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Nowadays even young people are experiencing back pain and not only the elderly. It’s also one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work. There was even a study that said that in Malaysia, the prevalence of back pain was found to be 12%, and it was rated as the ninth and fifth most common complaint in public and private primary healthcare clinics, respectively, between August to November 2012. Experts even estimated that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives.
Some of the causes of back pain can be due to repeated heavy lifting, ruptured disks, arthritis or some skeletal irregularities (scoliosis).
Symptoms of back pain can include:
- Persistent aching or stiffness along your spine or the neck to the tail bone.
- You’re also having a chronic ache in the middle or lower back, especially after sitting or standing for a long period of time.
- You feel numbness, tingling or weakness in your arms or legs. Maybe damage to the spinal cord.
- Inability to stand straight without having pain or muscle spams in the lower back.
- Muscle ache
- Pain that improves with reclining
Some people may just shrug their back pain off but you do need to seek immediate medical care if your lower back pain is experienced with any of these symptoms:
- Increasing weakness in your legs
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Severe stomach pain
- Frequent high fever
Fortunately, there’s always prevention that you can always do to ensure your back is not suffering. Here are some suggestions;
- Sit smart
As our elders still say to us, “sit up straight”, “need to tie a bamboo to your back so you’ll sit up straight”. Basically slouching is a no-no. Maintain a neutral pelvic position. It’s always a great practice. To stop slouching while you’re sitting down, keep your feet flat on the floor and lean back so your back is flush with the chair’s support. If you already can’t handle it and need to hunch, try standing instead and putting both feet on the ground.
- Avoid heavy lifting
If this is your day to day task, it’s always a great step to just check your back once in awhile at the doctors. Should you be lifting something heavy, let your legs do the work and keep your back straight, no twisting. It’s always best to find a lifting partner when the object is heavy.
Working out can definitely be a good factor for healthier bones for you. Of course, you don’t overdo it then you’ll be fine. Walking and swimming are good choices as well as regular low-impact aerobic activities. It would only increase strength and endurance in your back and allow your muscles to function better. Stretching exercises work too.
- Maintain a healthy weight
It’s true when they say that being overweight can cause unnecessary back pain. The back, spine, or any muscle and joint tissues are of a greater risk to suffer. Essentially, the excess weight that is carried by an obese person puts additional strain and pressure on the spine.
People who suffer from obesity have an increased risk for problems specifically in the lumbar region (lower back). Because there is excess weight in the midsection, the pelvis is pulled forward, straining the lower back and creating lots of pain and medical issues.
The same is true for a hard mattress as well as for soft mattresses, many people will experience backaches. Many experts recommend a medium-firm mattress. Also, your sleeping position should lay flat on your back and for the best results, place a pillow underneath your knees and keeping your spine neutral.