Back pain leads people to seek medical attention and results in the leading cause of work disability. It affects 60-80 percent of people throughout their lifetime.
When it comes to aches and pains in the back, there's no one size fits all and no age is not a factor. In fact all age groups getting affected, and 23 per cent of world's adults suffer from chronic low back pain. An annual rate of adolescents suffering from back pain is between 11 per cent to 33 per cent.
Dr Kanchan Anand, HOD Physiotherapy Department, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Okhla, New Delhi talks about this serious ailment.
The most encountered form of low back pain is called "nonspecific low back pain", it is usually categorised in 3 subtypes-- Acute, sub-acute and chronic. It depends on the length or duration of suffering from back pain. Acute low back pain is an episode that lasted less than 6 weeks, sub-acute is between 6-12 weeks and chronic is for 12 weeks or more.
Nonspecific low back pain accounts for over 90 percent of patients entering the hospitals. Leg pain is a frequent companion arising from neurological or musculoskeletal structures of lumbar spine.
People suffering from most types of lower back pain are referred for physiotherapy treatments for 3-4 before and in worse cases considering other aggressive treatments like back surgery.
The goals of physiotherapy are to:
1. Decrease back pain
2. Increase functional movements
3. Teach an individual extensive home maintenance program to prevent its re-occurrence.
Exercise a crucial aspect
Exercise is introduced in the plan once the patient is better with his pain. Lumbar spine is stabilized by various specific muscles and stronger these muscles are, less is the stress placed on disc and joints of the spine.
Stretching: Proper stretching of the muscles along with the active exercises helps in attaining the normal range of motion, providing relief to the shrinking muscles from the lack of use. Individuals should never jerk while stretching and it should be slow and gradual.
Core strengthening exercise: They include specific exercises such as sit ups, crunches and leg raise. Low back exercise focus on using the lower back muscles to hyperextend the spine, which should initially be done under the guidance of physiotherapist.
Prevention is better than cure
Strong bones and strengthened muscles are the key to good spinal health. include your daily workout with low impact cardio and exercise ball workouts.
Good posture at workplace
Use efficient ergonomic chairs that supports your back correctly, opt for stand-up desks for some part of the day and take frequent walking breaks to avoid prolonged sitting.
It is the commonest cause of lower back pain. Load and unload carefully; bend at your knees, do not twist suddenly and hold the objects closer to the body Wake up carefully in morning
Maintain straight back for an hour after waking from long sleep as this is the time your disc is most vulnerable.
Hamstring stretch is most important in addition to other stretches, so incorporate this in your daily routine.