July 20, 2014 • Back pain is common. Nearly all of us have at least one episode in our lives, and two-thirds of us will have it repeatedly. Exercise, though it may seem counterintuitive, is often the best medicine.
February 26, 2018 • No, we’re not talking about squatting. We’re talking about a way to bend over that has nearly disappeared in our culture. And it could be one reason why back pain is so common in the U.S.
Lift smart. Avoid heavy lifting, if possible, but if you must lift something heavy, let your legs do the work. Keep your back straight — no twisting — and bend only at the knees. Hold the load close to your body. Find a lifting partner if the object is heavy or awkward.
Obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and lack of exercise can increase a person’s risk of back pain. People who smoke are more likely to experience back pain than others. Poor posture and weight gain in pregnancy are also risk factors for back pain. In general, fatigue can worsen pain.
^ Baron, R; Binder, A; Attal, N; Casale, R; Dickenson, AH; Treede, RD (July 2016). Neuropathic low back pain in clinical practice. European Journal of Pain. 20 (6): 861–73. doi:10.1002/ejp.838. PMC 5069616 . PMID 26935254.
With other causes ruled out, people with non-specific low back pain are typically treated symptomatically, without exact determination of the cause. Efforts to uncover factors that might complicate the diagnosis, such as depression, substance abuse, or an agenda concerning insurance payments may be helpful.
Narrowing of the spine canal or nerve root canals where nerve endings pass through gaps when leaving the spinal column can cause squeezing on the nerves felt as numbness, tingling, pain in the legs, and trouble walking. Bone spurs can cause this swelling and narrowing of the canal.
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Shiatsu, also known as finger pressure therapy, is a type of massage where pressure is applied along energy lines in the body. The shiatsu therapist applies pressure with his/her fingers, thumbs and elbows.
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^ a b Vinod Malhotra; Yao, Fun-Sun F.; Fontes, Manuel da Costa (2011). Yao and Artusio’s Anesthesiology: Problem-Oriented Patient Management. Hagerstwon, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. Chapter 49. ISBN 1-4511-0265-8. Archived from the original on 8 September 2017.
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Does that mean you shouldn’t seek treatment when your back locks up? Of course not. Just know that it’s unrealistic to credit any one particular treatment or special exercise method as the magic cure for acute back pain. When a back pain professional says, “I know what your problem is and I know how to cure it,” listen, but be skeptical. This person may be able to help you. But when you consider the time and financial investment involved, remember the scientific facts. No one predict how one individual will respond to one type of back pain treatment.
^ Manchikanti L, Glaser SE, Wolfer L, Derby R, Cohen SP (2009). Systematic review of lumbar discography as a diagnostic test for chronic low back pain. Pain Physician. 12 (3): 541–59. PMID 19461822. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013.