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I have back pain! What can I do to relieve it?

If you have ever said this, you are part of the eight out of ten people who suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. The pain may be acute or chronic and its causes may vary. Be sure to read about back pain, one of the most common causes of consulting doctors.

If you have ever lifted a heavy object, spend hours sitting, made a bad move, or just suffered a blow you may suffer from back pain .

This pain can be mild and constant, or present as stitches that make it difficult for you to move. It can also arise suddenly, due to a fall or some problem with the alignment of your bones.

A backache is classified as acute when it appears suddenly and lasts a few days or a few weeks. If instead, it lasts more than three months, it is said to be chronic.

Causes of back pain

Back pain may be due to different causes. Muscle tension, spasm, injured discs and herniated disc are some of the most common causes. It can also be caused by accidents, falls, fractures, sprains or poor posture. In addition, it can accompany other diseases such as arthritis, scoliosis, fibromyalgia, endometriosis and special conditions such as pregnancy.

Similarly, back pain may arise due to infection, tumor or stress.

The pain can manifest itself in the form of stabs, muscular tension, pain that radiates to the legs and can affect your daily life by restricting your flexibility and your ability to make certain movements and stand up straight.

Consult your doctor if your pain is constant and intense, especially when you are resting. Also, if the pain is reflected in the legs, if it causes weakness, numbness or tingling in one or both legs, you should speak with a specialist immediately.

You should also be very attentive and visit your doctor if the pain is accompanied by weight loss without dieting and / or if there is inflammation (swelling) and redness in the back.

The doctor will do a physical exam to determine the cause of back pain and to recommend treatment. Other tests that help determine the causes of back pain include X-rays, MRI studies, CT scans and blood tests, among others.

Treatments for back pain

Once the cause of your pain has been determined, your doctor will recommend a treatment that may include analgesic medications (pain medications), relaxing and / or anti-inflammatory medications, specific exercises , cold and / or hot compresses, physical therapy, injections to relieve pain and behavior changes (in the way you feel, how you sleep, and your posture in general). In some cases such as those of back pain due to hernia in the spinal discs that do not respond to conventional treatments or that are compressing the nerves or certain cases of fractures in the vertebrae, surgery is necessary.

There are also alternative therapies that can help you relieve pain such as acupuncture, acupressure, transcutaneous electrical stimulation, massage and manipulation or adjustment of the spine (chiropractic).

Back pain prevention

To prevent back pain, you can take certain measures such as:

  • Exercise frequently to strengthen the muscles of the back and abdomen. It is proven that those who lead a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to suffer from back pain.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and a diet that includes calcium
  • Maintain a good posture while standing and sitting. If you have to stand for a long time, keep your pelvis in a neutral position and try to rest your feet in turns supporting and lifting them to remove pressure from the lower part of your back.
  • Flexing the knees and keeping the back straight when heavy objects are lifted to protect the back.

If you have back pain that does not improve, consult your doctor to find a solution and improve your quality of life.

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