caring for your spine

Caring For Your Spine

Pain is a very common problem and can have many causes. Often times, pain will only last a short time; rest, treatment or medication will usually make it disappear. However, medications only mask the cause and ease the symptoms.

Back pain can be very hard to handle. You may get it from doing something you are not used to such as exercising, gardening, lifting something heavy or simply moving the wrong way.

Anybody can suffer from back pain, but there are many factors that can increase your risk including: age, weight, level of fitness, overall health, posture, your job, whether you smoke, diseases such as osteoporosis, arthritis and some types of cancer, genetics, a prior injury or a weakness in your spine from birth.

Unfortunately, it is quite common today for people to have a poor posture. Because we live in a technological age, sitting at a desk working on a computer is what millions of people do each day, whether it is for work, school or even for a leisure activity. People slouch in their chairs and develop bad posture, so when they try to move, they start to experience back pain.

How you fix pain will depend on the cause. You first need to see a doctor in order to determine what is causing the pain. You may have tight muscles, for example. You may have one or more discs bulging and pressing on your nerves. Sometimes you may have simply twisted your body the wrong way.

Once the specialist has diagnosed the problem, a treatment regime can be planned. You may need some physio/chiropractic/massage sessions to fix the pain and the underlying cause. You may also need pain relief medication to enable you to cope with pain until the cause of your problem is fixed.

Some people think lots of rest is the best way to fix pain, but this isn’t true. You need to stay as mobile as possible, so your muscles don’t stiffen up. Yes, rest may be needed initially if your pain brings tears to your eyes, but even if you just walk around the room instead of just sitting down all day, your mobility will be better.

The specialist will give you exercises to help strengthen your back and the rest of your body, because you can’t treat your back in isolation. Pain can be referred from your shoulders, neck, hips and arms as well. So your therapist must treat you fully, not just at the place where you actually feel the pain.

If other forms of treatment don’t help you, surgical procedures may relieve the cause of the pain. Of course, spinal surgery should be your last resort.

The cause of your pain is what must be worked on. Treating symptoms is fine for temporary relief, but if the cause isn’t treated, your pain will usually resurface once the effect of the medication or treatment has worn off.

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