Rava is an online news portal providing recent news, editorials, opinions and advice on day to day happenings in Pakistan.
Back pain is very common, but there is consensus in the medical community that it is better to avoid resorting to medications to treat it.
This, of course, provided that a specialist does not recommend otherwise.
“It is always important to rule out specific causes such as cancer, infections and fractures, so you should consult a professional if you are worried,” Dr. Rangan Chatterjee tells the BBC.
But beyond being habitual – the World Health Organization estimates that one out of every ten people suffers – and to appear somewhat smaller, in reality it is one of the main causes that prevent someone from working.
“In most cases, the pain is not caused by anything serious and will usually improve over time,” explains the British National Health Service (NHS).
The American College of Physicians (ACP) updated its guidelines last year and established that doctors “should avoid prescribing opioid analgesics” and suggested that before patients take anti-inflammatories or relaxants they should try alternative therapies.
It is recommended to follow some of the following tips:
1. Stay active
The specialists assure that it is one of the crucial steps for a quick recovery.
“It is likely that rest during prolonged periods worsen the pain,” says the NHS.
It is suggested to perform exercises and stretching. The mere fact of walking, in addition to swimming, practicing yoga or pilates can also be useful.
But it is necessary to take into account that those who have back problems must seek medical authorization when exercising.
Pilates is one of the best ways to exercise without putting your back muscles at risk.
The yoga can help stretch and strengthen muscles and improve posture, although it also may need to change some positions if you see symptoms worsen.
One of the premises for swimming in cases of pain is that the back does not suffer from the position of the exercise or the impact, as when running.
In the case of the bicycle, it is recommended to go to the gym and look for one that has a back where the back can be in its natural position while pedaling.
2. Consultation with a specialist
“Physiotherapy is the cornerstone of back pain treatment,” says the Mayo Clinic, one of the most respected health centers in the United States.
A variety of heat treatments , ultrasound, electrical stimulation and muscle release techniques can be used.
It is always recommended that your doctor approves these additional treatments once the pain does not subside after a few weeks and that you are aware of the benefits and risks.
Manual therapies carried out by physiotherapists , chiropractors or osteopathsmay be useful, says the NHS.
The acupuncture and massage may also help relieve pain.
3. Parallel treatments
Small things that you can easily do in your home can help you, along with the other tips, to make the pain more bearable until it eventually disappears.
Among them, specialists suggest sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs because it can help you to reduce the pressure on your back.
And if you sleep on your back, place two or even three pillows under your knees.
Applying heat or cold on the affected area also serves to relieve pain.
“The heat should be used to treat back pain that lasts more than 48 hours,” according to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR, for its acronym in English).
Stay positive that after a few weeks the pain will pass, it will also help you.