A Revolution in the treatment of back pain:
The revolution in the treatment of back pain shows that physiotherapy(physical therapy), spinal manipulations and yoga help as much as surgery or drugs, which also have the added benefits of fewer risks. In February 2017, the American College of Physicians issued new guidelines for back pain treatments. They state that the first line of defense should be non-drug measures like which physiotherapy and massage therapy.
In Canada, $6-12 billion is spent annually on medically related expenses for back pain alone with at least 80% of people suffering from back pain at least once in their lifetime. In adults between one-half and three-quarters of the population will experience back pain at some point in their life (Cassidy 1998).This does not take into consideration the impact it has on personal lives and the economy from lack of productivity.
When you first experience back pain, often the first response is to see a doctor to see what’s causing your pain and to get an X-ray or prescription for medication. Studies have shown that lumbar disc degeneration is present in 40% of individuals under the age of 30 and present in over 90% of those between the ages of 50-55.
Another study showed that among healthy young adults aged 20-22 years with no back pain, 48% had at least one degenerated disc, and 25% had a bulging disc.
Leading Physicians at the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of California strongly recommend AGAINST the routine use of MRI for low back pain since they found NO LINK between degenerative changes seen on x-rays or MRIs and low back pain.
You Have a Back Attack! Now What?
You twisted to get the best drive off the tee, bent down to pick up your screaming toddler or reached up to harvest those apples. You now have excruciating back pain. So what do you do? Remember that although a back injury can take the wind out of your sails, research shows that most people feel a lot better within several weeks.
A guideline to get you back on your feet again:
- See your doctor if the back pain is accompanied by symptoms that can indicate a serious problem, namely,
-unrelenting pain especially following an injury like a hard fall or accident
-weak or numb legs
-loss of bowel or bladder control
-fever, chills, infection
-unexplained weight loss
-a history of cancer
- if none of the above apply to you the following steps can help you along your road to recovery
-use a heat to help reduce muscle spasm and speed up healing e.g. hot packs, warm showers, heating pads
-ice can help relieve discomfort as well e.g. ice packs
-assume comfortable positions when lying down with legs up on a stool or pillow under knees or sitting with a pillow or cushion behind your low back or standing with one foot on a stool
-Gentle range of movement exercises and stretches for the back are helpful e.g. pulling your knees to your chest while lying down, rotating bent knees from side to side while lying down or gentle backbends when standing.
-down lie down for prolonged periods; keep moving or walking every few hours
- If you’re still in pain after a week or so call us at Brentwood Physiotherapy Clinic where our experienced Physiotherapists and Massage therapists will have you LEAP Back into life.
To Keep your back healthy when using technology here are some ergonomic tips for you: