JP Hospital


Dos & Don’ts in Back Pain

Back pain, particularly lower back pain, is the most common form of pain. Chronic back pain is a leading cause of disability worldwide and one of the most common reasons for people of working age to drop out of the workforce. About 70-80% of the population experience back pain at some point of their life. There are number of causes of back pain. Most of the times the cause is mechanical, means that is because of strain on muscles. But some important causes may be slip disc, lumbar spondylosis, lordosis, spondylolithesis, spinal stenosis etc.
Back pain may be localized to back only or may there may be associated radiating pain in one or both the legs. Usually pain is mechanical settles by itself and may be on and off, and not worrisome. But there are some symptoms or signs (as mentioned below) which should be taken seriously and one should consult the doctor

• Radiating pain in one or both legs (sciatica)
• Weakness of legs/foot/foot drop
• Tingling or Numbness of Legs
• Urinary or Stool Retention
• Urinary or Stool Incontinence
• Perianal Sensory Loss/ Anesthesia

Most of the time back pain and radiating pain get betters with conservative treatment. But in some patient even after trial of conservative treatment intractable pain persists or in some other conditions surgery is good options.

There are some facts associated with back pain which should be considered as below.

Wear a Spinal Belt
Wearing a spinal belt for prolonged period should be avoided as it may weaken the spinal muscles which will not be able to provide support to spine. Wearing a belt for short acute period is still acceptable.

Complete Bed Rest
For acute pain bed rest for 3 to 5 days is recommended. In patient with chronic back pain bed rest is usually not helpful and actually may prolong the chronicity.

Sleep on Hard Surface
It is advisable to sleep on firm mattress, using very soft or hard mattress which donot maintain natural curves of spine actually may aggravates the pain.

One should avoid prolonged sitting and bending forward while standing as these postures put maximum load on spine. people with back pain can bend forward by bending their knees ( half squad position).

There is positive correlation between weight and lower back pain. Overweight increases the load on the spine which leads to early and rapid degeneration of the spine. one should maintain ideal weight to avoid chronic back pain.

Pain Killer Medication
Pain killers may be used for short duration of time for acute pain, prolonged use of pain killers may leads to side effects like gastritis, ulcers etc

Some Myths Associated with Back Pain

Exercise is bad for back and neck pain
Regular exercise of back, abdominal and neck muscles helps to strengths the muscles which lead to a uniform distribution of weight which helps to prevent degeneration of the spine.

Traction is helpful
Various studies have shown that traction is not helpful. Actually it may be harmful especially in unstable spine.

Spine surgery is not safe
It is a general myth that spine surgery is not safe or successful. Although most of the patients don’t require surgery. But in whom the surgery is required spine surgery has excellent results. But for that patient selection has to be perfect.

Life after spine surgery
It is a common myth that after spine surgeries one cannot live a normal life. Now with the advancement and use of modern technologies ( like endoscopic/microscopic) the patient can walk immediately after surgery and minimal bed rest is required. Most of the patients can lead a normal life after spine surgerie

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