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Complete Guide on Back Pain

Back Pain

Back Pain may be defined as a Pain felt in the low, middle or upper back. Pain in the low and upper back include conditions affecting the bony spine; discs between the vertebrae; ligaments around the spine and discs; spinal inflammation; spinal cord and nerves; muscles; internal organs of the pelvis, chest, and abdomen; tumors, and the skin is referred to as Back Pain.

Muscle Spasm


Ninety percent of back conditions are associated with long-term habits that reduce muscular flexibility, culminating eventually in an acute attach of back pain. True Sciatica occurs in less than ten percent of people.


Fibromyalgia




Another most common cause is when muscle spasm occurs due to sub-clinical infections in the body. In hot and humid climates, the incidence of urinary tract infection or infections around the pelvis in women is high. Infections of the large intestine such as amoebas is also cause back pain. 

Arthritis of the sacroiliac joint or sacroiliac is as it is known occurs due to urinary tract and pelvic infections. Such people will have lower back pain with or without pain radiating to the legs. The pain will be relieved if treated with painkillers, antibiotics and physiotherapy.

Reputed Disc or Disc Prolapse




A frequent cause of low back pain is due to the slipped disc, often striking people in the 20 -35 age groups. This occurs due to frequent and improper bending and lifting. The disc lies between the bones acting like a soft cushion or a shock absorber that absorbs sudden shock to the back. Repeated trauma results in rupture or prolapsed. 

Fragments of the ruptured disc push and press on nearby nerves, which causes pain that gradually radiates to the leg. The leg pain may be accompanied by numbing or tingling, traction and physiotherapy will settle the pain. If the pain persists then surgery may be required.


Degeration of the Discs




When vertebrae begin to wear down, the condition is called osteoarthritis. The discs are made upto 80% water and 20% protein. As Age advances, the amount of water in the discs is reduced. Hence the distance between vertebrae is reduced, resulting in the reduction of the height of the spine. 

Also when the intervertebral disc starts to degenerate, the spinal canal may narrow and spurring may develop, clinically known as spondylosis, in the lower back. Such low back pain may spread to the buttocks and the thighs and may be back pain aggravated by exercise or poor posture.

Narrowing Of Vertebral Canal



Also known as spinal stenosis, this is due to overgrowth of the vertebral joint associated with backward bulging of the discs or degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis or spondyloisis. Pain occurs during exercise, develops after a few minutes of activity accompanied by numbness, tingling or cramps in the legs and eases after a few minutes of rest.

Inflammation of the Backbone



Also known as Ankylosing Spondylitis, it occurs mainly in men in the 15-25 ages group. Initially the back is stiff and painful and the pain increases with rest. A person with this condition will often wake up with an aching and stiff back. Exercise can provide relief.

What is Sprain


Sprain is a partial tear of a ligament that has been overstretched.

Spondylolisthesis



Repeated extension of the spine may cause the vertebrae to slip back and forth and even crack causing pressure on the nerve.

Spinal Trauma



A fall can result in spinal trauma which leads to serious consequences such as paralysis of the arms, legs and truck if the trauma occurs in the neck and paralysis of the legs due to damage in the lower back. Horse riding accidents and diving in shallow pools will result in acute bending of the neck and hence, the spinal cord, resulting in total paralysis. Damages to the spine due to trauma are irreversible.

Tuberculosis



The infection eats into the bone and results in pus formation that causes pressure on the spine, paralysis of the legs or both legs and arms may happen. However, paralysis due to tuberculosis is reversible. If the damage is not much, bed rest and medicines provided an effective cure. If the damage is severe, surgical intervention may be necessary.


Back Pain


Pain In The Neck



The neck is the most mobile part of the back and that is why problems associated with the neck are more common. The underlying cause for neck pain are similar to those of the lower back pains. Cervical spondylosis is a common condition that afflicts many people. Acute back pain radiates to the arms. Numbness of the hands and fingers occur when the condition advances.



Simple back pain is the most common cause of back problems. There are other less common causes. For instance in less than 5 percent of people, nerve root pain is the cause. This kind of pain occurs due to the compression of nerve root, which is the starting point of a nerve as it leaves the spinal cord. 

It is usually caused when a vertebral disc becomes displaced or bulges out from its normal position, putting pressure on the nerve root. This condition is commonly known as slipped disc. The pain will normally be in the lower back. This kind of pain is sometimes called sciatica.




In a relatively small number of case, back pain may have a more serious underlying cause like the abnormality of the spine, an infection or collapse of the vertebrae, fibromyalgia (a condition that affects the muscles), tuberculosis or cancer. These are more likely to be the case if back pain starts gradually, gets worse over time and seems unrelated to the level of activity.

Back pain can also be treated by

Yoga and Exercise



Back Pain

Yoga


There are many different types of yoga, each stressing a particular theory or mindset, and each comprised of numerous postures and areas of focus. While the actual practice of yoga is extremely extensive and detailed, in its essence yoga focuses on three concrete components:
i)        Body position/posture
ii)       Breathing
iii)      Meditation/State of mind
In general, yoga is a very safe form of excursive for most people. For those with specific back conditions, it is advisable to speak with one’s treating physician prior to starting yoga (or any exercise program). Anyone with severe or ongoing back pain should be evaluated by a heath professional for an accurate diagnosis and treatment program before beginning yoga.

Yoga for Back Care

Breathing exercise:


As you lie on your back, place a small light block or box on your tummy, and close your eyes and slowly breathe, focusing on elevating as you inhale, and lowering the block as you exhale. Find a comfortable rhythm of breathing as the block rhythmically elevates and lowers.

Preparatory Arm Stretch:
1. Lie on your back with one knee flexed. Concentrate on calm breathing, with the lower part of your back in contact with the floor.
2. Arm Swings: As you inhale, slowly raise your arms by your sides over your head as if you were reaching over your head. As you inhale, slowly bring your hands back to your sides by your waist. Repeat for 6 breaths on each side.
3. Preparation for legs Bends: Now turn around and lie completely face down.

Leg Bends: 

As you inhale from this position, slowly bend your leg towards your buttocks. As you exhale, lower your leg back to the ground. As you do this exercise, you may feel a stretching sensation across your quadriceps muscle. Repeat this 6 times alternating the legs.
Preparation for Lifted Leg stretch

From this same prone position (lying face down), place your hands in a “push up” position. Your elbows should be bent, but relaxed with your palms face down on the floor.

Cobra pose with leg bend: 

From the lying cobra position with palms facing down, slowly bend one leg up while lifting the head and neck up simultaneously. Then slowly release the pose back to a lying cobra. Do this for 4 times, and then switch sides.

Relaxation: Distribute your weight evenly, allowing your hands shoulder blades, pelvis, hips, all symmetrically contact the ground. Feel the sense of your natural curves, nothing where you naturally contact the ground and where you naturally don’t. 

Those with low back pain frequently are unable to have the low back contact the ground. Rest and observe for a minimum of 2 minutes.

Lateral leg bend: 

Lie on one side with your lower leg bent slightly behind you, and the upper leg straight over on top. Focus on aligning your body straight so that you hip bones are on top each other, and not tilted. Your lower arm should be relaxed straight out over your head, while the upper arm rests in front of your body.


Back Pain

Lateral leg raise: 

From this same position with your arms stabilizing your torso, inhale and raise the upper leg slightly towards the air. Feel the stretch of your upper leg as you inhale. As you exhale, slowly drop your lower leg back to the starting position. Repeat 6 times alternating your legs.
Repeat relaxation pose for another 2 minutes.

Cat posture I: 

While on all fours, feel the weight of your torso supported on your hands and feet. Lengthen your body from your head to your tailbone. As you breathe, feel the stretch along each of your vertebrae from head to tail. Make sure to keep your head and your entire spine along one stretched line.

Cat posture II: 

As you exhale from the neutral cat, push your shins into the ground, lengthen and deepen your groins and raise your tailbone into the sky. Feel your lower back arch into a back bend, and extend your upper chest forward with your neck and head arching skyward, during this motion feel your upper chest wall expand and open, symbolic of you presenting your heart and soul with full surrender.


Cat posture III: 

While exhaling from neutral cat, press your hands and feet, dropping your tailbone between your legs as you hollow your belly. Curl your head downward and back towards your tailbone, and expand your back. Press your arms downwards into the ground to draw your wide, hollow chest into your back. Inhale and return back to neutral cat position. Repeat this sequence: cat posture I, II, III 1 to 3 times.

Sitting meditation: 

With your legs crossed, alternate crossing one shin over another. Bring your knees close enough together so that your legs from a square. Make sure that you are comfortable enough for your hands to fall on your thigh with the palms face up. Feel a release down the back of your shoulder blades and close your eyes as you concentrate on the motion of each breath.

Modification: 

If your legs and hips are too tight, consider sitting on a block or a folded with blanket that is high enough to allow your pelvis to be upright. Or you may choose to sit with your back to the wall, as this will help you focus on proper alignment of your shoulder blades, sacrum and your pelvic bones.

Preparation for twist & stretch:
 Sit with the lower leg crossed under and the upper leg crossed over. Place the sole of one foot passed over the knee of the lower crossed leg. While doing this, place your hands on your knee pulling the leg back into a compressed position.

Twist & stretch: 

As you exhale, rotate your upper body away from the crossed legs, utilizing one hand to support your back, and the other arm to push the upper leg ways from the twist. You should feel a gentle releasing feeling with this twist as the lower leg and the upper quadriceps stretch. As with sitting meditation, if you have difficulty stretching, try sitting on a blanket or a block. Hold for 1 – 2 minutes.

Lower Back Pain

Exercise


The natural stimulus for the back to heal is active exercise, done in a controlled, gradual and progressive manner. Movement distributes nutrients into the disc space and soft tissues in the spine to keep the discs, muscles, ligaments and joints healthy. And the converse is true too – lack of exercise can worsen back pain by leading to stiffness, weakness and de-conditioning.

Generally a patient’s exercise program for low back pain should ecompass a combination of stretching (such as hamstring stretching), strengthening exercise (such as dynamic lumber stabilization exercise, McKenzie exercise or other back exercise programs) and low impact aerobic exercise (such as walking, bicycling, water therapy or swimming). 

Depending on the patient’s specific diagnosis and level of pain, the exercise and rehabilitation program will be very different, so it is important for patients who see a spine specialist who is trained to develop an individualized exercise program, provide instruction on using the correct from and technique.