Prevent Back Pain

it is a very widespread problem, a pathology with extremely high economic and social costs. Knowing the causes of origin and the strategies to combat it is of fundamental importance both in the preventive and rehabilitative-therapeutic fields.


Every person who cares about the health of their back should therefore learn to recognize this pathology, to learn the predisposing factors and the rules for an "adequate prevention. In this article we summarize the key concepts to help the reader to remove once and for all. back pain.

Back pain is a multifactorial disease. Low back pain can therefore arise from extremely different causes. By analyzing all these possible situations, about eight hundred causes of low back pain can be distinguished. Even grouping these factors by common characteristics, at least thirty possible causes of origin must be considered. This presupposes a different therapeutic intervention for each circumstance.

Back pain prevention is based on two levels. The first stage, or level of primary prevention, is common for all types of low back pain and is based on acquiring the correct lifestyle habits. In this way, back pain is combated before it appears.

Secondary prevention, on the other hand, is based on a re-educational intervention that involves many professionals such as doctors, rehabilitation therapists and graduates in physical education. With these interventions we try on the one hand to re-establish the conditions prior to the trauma and on the other to remove the risk of possible relapses through an educational-rehabilitation program.

vertebral body contracts and stiffens. A decrease in elasticity is also accompanied by a lower vascularization which in turn translates into a reduced supply of oxygen to the tissues.

As with the internal combustion engine, our body also needs the right amount of oxygen to function at its best. It can thus happen that when you wake up it is a bit difficult to get going and this causes the typical pain spread throughout the lumbar area.

In many cases, a few minutes and a hot shower are enough to make the muscle fibers regain their natural elasticity. In less fortunate cases, the simple gesture of bending down to pick up a sock can instead cause heavy muscle contractures such as the fearsome witch stroke.

The physiological stiffening during sleep is more related to biomechanical issues induced by the position assumed rather than by the type of mattress used. However, the choice of nets remains important, which must be fairly rigid and of good quality. Less importance is instead attributed to the mattress which must in any case be chosen on the basis of individual characteristics (height and weight).

Back pain can also arise from being overweight. Even more important is the distribution of body fat. Think for example of those middle-aged gentlemen, with a fat mass concentrated in the lower abdomen to form that big and characteristic belly. In addition to significantly increasing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, this type of obesity represents a great stress for the whole back. A little like pregnant women, the spine and the associated muscles are forced to bear the excess body weight during the movements. As we know all these stresses negatively affect the health of the back and, if they are repeated for long periods of time, they become the cause of lower back pain.

Back pain can also result from excessive physical and / or psychological stress. Worries, anxiety and other problems affecting the psychological and social sphere can in fact increase normal muscle tone thanks to a reflex nervous mechanism. This excess tension, which in the long run results in permanent muscle contracture, causes lower back pain. It is therefore necessary to try to reduce stress as much as possible, perhaps by adopting appropriate relaxation techniques.

Even physical activity, thanks to the release of endorphins, contributes to the improvement of mood by increasing the sense of well-being and at the same time reducing the perception of pain.

To prevent back pain and promote night rest, the network and mattress complex must be compact, neither too rigid nor too soft. Rotating the mattress periodically prevents the formation of small depressions at the points where the weight of the body creates the greatest pressure.

There is no ideal sleeping position to prevent back pain. It must be adapted according to the physical characteristics and preferences of the individual. To relieve pain and promote night rest, it may be useful to place a pillow under the stomach, under the back or under the head.

Learning the right lifting technique is key to preventing back pain.

In the correct position, the subject is lowered by completely flexing the legs and keeping the torso erect throughout the entire arc of the movement. The ascent phase takes place thanks to the work of the lower limbs which slowly extend until they reach an upright position. The weight will be held. as close as possible to the body throughout its entire journey.

If the weights are instead raised keeping the legs straight and bending the torso, the load on the lumbar vertebrae increases up to 300%. Torsions of the trunk during exertion and excessive loads should be avoided as much as possible as they can cause attacks of acute low back pain that are particularly painful and disabling.

The vibration frequency of the car engine tends to undermine the anatomical structures that make up the spine. Further stresses caused by bumpy ground or high speed can further aggravate the problem.

To prevent and relieve these microtraumas the seat must be adjusted so that it is close enough to the steering wheel. In this way the arms will be slightly bent and the hands will hold the steering wheel at the top indicating 10 and 10 as if they were two hands of a clock. . At the same time the pelvis and lumbar area must be completely in contact with the backrest, while the legs must be kept slightly bent. It is also important to adjust the headrest to the right height to protect yourself from whiplash in the event of a rear-end collision. Those who drive long hours a day and suffer from back pain can benefit from the use of a special lumbar support.

Cigarette smoking slows recovery from back pain. This is certainly an aspect that many have underestimated but of fundamental importance. In fact, smoking causes an increase in toxins and respiratory problems by reducing the supply of oxygen to various tissues, including those that stabilize the spine. Cigarettes can therefore also cause back pain.

Physical activity is good for the back. It is no coincidence that most medical visits end with the indication to undertake a path of motor activity aimed at the prevention and treatment of back pain.

The primary objective of any exercise program aimed at the prevention and treatment of back pain is to make the abdominal, spinal, lumbar and hamstring muscles more toned and elastic. At the same time to favor tissue oxygenation and achievement of the desirable body weight it is good to follow a regular program of aerobic activities (walking, cycling, swimming, etc.).

The ideal physical activity to prevent back pain does not exist. However, there are specific strengthening and stretching exercises to improve the health of your back.

In many cases it is more important to regain lost elasticity than to increase muscle tone. Stretching at the end of the lesson should therefore not be considered as a waste of time but as a moment of pleasant relaxation that becomes an integral part of the training program.

If done poorly, physical activity can be harmful to your back. A whole series of precautions must therefore be adopted, the more numerous and important the greater the degree of impairment of the spinal column.

Performing the exercises under the guidance of an experienced personal trainer, the use of appropriate footwear and the practice of global warming before starting the session are just some of the steps that must be taken to release tension without running unnecessary risks.

, CT and MRI scans are absolutely useless in the first period. These tests only make sense when the pain persists beyond 3 or 4 weeks.

Rest slows healing, going to bed for a few days is therefore not a therapy but a sometimes inevitable side effect. Obviously, during the acute phase of the trauma, when the pain felt is particularly intense and disabling, in order not to worsen the situation further, it is necessary to limit the movements as much as possible.

On the other hand, however, if there is no serious impediment, it is absolutely not necessary to remain still for too long. Since back pain is very often due to hypotonia and the lack of elasticity of the abdominal and lumbar muscles, their further weakening would predispose the subject to new injuries even for minor trauma.

Those who intend to face back pain with optimism and with a critical spirit should therefore try to live with the pain, maintaining a "physical activity compatible with their situation."

Painkillers have no direct therapeutic role, they relieve pain but do not cure the causes of back pain. In particular situations, their use could even be harmful. Let's think, for example, of the possible side effects of these medicines. It must also be remembered that the lack of pain perception exposes the subject to further trauma with the risk of worsening an already compromised situation.

On the other hand, it should be remembered that the intensity of the pain is not directly related to the damage. Sometimes a violent and excruciating pain like the one caused by the witch's stroke resolves after a few days. Other times a modest pain can increase over time or become chronic.

We must therefore not ignore a very mild pain that lasts for a long time. In these cases we are in the presence of the classic back pain from chronic overload in which the continuous repetition of even modest stresses (driving for many hours a day) causes more or less serious damage to the back.

In most cases (95%), back pain resolves within 3-4 weeks. This aspect must comfort the person suffering from low back pain, since a right dose of optimism helps to solve the problem.

If the pain persists unchanged for more than a month, it is advisable to contact a doctor for further visits and diagnostic tests.

Temporary recovery from back pain should not be deceiving, as the risk of relapses increases considerably in the absence of targeted preventive intervention.

As we have seen, in over 90% of cases, back pain spontaneously regresses within 30 days of its onset. However, if the causes and predisposing factors are not eliminated, the pain will probably recur within a few months.

For this reason it is necessary to follow all the prevention rules that we have listed in the initial part of the article.

Sometimes it takes very little to prevent back pain. In most cases, 10 minutes of exercise a day is enough to significantly improve the health of your spine. Other times the simple elimination of risk factors (obesity, stress, smoking, poor posture) allows to solve the problem at the root.

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