Your Guide To Fixing (and Preventing!) Back Pain

The cause. Your body’s normal wear and tear. “Women may report mild back pain in their 20s and 30s, but as they get older and the disks dry out and degenerate further, they can experience more persistent discomfort,” says Jessica Shellock, M.D., an orthopedic spine surgeon at the Texas Back Institute. The Rx. In most cases, pain resolves after 8 to 12 weeks following treatment with OTC or prescription anti-inflammatories and physical therapy. If pain is severe, a cortisone injection, which reduces swelling around the nerve, may help. Beware a doctor who tells you the first and only solution is to go under the knife: “Less than 10 percent chiropractor bayview village of my patients require surgery,” says Raj Rao, M.D., vice chairman of the department of orthopedic surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Back pain? Questions to ask before surgery Culprit #3: Normal aging The lowdown.
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Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain

Seventy to 80 percent of people will recover in four to six weeks. The basics of feeling better for typical back pain include applying ice, not heat, Wilson said. Cold packs can be applied every two hours, he said. Take it easy, but dont stay in bed all day. That will just make you weaker. Avoid lifting heavy objects, Wilson said. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as Advil and Aleve can help control the swelling that causes the pain, Wilson said. Easy stretches are advised, if possible. The pain is manageable if its a four out of 10, Wilson said. If its at an eight out of 10 or radiating down the leg to the knee, its time to consult your primary care physician. If youve ever said, Oh, my aching back, youre not alone. Most people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Low-back pain is the second most common reason for a person to visit their health care provider behind respiratory problems such as colds and flu, said Dr.
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Your Back Pain (And What It’s Trying to Tell You)

He recommends doing this easy stretch several times daily: Tighten your abs (like you’re bracing for a punch in the stomach) to activate core muscles and take a chiropractor load off the lumbar discs; hold 10 seconds, then release. (Pregnant? Check with your doctor before doing any exercise.) And if weight gain is your problem, consider making whole grains an essential part of your slim-down plan: A new study from Tufts University found that those who ate three or more servings of whole grains a day had 10 percent less abdominal fat compared with those who ate essentially no whole grains. Surprising Back Pain Causes, Cures Culprit No. 5: The Wrong Bra Large-breasted women obviously carry significantly more weight in front than those who have smaller breasts. This can lead to hunching and sore neck and back muscles, Sinett says. A bra that offers proper support can actually minimize that forward hunch and relieve pain, while one that doesn’t may exacerbate the problem, as you hunch or strain even more to compensate for uncomfortable straps or a riding-up band. Research shows that many women wear the wrong size bra, but the right fit can mean the difference between sagging and supported; get fitted by a bra professional. Prather says you may want to try a T-back (a.k.a. racer-back) style. “It gives the body a cue to pull the shoulders back,” she says. Surprising Back Pain Causes, Cures Culprit No.
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How to recover from and avoid back pain

Albert, chairman of the department of orthopedics at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals and the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia, said the study, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health , was well-designed. “I have found yoga and Pilates are great for chronic low back pain ,” Albert said. “There is so much concentration on core strengthening, which is critical for people who have been de-conditioned.” Lower back pain can cause people to stop exercising because of discomfort or fear of causing further injury to their back. The lack of activity can cause the back muscles to become “de-conditioned,” or weakened, setting up conditions for even more chronic pain . Exercises such as yoga help reverse the muscle weakness by strengthening muscles of the mid-section, including the back extensors, abdominals and gluteus, which are key for stabilizing the trunk and decreasing the load on the spine. “Strengthening those muscles is like creating a brace around your torso,” Albert explained. Lower back pain represents between 20% and 25% of medical claims and exceeds $34 billion in annual direct medical costs, according to background information in the study. Mary Lou Galantino, a professor of physical therapy at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, said the study confirms previous research about the benefits of yoga for helping with conditions as varied as menopause and osteoarthritis .
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6 Surprising Causes of Back Pain nd Simple Steps for Relief

VIDEO: Lara Spencer explains what has people buzzing on the "GMA" Pop New Heat Index.

Strains happen when muscles are ripped or torn. The injury generally happens when you fall, lift something improperly, carry a heavy object or make a sudden movement. Just having poor posture can cause sprains and strains, too. Other, nonspinal causes of back pain include fibromyalgia and depression (often accompanied by anxiety). Fibromyalgia is thought to be an inflammation of the connective tissue (including the muscles) of the body. Depression and anxiety often manifest with physical symptoms. The good news is that most of the factors that put you at risk for back pain can be changed or modified: Look carefully at stress, depression and anxiety, heavy backpacks, poor posture, being overweight, not getting enough exercise, smoking, unhealthy diet, certain medications and job hazards. Risk factors you can’t do as much about may include aging, family history of back pain and having had a previous back injury. Still, there are people with healthy backs who have such risk factors but overcome them. In about 85 percent of back pain patients, no clear cause is ever identified. In order to diagnose back pain, a number of imaging technologies are now regularly employed — X-rays, bayview wellness centre CT scans and MRI scans are the most common. But it is still very difficult to find out why someone is experiencing chronic back pain. Quite frequently, imaging tests reveal abnormalities of the spine, such as spondylolisthesis and herniated discs, and it’s tempting to immediately ascribe back pain to these abnormalities. But bear in mind that these conditions are often found in people who have no symptoms of back pain at all.
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