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Back pain between fact and fiction

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Description

What you’ll learn

  • epidemiology
  • normal spinal anatomy and physiology
  • spinal degeneration
  • acute trauma
  • chorionic pathological changes

Back pain is a very common problem that can affect people of all ages. It can range from a dull ache to a sharp, stabbing pain. Back pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Muscle strains or sprains

  • Disc problems, such as herniated discs

  • Arthritis

  • Osteoporosis

  • Poor posture

  • Heavy lifting

  • Obesity

  • Pregnancy

Most back pain is acute, meaning it lasts for a short period of time. However, some back pain can be chronic, meaning it lasts for 12 weeks or more.

There are a number of things you can do to help prevent back pain, such as:

  • Maintaining good posture

  • Exercising regularly

  • Maintaining a healthy weight

  • Lifting objects properly

  • Using good ergonomics at work

If you do experience back pain, there are a number of things you can do to relieve the pain, such as:

  • Applying heat or ice

  • Taking over-the-counter pain medication

  • Getting massage therapy

  • Doing stretching exercises

If your back pain is severe or does not improve with home treatment, it is important to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause and get appropriate treatment.

How to ease back pain yourself

Back pain often improves on its own within a few weeks. There are things you can do to help speed up your recovery.

Do

  • stay active and try to continue with your daily activities

  • take anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen – paracetamol on its own is not recommended for back pain but it may be used with another painkiller

  • use an ice pack (or bag of frozen peas) wrapped in a tea towel to reduce pain and swelling

  • use a heat pack (or hot water bottle) wrapped in a tea towel to relieve joint stiffness or muscle spasms

  • try doing some exercises and stretches for back pain

Don’t

  • do not stay in bed for long periods of time

Who this course is for:

  • every one

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