Back pain is one of the most common injuries seen by doctors and one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. The back can be strong and fragile all in one, the fact your spine and muscles around your back do so much, and when injured, it’s a struggle to very much at all!
Back pain can affect people of all ages and for many reasons, however as you get older, the chance of developing lower pain increases. You can take preventative measures or even relieve most back pain episodes.
Lower back pain can be linked to the discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around your spine and discs, lower back muscles, bony lumbar spine and a few other possible areas. Pain in the upper back however can be a little different- this can be due to tumours in the chest, spine inflammation, muscles being pulled or torn and possible disorders of the aorta.
The human back is made up of complex structured ligaments, tendons, discs, bones and muscles that work perfectly together to support your body and allow us to do most day-to-day tasks.
The problem with all these components is that, if one fails or becomes injured, the rest of the components need to make up for which can cause pain and possibly further injury.
What causes back pain?
Back pain as mentioned above can develop if one of the ligaments, muscles, bones and discs become injured or damaged, however sometimes back pain can develop without any cause that your doctor may be able to identify with a number of tests and scans.
Many common conditions of back pain may include:
1. Arthritis – Osteoarthritis can certainly affect your lower back, and in many cases arthritis can lead to narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, spinal stenosis.
2. Osteoporosis – A condition that is known to focus on your spine’s vertebrae, this condition can develop fractures if your bones become brittle.
3. Muscles or Ligament damage/strain – A very common condition that causes the majority of back pains nowadays. Heavily lifting or possible awkward or sudden quick movements can cause strains in the back muscles and spinal ligaments. If your body is in poor physical condition, frequent strains on your back can also cause muscled spasms.
4. Sciatica – Another common condition that causes sharp shooting pains, this is usually caused by a herniated disk pressing against the nerve.
3 Good exercises for back pain
These types of exercises and stretches are fine to do at home or perhaps even in a quiet place at work.
1. Back Flexion Stretch – If you start by lying on your back, pull both knees to your chest whilst flexing the head forward until a comfortable stretch can be felt across the low back and mid back.
2. Corner Stretch – Stand facing the corner of the room and then place your forearms on each wall with your elbows around shoulder height. Then gradually begin to lean forward until you feel a stretch under the collarbone.
3. Knee to Chest Stretch – Lie on your back with your knees bent and both heels on the ground. You should then place both of your hands behind one knee and pull it toward the chest, this will begin stretching your piriformis and gluteus muscles in your buttock.
Best sleeping positions for lower back pain
The more sleep you achieve, the faster your body can recover – but lack of it, you end up further aggravating your existing back pain which may result in multiple restless night sleeps.
A general rule would be to avoid sleeping on your stomach, this may disturb your normal alignment of your spine. Those who suffer from sciatica may find that sleeping on their side may result in further pain.
Those who sleep on their back may find elevating their knees may help relieve some of the pain, or potentially assist in a better sleep. Place a pillow beneath your knees, this could reduce stress on your lower back and help maintain a natural curve in your spine.
Those who prefer sleeping on the side – the type of positioning of your pillow will again help align your lower pains but also alleviate pressure on your lower back and pelvis. If you place your pillow below your knees when on you side and another pillow below your head to ensure your shoulders are aligned.
Best tens machine for lower back pain?
We have several tens machines for back pain. Tens machines are normally a ‘go to’ machine for these types of pains, especially for those with conditions such as:
- Lower back pain
- Upper back pain
- Muscle Strains
And many more conditions.
Tens Machines help alleviate pain. The user puts an electrode or two on the painful area, once attached on the skin, you switch on the Tens Machine using the guide to ensure you’re getting the best out of the machine. Once the Tens unit is on, the pain will gradually reduce – find out more about back pain relief and Tens Machines.