My Back Hurts
Who gets backpain ?
Pain in the back may develop at any age although it reaches its greatest frequency in adult life. However, within the larger group of disorders which may cause back pain there are certain conditions which are more likely to develop in certain age groups. Forexample, bursting of an interverbral disc- the so- called 'slipped' disc - is most frequent at about 40-45 years.
Some two million people, of all ages are lasting ill or disabled because of it and it is the main cause of absence from work in the United Kingdom. In the 1994 - 1995, according to DHSS figures, there were at least 115 million days of certified sickness absence due to back pain, at an estimated cost to the United Kingdom economy of £6 billion. The National Back Pain Association is the only medical charity working solely to help people with back problems and to reducing the incidence of back pain through research, education and support.
Do's and Don'ts
A sudden attack of back pain can strike at any time, but it does help to be ready. Remember this advice is for short terms, small back pain only - not necessarily for long-term lasting pain.
First of all, DO NOT IGNORE THE PAIN. It is there for a reason - the body's way of telling you something is wrong. It may sound obvious, but the first step is to stop doing whatever started the pain attack in the first place. For example, if you are lifting heavy objects and feel a sudden sharp twinge, don't be tempted to do "just another five minutes" before it gets dark, or before the rain comes on. Stop what you are doing and ease yourself gently into a more comfortable position.
"DO: Try lying face down on the floor, hands by your sides, immediately the pain starts. This takes the pressure off your back.
DO: Apply an ice pack (or a bag of frozen vegetables from the freezer in an emergency!) if you find it brings relief. Do not apply ice directly to your skin as it may cause a cold burn.
DO: See your doctor after one or two days if the pain is still bad. Before you see him/her do make a few notes on how the pain started, how bad it is, what makes it better/worse etc.
DO: Take painkillers at regular intervals (but no more than the recommended dose, and always read the instructions).
DO: Use a relaxation tape if you have one to help calm the mind and ease body tension.
DO: Use this rest period to look at your lifestyle and try to work out ways of avoiding the problem in future. Resolve to improve your posture and, if necessary, to buy a lumbar roll to help you sit properly.
DON'T: Be a hero. If it is more comfortable to crawl around on all fours to get to the bathroom than to stand up, then do so.
DON'T: Do any bending, twisting or lifting. Learn the correct techniques.
DON'T: Say no if a partner or friend offers to massage your back. Just ensure they treat you gently and stop them if anything they are doing causes pain.
DON'T: Rush back to the activity which caused the pain, even when you feel much better."From the National Back Pain Association