Sunday, 5 June 2016


Back pain is common occurence in most people. Nearly everybody would have experienced back pain at some point in their lives, in one form or another.

To understand and learn how to handle back pain, the following information will prove helpful.


Types of back pain includes the following:
  • Neck pain. This type of pain occurs in the area between the base of the skull to the shoulders and sometimes, upper back or arms. Usual characteristics of neck pain include stiffness, sharp pain and reduced movement of the neck and head. 
  • Upper and middle back pain. This occurs in the area between the base of the neck to the middle of the back. This type of back pain is the least common as the spine in this area of the back has very limited range of movement. However, when upper and middle back pain do occur they are often a result of pinched nerves in the spine by the ribs.
  • Lower back pain. The lower back is the area between the bottom of the rib cage and the top of the legs. Lower back pain is the most common form of back pain. Symptoms experienced includes tension, stiffness, soreness and pain.
  • Sciatica Pain. The sciatica pain is usually felt from the lower back to the buttocks and runs all through to the legs. This pain can be mild, moderate or very painful. Sciatica pain is caused when the sciatic nerve ( runs from the back of the pelvis to the legs, ending at the feet.) is compressed or irritated. Usual symptoms felt include pain that extends to legs, numbness and muscle weakness. 


Common causes of back pain include
  • Awkard sleeping position (Neck Pain)
  • Working at the computer for long periods without break (Neck Pain)
  • Poor posture while sitting, driving or trying to pick up objects (Upper & Middle back Pain, Lower back Pain)
  • Bending awkwadly, standing for long periods and driving for long periods (Lower Back Pain)
  • Slipped vertebral disc caused by lifting very heavy objects, being over-weight and leading sedentary lifestyle (Sciatic pain).


To care for back pain and provide prompt relief, starting treatment early is important. The following treatment methods are useful in alleviating back pain.

1.  Posture & Back Positioning 

Assuming the right body posture while walking, sitting, lifting and picking up things is an important step in easing out a back pain.


When working, use good ergonomics at your desk. Your computer or laptop should be positioned such that the top line of on screen text is at eye level. The keyboard  should be set up such that the elbows are bent at 90 degree angle. Sit on a chair with good support that allows your back to assume its natural curvature. Slide chair close to keyboard so your back rests on the back support of the chair.

When sitting, sit tall, lift the chest and move hips forward so that upper back is not rounded. Set gaze forward to keep head in alignment. When working with a laptop, place a stand under the laptop for elevation. Tilt laptop screen back so you don't have to look all the way downward.  Place your feet flat on the floor.

Correct Lift Position

Avoid lifting heavy objects during an episode of back pain. If you must lift any object at all, lift small portions of load. Lift objects with the correct body posture. Keep your back in the neutral position with your face facing forward, do not arch your back. Make sure the object is kept close to your body and do not bend over with your waist, bend with your legs. Flex the abdominal muscles to support the lifting action and reduce the lift pressure on the back. It is good practise to a do a little back stretch after lifting objects to aid back muscle recovery.

One way to quickly relieve a back pain is to lie flat out on the back with the legs supported on a chair. Position the chair so that your knee flexes at a 90 degree angle, facing upwards. This position quickly takes pressure of the spine and vertebral discs. It is good for lower back pain and sciatica pain.

2.  Exercise & Mobility

Muscle strengthening exercises for the back along with continued mobility is imperative for recovery from back aches. Resting the back muscles too much during back pains can result in muscle weakening and delay in recovery.

Controlled back muscle stregthening exercises with its intensity graduated progressively is the best approach as it helps distributes nutrients into the soft tissues present at the back to keep the muscles, ligaments and vertebral joints at optimum functionality.

Good exercise regimen for back pain includes;
  • Stretching
  • Aerobics
  • Controlled weight lifts
  • Walking and jogging
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
A regular routine of back exercises helps diminish the stiffness and muscle weakness experienced during back pain. It also reduces the intensity and duration of back pain.

3.  Manual Therapy

Manual therapy refers to a combined form of specialized therapies designed to provide physical relief from muscle and joint pains. Well known examples of manual therapy are massages and physiotherapy.

Good massage therapy can significantly improve recovery in lower back pain as massages improve blood circulation to sore and tired muscles, stretch and relaxes muscles for increased range of motion and increases endorphin levels which numbs down the pain considerably.

Physiotherapy is useful in most types of low back pain as it helps decrease back pain, improves muscular function and help prevent recurrence.

4.  Drug Therapy

If back pain is severe and loss of movement is apparent, then drug therapy becomes imperative. Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are first choice in providing relief for pain and associated inflammation. These include;
  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen
  • Diclofenac
Along with NSAIDS, muscle relaxants and fish oils will also prove useful in helping to restore muscle movement and reduce inflammation. 

When using NSAIDs, keep in mind NSAIDs are not suitable for people with stomach ulcer, asthmatics and older people on anti-hypertensive medications.

Follow advice from a healthcare provider so as to maximise the benefits of drug therapy and minimize potential drug side effects.

5.  Complementary Pain Relief Therapies

Complementary pain relief therapies for back pain can be used together with any of the back pain treatment models highlighted above. Complementary therapies can be effective and provide the added benefit of safety when used in conjuction with other treatment methods.

Eamples of complementary pain relief therapies with good efficacy include;
  • Hot & Cold Pack Compress. If pain is as a result of a strain or tear use hot pack compress. If pain is caused by inflammation use a cold pack compress.
  • Yoga. There is evidence that doing yoga relieves back pain. 10 minutes of yoga in the morning and 10 minutes at night can do a lot for a sore back.
  • Accupuncture. This is one of the best treatments for low back pain. Accupuncture can be used as an alternative treament to back pain instead of drugs and other therapy.  It involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points to relieve pain. Pain relief can last from a few hours to weeks after finishing a therapy session. Accupunture works best for muscle spasm and nerve related pain (sciatica pain).

6. Electromagnetic Pulse Therapy


Electromagnetic pulse therapy is a specialized treatment model that uses magnets to create pulsing, moving energy which changes the way the body handles pain. It uses electrical energy to direct a series of magnetic pulses through injured tissue. The magnetic pulse in turn induces tiny electrical signal within tissue cells so as to stimulate cellular recovery. This therapy has been used for over six decades in the treatment of tissue damage, chronic pain and swelling.

Electromagnetic pulse therapy finds good use in relieving pain caused by degenerative vertebral disc problems (e.g sciatic pain) as it reduces muscle spasms, relieves pain and reduces the inflammation at the location of the compressed nerve.

Faster recovery time is seen with electromagnetic pulse therapy and it is useful in providing relief for back pain, muscle & joint pain, knee pain and pain occuring in almost all areas of the body.

Most episodes of back pain should resolve after adequate therapy. However, if pain persists with increasing intensity after treatment, you'll need to schedule another visit to see your healthcare provider.


  1. Yeah I agree that back ache is common these days. Have been suffering from back pain and now considering acupuncture treatment for treatment. Have just found a reliable acupuncture Mississauga clinic for my treatment.

  2. I really want to get relief from my back pain and I agree with you that this kind of pain is a common occurrence in most people. I got many different important information about this pain and I really impressed with your blog. I wish you would post more new updates here. Thanks!

    1. @carl thanks for taking the time to read through our post on back pain. New posts and updates will surely be put up regularly.

  3. Thanks for sharing great info about back pain relief, I know how horrible chronic back pain can be. I have had debilitating pain for seven years due to a car accident.

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