Actor George Clooney was injured he hurt his back during the filming of the Oscar-nominated movie Syriana. Almost 10 years after the injury his medications are still on. Treatment for back pain due to any reason is not easy.
Back pain can be because of normal aging or be caused by injury, disease or stress. Some back pain are due to the outer walls of the spinal disc squeezing out and pressing the nearby nerves. This results in pain, numbness and weakness in the legs or back. Pain may also be caused by osteoporosis where the bones become brittle. Arthritis too leads to irritation in the bone disc, spinal cord and nerves.
The biggest culprit, for many Indians, is the improper posture of the body. A poor posture could be due to hereditary physical disease, inner ear infection, nervous system disorders, eye problems, muscle and skeletal problems or psychological problems. Maintaining a straight posture while sitting or standing is important as it not only keeps the back straight but also helps the body maintain proper balance.
Constant SItting or slouching can hurt
Low back pain is one of the top five reasons why people visit a doctor. If the cause is arthritis, scoliosis or traumatic injury then spinal bones and tissues get damaged and cause pain. Another common reason for back pain is sitting all day; it shortens the hamstrings of the spinal cord and strains the lower back.
When pain continues for a long time, a physician’s help must be sought. Gentle stretch exercises also help. Slouching or slanted postures cause the ribs to compress and the spine to curve. The rib cage becomes rigid and does not allow the lungs to expand fully. Poor posture aggravated by lack of exercise and, in some cases, weaken stomach muscles.
Poor posture puts the entire skeletal system out of position and creates stress all the way down to the base of the structure of the foot. At the top of the skeletal ladder the first place to often experience problems from bad posture are the neck and shoulder.
Dr Naresh Babu, spine surgeon at Mediciti Hospital explains, “One must do right set of exercises. Strength must be built in the upper back so that the shoulders pull back and open up the chest. Core strength exercises that work on the abs, back muscles, inner thigh, outer thigh, quadriceps and hamstrings must be done. Avoid lifting of heavy weights for it only stresses out the back.”
‘Exercises and Brisk Walking are good for reducing lower back pain’
Chronic low back pain is a common problem and there is no specific cure for it.
People must be careful after turning 40 as elasticity of spine reduces with age making them vulnerable to spinal injuries. Spinal muscles should have proper strength for maintaining alignment and this can be achieved with proper exercises.
Too much of diagnosis for back pain is not required as 85 per cent of them are ‘non-specific’. Back pain can be tackled with medicines, exercise and also a change in lifestyle.
Dr V. Daya Thirumala Rao, endoscopic spine surgeon, Nova Specialty Hospital, explains, “Exercise has proven to be beneficial for low back pain. It keeps the muscles strong and increases the circulation of blood in joints, discs and also gives a sense of well-being. Brisk walking is also very good to beat lower back pain.”
Warm up, stretching and strengthening of spinal muscles are good for your back.
Aerobics, running and basketball must be avoided by those who have lower back pain.
Heavy weights or high impact exercise should be avoided.
Repetitive forward bends increase pressure on the disc and should be avoided.
Exercises for postural correction are an effective remedy for lower back pain.
The spine should be flat on the floor while doing stretch exercises.
Weighted squats also affect the lower back adversely.
Exercise must be done with light weights as this makes the core muscles strong.