Tips for a Painless Life
In society, 80 out of every 100 people complain of low back pain at some point in their life. Around 70 to 85 % of patients with low back pain recover spontaneously in 6 weeks. Low back pain may result from a wide range of health problems such as muscle spasm, back shift, arthritis, rheumatism, osteoporosis, vertebral fractures, and herniated disc.
Only 2% of low back pain is due to herniated disc. Also, only 15% of actual herniated disc cases require surgical therapy. You are the only one who can protect low back and keep it away from pain. Throughout this way, only YOUR DOCTOR can assist you.
Causes of Low Back Pain:
Bad Posture, Bad Use of Low Back:
Keeping your posture steady for a long time is the greatest enemy for your low back. In everyday life, any kind of wrong action or bad posture, which is not suitable for the low back mechanism, will result in wearing out for your low back.
Crick on Your Back, Muscle Spasm:
It generally results from the excessive tension or breakage of muscles supporting your back. Lifting a heavy object, jumping, falling down, and sports activities may cause a crick on your back. The response of your body to this is muscle spasm. Seasonal temperature changes, wind and air flow increases muscle spasm.
Herniated Disc, Disc Displacement:
It is the displacement or overflow of the jelly-like cartilage tissue working as a cushion pad between the lumbar vertebrae.
This piece of vertebrae causes pain and sciatic complains as it is displaced from your back and put pressure on your legs or feet. Pain on your back and legs will increase by coughing, straining, and sneezing. Most of the patients get rid of their complaints by way of rest cure and medical treatment.
If the pressure on the nerves and spinal cord continues, complaints such as loss of power on leg muscles, faulty feeling, decreased reflexes, and urine incontinence may emerge. Therefore, the treatment should be surgical.
Contraction in the Spinal Canal (Spinal Stenosis):
It results from the narrowing of canals where the spinal cord and nerves pass, and the compression of the nerves.
It manifests itself by way of pain in the legs, numbness, and limping in older ages especially after walking for a certain distance.
Spondylolisthesis and Deformity:
Spondylolisthesis, characterized by the shifting of lumbar vertebrae over one another is also a cause for low back pain. Pain increases by movement.
Furthermore, curvature (scoliosis), flattening (lordosis), orifice (spina bifida), extra or less lumbar vertebrae (lumbarization – sacralization) on the low back are also known to cause low back pain.
Stress and Smoking:
It is the most important reason increasing low back pain and making it a chronic one. Economic, social, and psychological problems increase low back pain.
Smiling, working, social pursuits, and holding onto our lives are our most important weapons against low back pain.
As smoking causes blockages in the veins leading to the lumbar region, the destruction of the disc is faster while the recovery of the bone is slower.
It is unfavorable as it increases the amount of load our back has to carry.
As people get older, wearing begins in the bone structure, ligaments, and discs.
As the bone loses its calcium content, it breaks more easily. To prevent this, the body calcifies the worn tissues as a natural reaction, attempting to make these points stationary.
Newly formed ossicles, petrified ligaments, and contracted disc gaps may result in back, low back, leg, and general body pain by pressing the nerves.
Osteoporosis, Bone Thinning:
Osteoporosis is generally seen in women. It leads to weakness and softening in the bones; therefore, it may result in the bone to be broken easily and pain.
Lack of calcium and Vitamin D in the diet, sedentary lifestyle, early menopause, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and corticosteroids increases the risk of osteoporosis.
It develops as a result of the immune system of the body to fight with its own cells. Normal bone and cartilage tissue in the vertebrae suffer damage.
Diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing Apondylitis lea to pain and swelling of the joints and restrict daily movement.
Eburnation in the morning and cricks are warnings of rheumatic diseases.
- People with sedentary lifestyle (Office job, etc.)
- People who regularly carry high loads, and who make the bending-twisting motion in a wrong way.
- People who drive for a long time (Drivers, etc.)
- People with a congenital low back shift.
- People with extra weight, obesity.
- People with weak low back and abdominal muscles.
- People whose body mechanic and posture is deformed.
- People sleeping in beds of which the center is hollow.
- Women in the last months of their pregnancy.
- People engaging in high-risk sport activities (Weight lifting, oarsmanship, etc.).
- (Smoking deforms the way the discs are nourishes).
- People under mental and emotional tension. (Stress, Depression).
Are under Risk!
Rest cure in an orthopedic bed for 4 to 7 days in a position where the knees are pulled through the abdomen is ideal. Lying in bed for a long time weakens the muscles, therefore delaying the period for recovery.
- Pain Killers: They reduce pain.
- Preparations and Bands Relieving Pain (Plaster, pain bands, gels, herbal products, pomades, etc.): They reduce pain.
- Anti-inflammatory Medicines: They solve edema by preventing inflammation in the low back and stop the pain.
- Muscle Relaxants: They solve muscle spasm and reduce nerve irritation.
- Anti-Depressants: They are not the first choice of treatment in treating low back pain. They should be used in the chronic period and under doctor supervision.
While the cold treatment within the first 48 hours reduces edema in low back pain, hot treatment solves muscle spasm and the formed edema in late periods.
Furthermore, there are treatment methods such as massage, hydrotherapy, Ultrasound, Electric Nerve Waves (TENS); these must be applied by experts.
Belly Bands and Corsets: As these belly bands are reminders, it is certain that low back movements will be more careful. Also, they keep the low back hot.
Corset application is generally used as a psychological support and the recovery period after the surgical operation; and it is not recommended except these purposes.
Corset application weakens the muscles, the natural corset of the body. Thus, it delays the full recovery.
Manual Action on the Vertebrae, Chiropractic:
It is not evidenced whether this treatment is useful or not. However, a great number of patients suffering from low back pain believe the superiority of this method.
People with serious problems such as herniated disc, rheumatism, tumor, and infection should keep away from this method. The result may be much worse.
The place causing the pain can be identified and medications can be injected to prevent the formation of pain. It is also useful in diagnosis as well as treatment.
Acupuncture, Biological Feed Back (Bioenergy): Although it provides a short-term recovery, its effect on the prevention and full recovery for the low back pain is not evidenced.
Education (Low Back Schools, Work Environment): Low back schools provides practical information by teaching the wrong low back movements encountered in the daily life. Therefore, it is ensured that our low back gets strong and dynamic.
It is aimed that the work conditions and the work environment is designed in a way to protect the low back.
Reducing Tension and Stress, and Workout:
Tension and stress is the worst enemy of our low back. Restrictions, the stress in the working environment, accumulated debts, family conflicts, and financial problems always increase tension. Stress and tension leads to muscular contraction. Among the ways to decrease stress in our life style are as follows:
- Regular workout,
- Sauna / Hot Tub / Thermal Spring
- Yoga / Meditation
- Social Pursuits
- Proper Relationships, Motivation
For Whom the Surgical Treatment is Recommended?
- Those who has tumor or abscess in the vertebrae,
- Those who lose control of their urination and excretion (Cauda Equina syndrome), (It requires emergency Surgical Treatment)
- Advanced loss of muscle power, sensory loss, or loss of reflexes (People with neurological deficits),
- Those whose complaints continue for 4 to 6 months despite treatment,
- Those with spinal fractures of some type,
- Those with Spondylolisthesis or abnormal instability in their low backs,
- Those whose diagnosis is verified in the radiological examinations (Myelogram, BT, MRI).