Low back Pain – A problem of Plenty
Dr. Manjul Kaith, (BPT)
Sr. Physiotherapist, Kayakalp, VMRT,
Holta, Palampur, H.P.
Definition: – Low back pain is one of the leading causes of disability and most common reason for medical consultations. Few cases of low back pain are due to specific cause but most of the cases are of non-specific origin. Low back pain affects about 80% of adult at some time in their lives. Acute low back pain is the most common and is usually self-limiting, lasting less than three months regardless of treatment. Chronic low back pain is more difficult to handle and may last for longer duration.
Causes of low back pain: –
- Overuse, strenuous activity (repetitive or heavy lifting)
- Trauma, injury or fractures
- Poor muscle tone
- Muscle tension or spasm
- Ligament or muscle tear
- Protruding or herniated (Slipped) disc and pinched nerve
- Degeneration of vertebrae
Symptoms of low back pain: – Symptoms range from a dull ache to a stabbing or shooting sensation. The pain may make a person hard to move or stand up straight. Back pain comes on suddenly, often due to an injury from sports or heavy weight lifting. The kind of back pain that follows heavy lifting or exercising is often caused by muscle strain. Occasionally a back pain may relate to a disc bulge or rupture. If a bulging or a ruptured disc compresses on sciatic nerve, pain may radiate from buttock and down to leg. This is termed as sciatica.
Treatment: – Back pain may be constant or sudden, mild or debilitating. To find out the exact root cause of low back pain remains primary focus. Line of treatment may either be Physiotherapy, Ayurveda (Panchakarma), Acupuncture, acupressure or combination of all. Physiotherapy Treatment – Diathermy, Vacuum-Vectron with I.F.T., Therapeutic Ultrasound, Soft tissue and Myofascial release, Spinal Manipulation & Back strengthening exercises could be planned in isolation or combination. Panchakarma – Dashang Lepa, Kati Basti also helps in deep tissue heating and maximizes recovery.
- Maintain a healthy body weight and a good posture.
- Avoid prolonged standing, forward bending and heavy weight lifting.
- Avoid sleeping over soft mattress.
- Avoid sudden movements or muscle strain.
- Avoid wearing high heel. Use flat shoes with cushioned soles- they can reduce the stress on your back.
- Learn to manage mental stress, anxiety and tension. It may increase pain sensation.
- Exercise regularly to strengthen your abdominal muscles. This will strengthen your core and may decrease the risk of further injuries.
- While using computer, ensure that your chair has a straight back with an adjustable seat, back and armrest.
- Use a stool under your feet while sitting so that your knees are higher than your hips.
- Avoid prolonged walking and driving. Take small rest in between.