Humans are a varied and divergent bunch, however, there is one thing that we all have in common and that’s our human body and its basic functions! We may all come from different regions, race, culture, ethnicity but the body functions, senses and needs are universal. Along with a host of other things each of us goes through the feeling of thirst, hunger, perspiration, exhaustion and ‘pain’. Everybody at some point in time suffers body pain.
Pain comes in different degrees and may vary from situation to situation. The Wong-Baker Faces pain is useful in expressing this as shown in the figure above.
The one pain that is worrying though is that persistent nagging pain in the lower back that shows up way too often, every now and then. Yes, chronic back pain.
Chronic Back Pain and Causes
Chronic pain in the upper and lower back is amongst the most common chronic back pain as can be seen from the info graphic below.
Chronic back pain can be because of a wide range of illness, injuries, disease, and mental health issues. For some conditions, pain and the associated symptoms arising from a discrete cause, such as postoperative pain or pain associated with malignancy.
What Causes Chronic Back Pain?
The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles, makes it open for a whole lot of underlying causes for the pain. A sprained ligament, strained muscles, ruptured disks, or irritable joints, can lead to back pain. Moreover, sports injuries or accidents too can cause back pain. So can arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress.
Is Back Pain Always Serious?
While chronic back pain is definitely worrying the good news is that it is not necessarily serious every time. Sometimes pain could be a result of incorrect posture, a bit of extra weight, or just because of a strained muscle!!!
Often when a person is suffering from chronic pain he/she starts imagining the worst. Online medical advice, hearsay, and their interpretation can sometimes also be misleading and worrying. But in reality, the case could be much simpler needing a small lifestyle change, rest for a few days, exercises and physiotherapy (physical therapy).
Chronic Pain Can Be Healed With Non-Operative Procedures (Physiotherapy)
Take the case of Mr.Satish Chandra a 43-year-old living in Hyderabad. After an injury a few months back where he injured his leg, he also started having back pain. The back pain soon started into a recurring nagging pain that would refuse to go. Fearing the worst due to his recent injury he visited a doctor and to check his back pain. He was certain of an underlying cause and believed that it may need serious medication. On the contrary and much to his surprise and relief, an MRI revealed nothing alarming! However, his pain was not subsiding.
That’s when he then got in touch with his family who suggested to check our platform my-healthconnect.
Mr.Chandra submitted his MRI reports on the platform. We showed it to our senior spine specialist who concluded that his spine was normal and that no intervention would be required.
However, Mr.Chandra wanted to personally visit the doctor to double check on the issue. We facilitated the appointment for Mr.Chandra with the doctor who advised a quick X-ray of his lower back (Lumbo-sacral spine). The X-ray revealed just mild arthritis and the suggested course of action was physiotherapy.
Mr.Chandra is now on a regular physiotherapy (exercise) regime. Here’s what he wants to say about his experience.
Start Living and Stop Worrying
Remember the famous quote ‘Half the things that you worry about never happen’ – well that applies to chronic pain too. As can be seen from the story above. Lower back pain is very common these days due to workplace ergonomics, lack of exercises and unhealthy dietary habits.
So the first step towards healing chronic pain is to stop worrying.If diagnosed early by a qualified spine specialist, even a conservative treatment like physiotherapy and exercise could help relieve the pain.
Let’s take a look at some of these very basic exercises that relieve back pain. These are simple yoga postures that can be done at home. We however strongly recommend that you consult your doctor before practicing these exercises.
Physiotherapy Exercises to strengthen the back (Lumbar/Thoracic spine)
Lie flat on your stomach, hands placed to the sides, take a deep breath and leave. Raise your head, hold for 10 seconds and lower it.
Lie down, lift head, shoulders, and arms as high as possible and count 10 and come back to normal.
Lie down as before, lift head, shoulders raise the right leg and left hand (without bending knees), count 10 and repeat with the other hand and leg.
Lie flat on your tummy, with arms on your sides, lift head, shoulders, both hands, and legs as high as you can, Stay for 6 seconds and come back to your position.
Disclaimer: These physiotherapy exercise guidelines are for illustrative purposes. For your specific exercise plan/treatment, it is strongly advised that you consult your doctor before practicing any of these.
Will be happy to help you. Till then stay happy, stay healthy and stay hopeful.