Back pain is a big problem in our society that starts early on for many as more than 120,000 young people will see a doctor before the age of 16 about Back pain. Four out of every five adults will experience back pain at some point in their life and our predominantly office based work environments do nothing to help this.
The economic effects of back pain are enormous; it is estimated that 119 million working days are lost per year due to back pain. Each person suffering from back pain is estimated to take on average, 17.3 days off work per year.
Back Pain Hell
Sufferers of back pain can become so debilitated that it affects every part of their lives, from lack of sleep to loss of income. Back pain has also been linked to stress and depression.
TYPES OF BACK PAIN
Neck Pain This can include feelings of stiffness or tightness, as well as sharp pain and, in severe cases, can reduce the movement of the neck and head. Neck pain can also cause tension headaches.
Upper and middle back pain Pain in this area is often the result of pinched nerves in the spine by the ribs.
Lower back Pain This is the commonest type of back pain with around 8 out of 10 people affected at some time in their lives. Symptoms range from tension and stiffness to pain and soreness.
Buttocks and legs (sciatica) Sciatica is pain caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve which runs down the back of your pelvis. When something compresses or irritates the sciatic nerve, it can cause a pain that radiates out from your lower back and travels down your leg to your calf.
TREATING BACK PAIN
Experts agree that the best way to manage back pain is to keep mobile, however sometimes the pain is so severe that it prevents the sufferer from getting on with normal every day activities - which can actually make back pain worse.
Take pain killers to manage the pain- you might consider a unique combination painkiller containing both paracetamol and ibuprofen. Nuromol is a unique painkiller combination of ibuprofen (200mg) and paracetamol (500mg).
Hot or cold compression packs may also help reduce the pain
Some people choose to have manual therapy, such as physiotherapy or osteopathy.
If you are in the middle of experiencing an episode of back pain, some gentle stretches can help ease any discomfort and will help strengthen the muscles in your back.
For back pain lasting for more than six weeks (which doctors describe as chronic), treatment typically involves a combination of painkillers and either acupuncture, exercise classes or manual therapy
A GUIDE TO AVOIDING BACK PAIN
Strengthening your back through exercise is one of the best ways to keep back pain at bay. Choose a low-impact, gentle exercise that will help strengthen the muscles in your back, without the risk of strain or sudden jolts. Swimming, yoga and Pilates are very good for improving flexibility and strength and once you feel your back is strong enough, you can graduate to something more energetic such as jogging, cycling or dancing.
Support your back - sit with your knees level with your hips and use a footrest if necessary
Adjust your seat - make sure you have a properly adjusted chair
Rest your feet on the floor - keep your feet flat on the floor, legs uncrossed. If necessary, use a footrest
Maintain good posture - make sure your seating position is right for your desk and computer. Position your computer screen approximately 12-30 inches (30-75cm) away from your eyes (arm’s length away), with the top of the screen roughly at eye level. Use a monitor stand if necessary. If you are unsure, arrange to have a workplace assessment
Take regular breaks - aim for at least 5-10 minutes rest for each hour spent at your computer