Low Back Pain

In today’s IT age, backache has become a sign of the times. From children as young as two to adults, too much time is spent sitting and being sedentary in front of high-tech appliances and devices. With too little time flexing and stretching, back pain has become increasingly common across all ages for various reasons.

The younger population may get strains at their back muscles, ligaments and joints due to abrupt or excessive activity or sports, while the older generation may get backache from disc degeneration, arthritis, sciatica or osteoporosis. Poor posture and intense emotional stress is also found to be a trigger for back pain. Although the pain may have appeared suddenly, the problem has actually developed over a long period of time. Backache has become one of the most common reasons for hospital visits in the recent years.

Managing back pain

The good news about backache is that it is transient and usually goes away by itself after a few days. However, backache that is persistent or severe needs to be assessed by an expert to rule out serious arthritic conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis and other rarer causes of back pain.

Treatment is usually targeted at pain relief with medications such as pain killers and muscle relaxant. This may be complemented with non-medicinal therapies such as hot packs, ultrasound or infra-red therapy. That is only the beginning, as long term care is necessary to prevent its recurrence.

Once the pain has subsided, exercises or physiotherapy will be initiated to maintain flexibility and prevent future backache. Patients will also be advised on posture and back care, such as not hunching, walking with a straight back and using a cushion or ergonomic chair if sitting for long hours. Obese or overweight patients will also be advised to lose weight to reduce the stress placed on the spinal cord.

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