NCTV Episode 57

Continuing with the series of bitesize health tip videos which can be found here on my YouTube Channel, this episode, includes:-

  • Risk factors to avoid
  • Commonly associated conditions
  • How to reduce and prevent back pain
  • How to speed up your recovery
  • When to seek medical advice

Transcript

If you’d prefer to read the content within, rather than watch the video, then feel free to read the transcript, as follows:-

Hello and welcome to NCTV Episode 57 which is all about back pain and what you can do to help it.

If you’ve ever had back pain in the past or currently experience it then you’ll be in good company as over 60% of people (in the UK at least) have had back pain at some point in their lives.

Also, quite often back pain isn’t just experienced in isolation. If stemming from the lower back it can sometimes cause symptoms in more remote areas such as the buttocks, groin, hips, and legs, which is commonly called sciatica. More about that can be seen back in Episode 31. If stemming from the neck this can also cause symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, clicking jaw, pins and needles and more.

In most cases the pain is not caused by anything too serious and will usually get better over time although in some cases it can last a long time and reoccur.

Back pain can develop with no apparent cause although some of the more commonly associated conditions include muscle and ligament strains and sprains, bulging vertebral discs, arthritis and osteoporosis.

Some of the risk factors for getting back pain can include:-

  • Being a smoker
  • Being over weight
  • If you suffer from depression or anxiety
  • Your age, as back pain can start between your 30s and 40s
  • Through improper lifting technique
  • Or through a lack of exercise

When you’re young, the body can easily adapt to the stresses and strains that you put it under. However, as you grow older, and this can be from the age of 25 onwards, it begins to lose some of the elasticity which gives the body the flexibility to cope and adapt. In particular this applies to the discs between the vertebrae and the joints that connect them. These require regular movement to ensure their maximum range and thereby increase local circulation and nutrition to the surrounding fluids and tissues.

With that in mind here are ten things you can do to help reduce back pain, prevent it or speed up your recovery, such as:-

  1. Staying as active as possible and trying to continue your daily activities. And this really is one of the most important things that you can do as resting for long periods of time is likely to make the problem worse.
  2. Also, it’s good to create a daily routine of various stretches and exercise as well as performing other activities such as walking, swimming, Pilates or yoga.
  3. Hot and cold compress packs can also provide some short-term relief. You can either get these from the pharmacy or use a hot water bottle or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea-towel. The general rule of thumb is that you apply cold to recent injuries and hot to the more long-standing problems and for about 10 minutes at a time is usually adequate.
  4. Take frequent breaks between repetitive tasks and vary the rhythm
  5. Change positions regularly if you do happen to have to be sedentary for long periods
  6. Pace yourself when the work is heavy with the likes of gardening for example
  7. On long car journeys, adjust your seat or steering wheel position and take breaks to stretch and move about
  8. Watch your posture and don’t carry bags on one shoulder, that goes for both children and adults
  9. Be sure to replace your mattress every 7 or 8 years
  10. Seek the likes of osteopathic advice sooner rather than later to nip any niggles in the bud or even better do so before anything arises because as the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure.

There are some occasions where you may need to seek immediate medical advice from either your GP or by calling 111 and these are for example, if you experience back pain:-

  • with numbness or pins & needles around your genitals or buttocks
  • with a loss of bowel or bladder control
  • with a fever
  • or following an accident

In summary then, if you do happen to be one of the one in six who are currently experiencing back pain throughout the country then be sure to get it looked at and sorted before it develops into anything too serious and debilitating. Remember you can minimise the chances of developing back pain by being aware of the risk factors mentioned earlier and be sure to take action on some or all of the ten top tips to prevent back pain or speed up it’s recovery.

That’s your bitesize bite size bit to help your health flourish for today and I’ll see you next time. Bye Bye