What causes backache?
Backache usually is
caused by minor strains in the muscles or ligaments, but more serious lower back
pain usually is the result of an injury to one of the many joints in the base of
your spine. The joints include the facet joints and discs, which
when disturbed push against painful tissue or nerve roots just behind them. The
injury usually happens while bending your spine forwards (flexing it),
especially while lifting something heavy.
Never bend forward with your legs
straight to perform any task. Once you have experienced back trouble, it has a
tendency to recur, and so be careful to protect your back.
How can you care for
Adjust your activity to your back discomfort. Take care with
posture, making beds and so on. Avoid fatigue. Ideally you should perform a set
of exercises to strengthen the muscles of your spine and abdomen.
Be careful of sudden twisting movements and sudden
overloading of muscles, as in cricket, golf, squash, sailing, weightlifting and
horse riding. Walking, jogging (avoid hard surfaces) and swimming are good
activities if you can manage them.
Avoid sitting for long periods, especially
in the car. Your knees should be higher than your hips and your back straight.
Maintain the hollow in your back.
Bed rest and sleep
Use a low pillow and lie on
your side. Do not lie face-up or face-down. Use a firm mattress.
lifting anything heavier than 10 kg (20 lb). Squat close to the load and keep
your back straight. Do not stoop over the load to get a grip and pick it up.
Lift using your knees and legs (not your back) as leverage. Keep your back
straight, not bent forwards or backwards.
Being overweight adds an extra burden
to your back, so it is important to keep as close to your ideal weight as
possible. Exercise helps to avoid this problem.
Acute episodes of
It is best to keep active and keep up your normal mobility (if
possible) when your back hurts. If the spasms are severe, you will need to lie
down on a firm surface.
Scrubbing floors and gardening
Your hands should
be as far forward of you as necessary to keep your back straight. Do not flex
your back by having your hands working too close to your knees.
when bending, for example tying shoelaces or putting on stockings. Put your foot
on a stool, chair or box that is near enough to your body and high enough so
that you do not have to bend down to your foot.