat (hot bath or whirlpool) is useful in curing acute or sub-acute low back pain. Cold therapy, like ice or cold pack application, is also an effective mode of cure. Your medical guide may administer oral medicines like muscle relaxants, narcotics, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, paracetamol, etc. Exercises, especially if you do it under an expert’s guidance is very helpful in relieving your backache. Certain studies however reveal that exercise is more helpful in case of chronic back pain than that in acute ache. Physical therapy (carried under therapist’s guidance) inclusive of stretching and strengthening is also good in curing backaches. Massage therapy, as in the case of acupressure (pressure point message), reduces the pain in back, too. Chronic pain is cured by body awareness therapy like Feldenkrais method. Acupuncture also yields some benefit in curing chronic low back pain.

Finally some unconventional methods dealing with attitude, emotions, mental state and life style can come to your aid, too. Some such therapies are respondent-cognitive therapy, progressive relaxation therapy, etc. You should also change poor postures, if any, to get rid of the backaches.

So if back pain is what is bothering you, go for one of the curing therapies that suit you best. After all, your spinal chord supports your entire frame.

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