Here are thirteen facts about back pain that you may not know.
1. Back pain costs the NHS approximately £12.3 billion per year on back pain related costs, with £1.6 billion spent on treatments.
2. Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, it is the second most common reason for visits to your GP.
3. Most back pain cases are mechanical and non-organic which basically means it’s NOT caused by a serious condition, but rather from poor posture and poor use of your body.
4. Low back pain is the second most reason to visit to your GP.
5. Back pain is the most frequent cause of limited activity in people younger than 45 years old.
6. Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives. 30% of those will have recurring problems.
7. Most back pain goes away on its own, whether or not you treat it with medication or other therapies.
8. According to the Office for National Statistics, almost 31million work days were lost in the UK in 2016 due to musculoskeletal problems and back pain.
9. Bed rest is NOT helpful for the back pain.
10. Exercise is good and safe for back pain.
11. Maintaining a healthy weight will help prevent back pain.
12. Surgery is rarely needed for back pain.
13. Your back is stronger than you think.
A tiny pellet no bigger than a grain of rice could banish the agony of sciatica. It is implanted into the spine and slowly releases painkilling medication.
It is made from biodegradable plastic and the tiny pellet slowly breaks down, releasing a constant supply of a pain killer to the affected area which can provide relief for up to a year before it needs replacing.
The medication used in this pellet is called clonidine, which they say does not have the same addictive properties as other opioid drugs.
A major trial is under way at West Virginia University in the US where around 200 patients with sciatica will be given the pellet to see if it gives them long term pain relief.
The pellet is inserted under local anaesthetic through a long hollow needle into the spine and placed next to the damaged disc. The procedure takes under an hour.
Colin Natalie, a consultant spinal surgeon at The Lister Hospital in London said “We. already inject clonidine during sciatica surgery because it significantly reduces the painkillers needed after surgery. Turning it into a pellet that is implanted in the spine is the next step and could reduce the need for surgery.”
Taken from The Daily Mail Good Health Tuesday 15th January, 2019
An article on Health Central says that lately, researchers have been studying the potential health benefits of cryotherapy using cold air chambers. Cryotherapy started in Japan and uses a device called a cryosauna. For the procedure, a patient stands in a chamber with their head sticking out the top, and they wear socks and gloves. Volunteers are exposed to extremely cold (-1100c to -1400c) air for up to three minutes. The delicate body parts like the hands and feet are protected while the rest of the body experiences a sudden drop in temperature. After a few sessions, the body experiences measurable changes that can help to relieve pain.
The analgesic (pain-relieving) effects of cryotherapy are related to three specific changes in the body. First, the nerve signal transmission is slowed. Reducing a number of nerve signals getting through to the brain might relieve pain in some individuals. Second, nor-epinephrine levels increase after cold immersion. This stress-induced chemical reduces pain sensitivity as a protective mechanism in times of life-or-death situations. And lastly, cryotherapy can reduce pain intensity and frequency by reducing inflammation. All of these potential benefits can be measured in the lab, but how does cryotherapy measure up in the real world?
Arthritic joints, frozen shoulders, muscle injuries and other types of painful conditions have all been found to benefit from cryotherapy. People with these conditions experience less pain and are able to return to normal activities sooner. How much cold is necessary and for how long are still questions being worked out. Not everyone has access to expensive cold air chambers, but a little cold could go a long way towards helping those with chronic pain.
Fibromyalgia Treating feels that the use of whole-body cryotherapy to treat fibromyalgia seems to have a promising outlook. Since the treatment is not an approved medical treatment by the FDA, the treatments are not covered by most insurance. Cryotherapy facilities usually charge between $60-75 per treatment, and most offer reduced rates when you sign up for several at a time or sign up for a membership that offers unlimited treatments. It is important to discuss adding whole body cryotherapy to your treatment plan with your doctor before trying it.
Brrrrrr, it makes you feel cold just thinking about it.
Apparently, sleeping policeman can be one of the worst culprits so driving can be quite high on the list.
People in the construction industry due to all the lifting of heavy goods.
Cooks as they have to lift heavy pans of vegetables.
Cleaners as they have to bend and stretch so much.
Joiners as there are heavy objects to lift and awkward positions to work in.
Store check out personnel as work requires workers to stand in one place for a long time.
Extensive driving, particularly in the haulage business.
Construction workers personnel who climb ladders or work on scaffolds are at risk for falling.
Nursing home workers, including nurses as transferring a patient between their bed, bathtub, and toilet requires lifting, carrying, holding, pulling, pushing, and turning.
Dentists and Surgeons as both professions require prolonged standing, stooping, bending, and awkward body positioning.
With so many people offering you advice on how to deal with back pain it’s difficult sometimes to know which advice to take. The internet is full to the brim of different types of exercise regime to help with, in particular, lower back pain but my advice would be to see your gp or physiotherapist before you start trying something you have seen on the internet.
There are however some useful tips if you are in extreme pain. Firstly, try lying on your back, on the floor, with your feet and lower legs over a chair. Support your head under a pillow. Try to relax as much as possible.
Consider doing some simple stretches to improve your overall flexibility and help relax those over tight muscles.
Try standing with your back against a closed door. Align your shoulders against the door and touch the door with the back of your head, your buttocks and your heels at the same time. If you can manage this then your body is in the correct alignment. Try to hold this posture when walking.
Start walking. Walking is one of the best exercises you can do to help to relieve back pain. A recent study found that a group of low back pain patients who did 3 hours brisk walking per week had considerably less pain and distress than a group who were given specific low back exercises. Walking helps exercise many of the muscles in the musco skeletal system, which in turn help provide support to the spine. I can honestly say that my endorphin’s always kick in if I manage to get out for a walk.
Always ensure you keep your back straight when lifting – no matter how light the object may be, and bent when bending down. Try to get someone else to sort out the bed quilt for you as double’s are quite difficult to sort out with a straight back and my back once went out when I was busy changing the cover after it had been washed.
If you drive pay attention to how you get in and out of the car. Sit down facing the door and swing both legs into the car together. Getting out is the reverse. It may look cumbersome but many a bad back is triggered by getting in or out of the car the wrong way. Ensure if you are driving any distance that you take regular breaks and have a walk around.
Finally for me I find heat, heat and more heat but I know there is an argument for both heat and ice especially during a hot spell like we have experienced over the last few weeks. Have you got any back pain tips to share with my readers?