Back pain is a very common reason why people see a doctor. In fact, studies have shown that it is the most common cause of disability in the world. However, you can prevent it, and if you already have it, relieve it my simple treatments at home.
It is rare that surgery will be needed to treat back pain.
Causes of Back Pain
- Strain on the muscles and ligaments of the back due to heavy lifting or poor posture
- Rupture of the disks between the bones of the spine
- Osteoarthritis of the joints of the lower back
- Osteoporosis of the bones of the spine leading to small fractures
How to prevent back pain
- Exercise in ways that do not put too much stress on your back e.g. walking and swimming are examples of aerobic exercises to prevent pain.
- Maintain a healthy weight or reduce your weight if you’re overweight
- Quit smoking
- Don’t slouch when you stand
- When you sit, choose a seat with good back support and armrests
- Avoid heavy lifting. If at all you must lift a heavy object, keep your back straight as you lift it.
How to treat back pain at home
Back pain usually goes away on its own. But if it doesn’t, then you could:
- Use over the counter pain medications
- Apply heat on your back
- Continue with light activities
- Stop all activities that increase the pain
When should you see a doctor?
- If the pain persists more than a few weeks
- It the pain is severe and does not improve with rest
- If it causes weakness and numbness in your leg
- If it occurs with weight loss