What causes back pain?
If your back is hurting, but you do not have any serious underlying health issues such as cancer, arthritis or damage to your spine, the cause may not be obvious either to you or to your doctor. Common causes of mild to moderate back pain include:
· Bad posture, which can be exacerbated by wearing high heels or carrying excess weight.
· Pregnancy, which puts a significant strain on the back, with 50-80% of women experiencing back pain during their pregnancy.
· Overuse or excessive force, in the form of lifting heavy objects or overworking the muscles in the back.
· Insufficient nutrient intake leading to spinal issues.
Furthermore, some people experience pain in their back as a result of problems with organs in the abdominal region such as the kidneys. If this is the case, other symptoms will usually be present alongside the back pain.
When is back pain an indicator of a serious health problem?
If you are experiencing back pain as well as difficulty passing or controlling urine or numbness around the genitals, you should seek emergency medical care. You should consult your doctor if your back pain is very severe or gets worse over a period of several weeks. If your pain is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, weight loss, pins and needles, weakness in one or both legs or difficulty walking, it may be symptomatic of something more serious and you should seek medical advice. For those who also suffer from a serious condition such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, physical trauma or have been using steroids, back pain should be reported to a doctor.
How to Prevent Back Pain
Research has shown that the best thing you can do to prevent and treat back pain is to be physically active. Exercise that strengthens the core such as yoga, pilates and stretching has been shown to be particularly effective. Removing other risk factors for back pain such as smoking and being overweightcan also help with prevention. Wearing a back brace while lifting heavy objects or during other physical labour can prevent overextending your joints or tearing or straining a muscle by supporting your back. Chemistworks’ Futuro Back Support Stabiliser is perfect for providing support for your back and preventing injury. Chemistworks also has the New Beginnings Back Support Tube which is specifically designed to provide effective back support during pregnancy.
How to Treat Back Pain
If your back pain is accompanied by any of the serious symptoms listed above, you should seek medical attention. However for mild back pain, there are many effective treatments available over the counter. Targeted back pain medication, such as Panadol Osteo has been shown to effectively relieve back pain. Warmth is also an effective treatment for back pain and can be delivered in various forms. Deep Heat Pain Relief Patches use deep penetrating warmth to deliver 8 hours of relief from pain, while a wheat bag can also be used to warm the affected area.
At Chemistworks, our skilled pharmacists can help you find the best products to help relieve your back pain. To find any of the products listed in this article, or to receive further guidance and advice, visit your local Chemistworks.