October 20, 2006

Oh My Achey Breaky Back

Apparently there are many of us who suffer from back problems. Probably everyone knows at least one person who has had difficulty with some sort of back pain.

According to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital:
"Back pain may be second only to the common cold as the most universal medical complaint. Most of us will experience serious back pain at some point in our lives."

"Muscle tension caused by stress or poor posture also can make your back ache. Although most backaches aren't serious, there are times when back pain could indicate a more severe condition. The good news is that most minor backaches subside within a few days. In the meantime, here are some tips to help you recover:

* Take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen, for pain relief. If the pain is severe, your doctor may recommend a prescription medication.
Maintain as many of your ordinary activities as your pain will allow.

* Studies show patients who followed this advice recovered more quickly than those who rested in bed.
* If the pain is severe, bed rest should be limited to two to three days. Anything longer will slow your recovery.
Apply an ice pack for 5 to 10 minutes at a time for the first 48 hours. After that, use moist heat. "

At another site on Back info,
Why exercise is good for your back:

"When abdominal and back muscles are toned, they work together like a natural corset for your back, providing support and improving posture

Fit muscles have better fine control and more power in reserve, giving smoother motion during lifting and moving.

Fitness postpones fatigue, helping you avoid tired habits like not lifting correctly.

Exercise makes bones denser and stronger.

With stretching, exercise increases flexibility, helps you use good postures for lifting and sitting

Helps you lose weight and stop smoking! Excess body weight and smoking are bad for backs.

Exercise improves blood circulation, and so enhances nutrition and recovery processes in your back."

We have a healthy vibrator similar to the one in the graphic, and at times we are grateful for the aid in healing a sore back. I would like to get to the place that I am avoiding back pain instead of periodically tending a damaged muscle or some form of back pain.


Anonymous said...

I also like it when we use TigerBalm and manually massage it into the affected areas, using the heat and hand pressure to make us feel better. Don't you?

Causalien said...

Maybe you two can take massage lessons together and some dance lessons as well.

One to rub away the pain, the other to get better posture.

Carina said...

I'm a big believer in therapeutic my line of work repetitive motion injuries are common and massage fixes it right up.
I think many back problems come from not being fit. That said, I'm fit & have a herniated disk and it sucks! As long as I stay active it doesn't bother me too much, though.

Anonymous said...

Hi Causalien,
Both very good suggestions and worth discussing in the very near future. Thanks for the good ideas.
I have been at my new job 3 weeks and can tell my back is getting stronger and the pain is less but the posture needs improvement.

Hi Carina,
Ouch, a herniated disk must be painful. Does your profession ease the pain or make it worse? Is that something that can be repaired?
I agree that many of the minor back pain is due to lack of exercise; in my case, it is from so many consecutive hours sitting at a computer at work. Obviously not sitting in the good posture position.