Everyone has suffered through back pain at some age. Someone may have experienced it young while the other may have felt it at a later age. More often than not, backache is treatable with a few days of rest. If you are in pain, it is essential to find out the cause of your back pain.
Basics of the Vertebral Column
Understanding the basic anatomy of the back is crucial in diagnosing the cause. Your vertebral column comprises the spinal cord, spine, and the fluids surrounding it. It is ideally curve-shaped and can be divided into 5 major parts. The top part of the spine is the cervical spine(neck and shoulders), followed by the thoracic spine(abdomen), lumbar spine (lower back), sacrum spine(pelvis area), and coccyx or tailbone.
Mild back pain can be treated at home with adequate rest and home remedies. Your complaints about backache can be due to muscle straining, obesity, weak bones, improper posture, or even a fall or accident. While some of these can be easily treated at home and with over-the-counter medications, if the pain is severe and persistent, you should consult with your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
In this blog, we shall discuss how back pain is caused and how you can treat them at home.
Excess of anything is harmful. Even if you think you are overweight and wish to lose weight, a heavy workout would sprain your muscles or tear tissues and ligaments. Moderation is the key, moderate diet and moderate exercise will help you reach your target weight and strengthen your muscles.
High impact aerobic exercise, toe touching exercises, sit-ups, core exercises like abs and planks may cause you back pain. You should always seek the trainer's guidance while exercising.
Not only exercise, doing any activity that involves lifting weights or pushing heavy objects like furniture can put pressure on your back and cause you back pain.
Several surveys have been conducted to research how a body is affected due to the mattress. Turns out, the mattress matters a lot to everyone. Some prefer soft and bouncy, while someone may prefer firm ortho-recommended mattresses.
If you use the soft mattress, your pelvic area may sag inside. This will pull your upper body out of alignment which will bring pressure on your thoracic spine.
If your mattress is too firm your body weight will be unevenly distributed, and the pressure would build upon your neck and shoulder inflicting pain in your cervical spine.
A medium-firm mattress feels more comforting and supports body alignment.
Sedentary work life has increased the number of people suffering from backaches. Most of the time you forget to correct your posture while sitting. Continuous working on laptops makes you stoop while sitting. This may result in disrupting the vertebral curve.
Standing for long hours with heels can cause lower back pain. When you wear heels and are standing for long hours, the pressure of your body is laid on your lower back.
Also if you have a habit of sitting improperly on the sofa, a constant sitting in the same position will give you back pain.
Quick Home Remedies
Heat Bag, and Pain Relief Medications
You already know how excessive pressure on the back can cause pain. But worry not, minor pain can be cured at home. If you feel pain over the shoulders and neck you can apply pain relief ointment or spray. Lower back pains due to weightlifting can be cured with a hot water bag.
Fill the hot water bag as per the instruction manual. Lie down on your stomach and place it on the back where you feel pain. Take adequate rest and repeat applying the heat bag whenever required. Chargeable heat bags are also a good investment to treat frequent back pain during period cramps.
You may use a medium soft mattress, that will give your body comfort and support your body alignment. The placement of your pillows and sleeping position also contributes to treating back pain.
If you prefer to sleep on your back, you can opt to place a pillow or cushion under your knee. This will support your lumbar spine area and ease your lower back pain.
If you prefer to sleep on the side, take a pillow and place it between your knees. This way you maintain the spine alignment.
If you sleep on your stomach you should avoid your head pillow. Instead, place a pillow below your knee and one under your arm to make the posture comfortable.
Stretching and Yoga
Your body needs minimal exercise every day. Even though you don't need to lose weight, stretching exercises should be done at least 5 days a week. Stretching relieves muscles and strengthens ligaments.
You can also practice yoga to treat and strengthen your core muscles and back.
A few of the yoga poses suggested for treating back pains are:
- Setu-bandha Sarvangasana
Stretching exercises like a windmill, piriformis stretch, knee-to-chest stretch, seated spinal twist, two knee spinal twists all help in reducing back pain that is caused due to incorrect posture.
If you are sitting on a chair for the whole day, make sure to use a small cushion to support the curve of your spine.
Go through our blog on the best time to exercise for better sleep.
When to Consult the Doctor?
Of course, not all back pains go away with home remedies. If your back is hurting you for a prolonged period, do not procrastinate. Visit a physician for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
People who suffer from slipped discs are advised not to lift heavy objects. Some people are also given waistbands to support their lower back.
If you have ever suffered a fall or injury in your past, or have gone through major surgery, you must take care not to aggravate the pain by doing forbidden activities.
Back pain is rarely associated with any major disease. Yet if the cause of pain is unknown, or pain is unbearable you must take a medical professional's advice.