The published material is intended to allow quick access to general advice, suggestions, and remedies that doctors and textbooks usually dispense for the treatment of Back Pain; such indications must in no way replace the opinion of the treating physician or other health specialists in the sector who are treating the patient.
Introduction of Back pain remedies
Back pain is a very common ailment, affecting men and women of all ages. Among the main reasons for medical consultation and absence from work due to injury, back pain can be, in the most serious cases, extremely annoying and debilitating for those who suffer from it.
Although it can affect any stretch of the back, back pain mainly torments the so-called lumbar area (low back pain), as it is here that most of the weight of the body and loads are concentrated at the time of their lifting.
Back pain can present itself in various ways: for example, some patients describe it as a dull pain; someone else like excruciating pain alternating with phases of apparent remission; someone else still like a “burning” feeling.
What is back pain?
Back pain can strike at any age. Its association with excessive weight, lack of exercise, or wrong movements has been studied for a long time, but experts have not yet come to a definitive answer on the role these factors play in the development of pain.
What is known is that certain psychological problems, such as anxiety and depression, increase the risk of back pain. Even in this case, however, the reasons behind the association are not known.
What causes back pains?
In most cases, it is due to muscle problems; less commonly, it results from a vertebral fracture, herniated disc, sciatica (or sciatica), or cruralgia (the thigh pain), and, even more rarely, from spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, spondylosis, or spinal neoplasia.
Factors that favor back pain include incorrect lifestyle habits (obesity, sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, a mattress that is too soft, incorrect weight lifting technique, etc.), anxiety, and stress.
However, in the vast majority of cases, back pain is caused by incorrect habits, postures, and movements. The pain can be very varied in intensity and shape and is usually indicative of the cause. It can be intense, sudden, and excruciating (the so-called witch’s stroke) or more moderate and prolonged.
It can be cyclical, and vary according to the day, or intensify according to posture: it can be more intense when standing up or vice versa when sitting, it can get worse when walking, it can radiate towards the buttock or hip, or in the back of the leg, as occurs with sciatica.
Among the known risk factors for low back pain, in addition to stress, obesity, and poor physical fitness, we find poor posture and trauma related to sports activity; it is not uncommon that in fitness an exercise conducted in the wrong way can lead to trauma and very annoying pain in the back: among the most common errors, for example, incorrect execution of exercises for the abdominals, or lifting weights can be highlighted from the ground.
Therefore, proper physical exercise becomes very important, to reduce the possibility of incurring this type of discomfort. Stretching and muscle strengthening exercises, especially for the muscles linked to the spine, greatly reduce the risk of trauma and contractures, which in turn can lead to a painful inflammatory reaction.
Exercise is also useful for maintaining the correct mobility and elasticity of the spine: for this purpose, massages can also be effective, useful for relieving muscle tension.
For those who lead a more sedentary lifestyle, or for other reasons cannot maintain constant physical exercise, the advice is to pay particular attention to posture, avoid uncomfortable or unnatural positions for the spine, and take care not to keep too much to along the same location.
How to Understand and Control Pain?
Almost all people at some point in life can experience back pain that negatively interferes with each person’s work, daily, or leisure activities.
A generic and all-encompassing term, which includes a series of painful symptoms of various origins, back pain, or more properly low back pain, is a very widespread problem: it is estimated that in Italy alone over fifteen million sufferers have suffered from it. people, and that it is one of the main causes of absenteeism from work.
The triggering causes and mechanisms of action of back pain are varied and depend on a series of factors related to age, physical activity, posture, climate (pain often occurs as a result of a cold), or minor traumas. Depending on the triggering cause and the type of pain, as well as its intensity and location, the remedies for back pain can be different.
The spinal column
To better understand how back pain works, it is useful to understand how the spine works: it is made up of a series of bones, the vertebrae, stacked one on top of the other.
Inside the vertebrae, we find the spinal cord and the nerve structures that carry messages from the muscles to the brain. The vertebrae are separated from each other by the intervertebral discs, which perform the function of real shock absorbers, allowing the movement of the back and the collision between one vertebra and another.
At the origin of lumbar pain, often and willingly, there are injuries or small traumas to the muscle fibers, or precisely to the intervertebral discs, which tend to deteriorate with age, causing, for example, hernias. Back pain, which occurs in different forms and with varying degrees of intensity, maybe due to inflammation or a contracture affecting the muscles, or to real neuralgia.
Back Pain Remedies
Although back pain traditionally manifests itself with pain in the lumbar area, neighboring areas including joints (especially in the upper part of the torso and at the neck and shoulders) and the dorsal area can also be affected, as among the common causes of pain back, there are inflammation of the sciatic nerve (sciatica), scoliosis and arthrosis.
Small lifestyle changes need to be made to reduce risk factors associated with back pain. There are several possibilities, including:
- Assume a correct posture
- Reduce the wearing time of uncomfortable or high-heeled shoes,
- Balance the diet to include foods rich in phosphorus and calcium, alkalizing foods (rich in magnesium), and sources of collagen (broths, tripe, and boiled meats), particularly to prevent back pain from osteoarthritis,
- Undergo massage therapy sessions both for muscle relaxation and for the improvement of blood circulation,
- Use an orthopedic mattress to promote adequate night rest,
- Use local heat applications to reduce muscle spasms,
- Stay as active as possible by resorting to physical activity.
However, when pain strikes, as we have seen, physical exertion can become complicated or even counterproductive. Our first line of defense, especially valid when the attacks are sporadic and not too prolonged over time, are analgesics such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which even at low doses can be very effective against pain and inflammation.
They also exist as over-the-counter drugs, available without a prescription, and can be found in different formats. The tablets and sachets allow rapid absorption of the active ingredient and consequently a more immediate effect, with a good tolerability profile if taken following the instructions on the leaflet.
Alternatively, creams, gels, or patches are available, which act locally. If the pain is particularly severe, does not respond to normal medications, or lasts for more than 3-4 days, it is advisable to seek medical attention. In this case, once the pathology is framed, the doctor may consider resorting to alternative drugs, for example, based on muscle relaxants when the pain originates from muscle tension, or steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (or cortisone). These drugs, in particular, must be taken with great caution and always under close medical supervision, as they have numerous side effects.
Physiotherapy, hand in hand with pharmacological treatment, can allow you to relieve pain even more quickly and quickly recover back function. It can be both passive (massage, osteopathy) and active (stretching exercises, postural rehabilitation). For some, swimming training programs can be very effective. Those who follow training programs must always remember to maintain correct posture during the exercises, not to make too sudden movements, and to always warm-up to minimize the risk of strains and contractures.
Finally, the surgical option can be considered in the presence of some structural alterations of the spine, such as a herniated disc, where all other remedies for back pain are ineffective. It is important to remember that surgery requires a careful evaluation of the clinical picture by the doctor and should only be undertaken in the absence of valid alternatives and if there are no particular contraindications.