Combating Back Pain
Get advice on dealing with back pain, and what remedies are available.
Back pain affects nearly everyone in society, Weston residents included. Studies show that nearly 80 percent of adults will experience one or more episodes of back pain in a lifetime, and that the chance of having it in any given year are around 15-20 percent, with some estimates as high as 40 percent. Back pain is one of the top reasons that individuals visit health professionals and often is a reason for missing time at work. Weston football players can sprain their backs with tough hits. Girl lacrosse and field hockey players might pull out their back rushing for the ball. Weston tennis players might hurt their low back with improper bio-mechanics in their serve.
Let's talk a little about your back, from the base of your spine up. You have a rudimentary tail bone called the coccyx, followed by a triangular shaped bone called the sacrum. On top of that you have 5 lumbar vertebrae labeled L1- L5, called the lower lumbar spine.
Next above is your mid back, where you have 12 thoracic vertebra (T1-T12). This area of your back is unique, for it has 12 ribs attached to your mid back bones. Above your mid back, you have your neck or cervical spine, which consists of 7 cervical vertebra (C1-C7).
In a normal spine you have two forward curves, one in your cervical spine and lumbar spine and two backward curves, mid back and sacral coccyx area. Keeping these curves in place is one of the keys to preventing back pain.
There are a few things you can do to try to prevent back pain. They include eating right, getting a good night's sleep, and having a positive mental attitude.
It is also important to maintain a good strong core in your abdominal muscles. When you lift something, bend at your knees and not the waist. Always face the object that you are lifting directly and do not twist your body.
Self-help home treatments involve lower back stretching exercises as well as moist heat in a hot shower and using ice. Try to limit moist heat and ice for no more than 15 minutes at a time.
If your back pain persists, it might be wise to have an evaluation by a qualified health professional such as a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, a psychiatrist, your primary care doctor, orthopedist, neurologist or other specialists.