Bones, joints, and muscles
Is back pain slowing you down?
(ARA) - No matter what career field you work in or activities
you do, you are susceptible to back injury. According to the US
Bureau of Labor Statistics, back injuries are the most frequent
reason for missing work besides the common cold. Made up of bone,
muscle, nerves and soft tissue, the back functions in almost every
movement the body makes.
Sometimes back pain is caused by a specific incident, such as
a car accident or problem at work. But often an accumulation of
stress and pressure causes this condition over time. "Back
injury is one of the biggest problems we have in the industrialized
world, a common problem for mankind," says Dr. Glen O'Sullivan,
a Stanford trained spine specialist and orthopedic surgeon.
The lower back tends to be a problem area for many people because
it bears most of the weight and stress of the entire body. Back
conditions affect people on many levels, from causing mild pain
during certain activities to keeping them entirely bedridden.
Common conditions include herniated disks, sciatica, degenerative
disc disease, slipped discs, back sprains, strains and fractures.
For those suffering from back pain, the best thing to do is to
speak with a doctor who can determine the problem and course of
treatment. Most back pain can be treated without resorting to
Prescription medication might be suggested as part of a treatment
plan, but more natural options are available that can provide
relief and improve the condition. Consider these discussion points
when consulting with a physician to help relieve pain quickly
- Use a Back Brace
There are a variety of back braces that can help to reduce pain
and increase back endurance. They range in price from less the
$10 to more than $1,000. It's best to talk with a doctor about
options. Some back braces are only available through a prescription.
A physician can prescribe the right brace and many insurance companies
will reimburse most or part of the cost.
One example is the Bio Skin "Back Jack", which is extremely
effective at relieving pain and allowing the wearer to return
to activity. It works through a double-cinching mechanism that
unloads and supports the spine. The brace has helped patients
to achieve pain relief and increased mobility so they can get
out of bed and get back to doing the regular activities in their
"Most acute episodes of pain are from muscles going into
spasm to protect the spine. Back Jack allows immediate support,
compression, and distraction across the lumbar spine. As soon
as the brace is put on, the patient feels immediately the support
and pain relief. Patients like this brace … and if they
like it, then I like it," comments Dr. O'Sullivan.
- Keep Moving
"In the old days, the treatment for back pain was bed rest
and sometimes prolonged bed rest. We now know that it is important
to keep moving or get moving as quickly as possible. Ninety percent
of back problems will go away with proper conservative treatment
and time," says Dr. O' Sullivan.
Prolonged bed rest isn't the best course of action and light
activity typically helps speed healing and recovery. Activities
that are stressful and cause back pain should be avoided, but
prolonged bed rest can increase problems by causing muscle atrophy.
Continue gentle activities to help strengthen the back and increase
endurance, helping the patient to return back to work as soon
as possible. Consider wearing a back brace to reduce pain as you
return to activity.
When moving, always think of the proper way to conduct these
activities. Lifting should utilize the strength in the legs with
straight up and down movements. When sitting or standing always
practice good posture.
- Cold and Heat Treatment
Immediately after injury, use a cold compress several times a
day for 10 to 20 minutes where there is pain. Make sure to put
a barrier between the cold treatment and the skin. After spasms
and acute pain subside, heat therapy can be helpful in relieving
pain and increasing mobility. This treatment can include a hot
compress or hot bath. Alternating hot and cold treatments can
soothe sore and inflamed muscles. If you have questions, discuss
with your doctor.
Mild to moderate exercise increases back strength and endurance.
Exercise also encourages maintenance of a healthy weight, which
is very positive for relieving back stress. Walking is a great
low-impact choice. Stretching before and after workouts helps
to increase back flexibility.
With the astonishing number of people affected by back pain,
it's important to take precautions, visit a medical professional,
and treat the condition early to avoid additional pain and costs
if left untreated. For more information, visit www.BioSkinBracing.com.
Courtesy of ARA Content