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Dealing with Back Pain

 If you want to avoid back pain then sitting at your computer screen all day is not the way to do it, neither is the sudden decision to get in shape. Your body cannot take the strain of going from zero activity to a major exercise program. If you decide, despite leading a sedentary life that you want to get in shape you must do it gradually by slowly reconditioning your muscles to accepting more activity. This can be done with the assistance of your health care provider who can help you develop a program that would be suitable for you.

 It is those between twenty-five and forty-five that seem to suddenly realize how mush damage they are doing to their bodies, especially their backs, by their inactivity. Perhaps it’s an episode of back pain that spurs them on. Or it might be seeing a friend or relative deal with back pain, perhaps even chronic back issues, that makes them realize that without doing something that could be them one day.

No one wants to spend their lives in pain, sitting around with cold packs or hot water bottles while downing anti-inflammatories to try to relieve the ache in their backs. Most people don’t even get to this stage until its too late. They are certain they can cure what ails them instead so they use over the counter pain relievers and the hot or cold treatments. They design their own exercise programs, often doing more harm then good, and then waiting for the pain to subside.

Somewhere around three to six weeks later, when the pain has not improved, they finally agree that they need to see a health care provider who can help them.  At this point, since the pain has lasted so long, the medical check-up they will receive will be far more involved. After the initial questions there will be a thorough physical followed by MRI, magnetic resonance imaging, to check the spine. This will look for a herniated or bulging disc. Depending on the results the MRI is frequently followed by an EMG, electromyogram nerve conduction study, because it’s able to detect nerve damage.

Once these tests have been done the heath care provider will use the results to determine the correct treatment plan. If its early in the pain stream then there is little then will be suggested other then rest, hot or cold treatments and the anti-inflammatories. If it’s later then a complete physiotherapy program will be added to the normal treatment so that the exercises can gradually build back strength and help to diminish the pain. Physiotherapy can be done by visits to a physiotherapist regularly who can also use other treatments to help diminish the pain, like ultrasound and electrical stimulation. But it needn’t be done this way.

If your lifestyle makes it difficult to get to a physiotherapist, most of who have hours throughout the day, in evenings and sometimes weekends as well; you can always do your exercises at home.

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