Posts Tagged ‘Bad Posture’

January 26th, 2009 No comments
Robert Paulson asked:

Chronic pain comes in many forms and can occur from a variety of circumstances such as traumatic injury, disease and medical afflictions such as migraines, arthritis as well as other muscular and skeletal conditions. In the past, those suffering from chronic pain often had few treatment options and were resigned to living with their pain. Things have changed over the years with advances in medicine and now there is no reason for sufferers to live with chronic pain as many treatment options are available.

What is Chronic Pain?

According to several medical resources, chronic pain is defined as frequently recurring severe pain that flares up frequently and does not respond adequately to common over the counter pain relief medications. This type of pain is also categorized as pain that lasts for a period of more than 6 months, is due to non lethal medical conditions and if not treated or controlled, may be experienced for the lifetime of the person suffering.

What Causes Chronic Pain?

There are many factors and conditions that can lead to chronic pain in humans. Some are the results of aging and others may be triggered by injury or congenital circumstances. Some of the more common causes include:

• Injuries that were not properly healed

• Damage to nerves

• Traumatic injuries

• Osteoarthritis

• Diseases affecting the bones

• Internal organ conditions

• Migraine headaches

• Bad posture over time

• Curvature of the spine

Treating Chronic Pain

Most current pain relief approaches involve the use of medications and in some cases, behavioral modifications, physical therapy and even acupuncture. Some over the counter pain medications can be effective in treating mild forms of chronic pain however, prescription strength options are usually the preferred approach in helping chronic pain sufferers to live pain free. It is always important to consult a physician before taking any prescription pain killers but some of the names that you will likely see include: Carisoprodol (Soma), Butalbital (Fioricet), Celebrex, and Tramadol (Ultram).

Some extreme cases may also involve the use of a patient controlled drip mechanism that provides a continuous supply of pain medication. Some patients may be introduced to Trigger Point Injections which involve delivering pain medication directly to the muscles. Surgical implants and Electric Therapy are also sometimes used (although mostly in those with unique conditions and requirements).

Physical therapy is most often used while increasing the body’s flexibility and movement in those suffering with chronic pain. This approach is sometimes combined with electrical nerve stimulation which acts as a “scrambler” with the pain signals being sent to the brain for additional relief during physical therapy.

Psychological Effects of Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can have several addtional impacts on you that are completely psychological in nature. Feelings of sadness, despair and anger can have an impact on your personality and affect other areas of your life such as sleep patterns and inducing stress (which can actually make your physical pain worse). Treating the psychological effects of chronic pain can be difficult and is usually approached from the standpoint of modifying lifestyle practices and your behavior that trigger physical pain; this, along with being educated can be an effective way to treat the psychological conditions of chronic pain.

The treatement options put forth in this article are merely an introduction to this wide and complex topic. It is always best to consult with your doctor prior to engaging any treatment methods for chronic pain. It is only after getting a complete view of the cause that you can find the right treatment program. The main thing to remember is that it is no longer necessary to live with pain and that many treatment options are available. Taking the first steps towards treatment can be difficult for many but the benefits of a thorough pain management regimen can add significantly to your quality of life.


January 12th, 2009 No comments
P.Bhargav Kashyap asked:

Oh! Pain in the Neck?!

Neck pain, at times, can become pain in the neck’ quite literally. People who have experienced neck pain alone know how painful the neck pain can turnout to be.

Neck is one of the most flexible regions of the spine, which consists of vertebrae, seven shock absorbing discs, muscles, and vertebral ligaments to hold them in place. The uppermost cervical disc connects the top of the spinal column to the base of the skull. The spinal cord, which sends nerve impulses to every part of the body, runs through a canal in the cervical vertebrae and continues all the way down the spine.

What Causes neck pain?

Most people experience neck pain at some point in their lives. Neck pain can be acute, lasting for few hours or a few weeks, or it can be chronic. Neck pain that lasts several weeks or longer is considered chronic neck pain.

Neck pain can be caused by an activity or injury or by a medical condition. Your head and neck region is vulnerable to many different stresses. Bad posture can cause misalignment of your neck, head, and spine. Car accidents can cause whiplash. Age and wear and tear can cause arthritis. Even activities such as chewing gum and reading in bed and cause pain. How do we avoid these potential problems? And if we can’t avoid them, how can we recover as quickly as possible.

Non-specific neck pain

Many people develop a stiff and painful neck for no obvious reason. It may happen after a minor twisting injury, for example while gardening. Since the underlying cause for this type of neck pain is not fully understood hence it is called ‘non-specific neck pain’ Having non-specific neck pain does not mean that your neck is damaged. Often it happens in people whose necks would appear completely normal under an x-ray. It is the most common type of neck pain and disappears after a few days.

Activities that cause neck pain

Neck pain mostly is caused by activities that result in repeated or prolonged movements of the neck’s muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, or joints. This can result in a strain(an overstretched or overused muscle), a sprain (injury to a ligament), a spasm of the neck muscles, or inflammation of the neck joints.

           1. Holding your head in a forward or odd position for long periods of time

               while working, reading, watching TV, or talking on the telephone.

           2. Sleeping on a pillow that is too high or too flat or doesn’t adequately 

               support your head, or sleeping on your stomach with your neck twisted

               or bent.

           3. Spending long periods of time resting your forehead on your upright fist

               or arm.

           4. Work that uses the upper body and arms, such as painting a ceiling or 

               other overhead work.

Injuries that cause neck pain

The Spine consists of interlocking bones(vertebrae) and discs that separate the vertebrae. The portion of the spine that runs through the neck is known as the cervical spine. Muscles and ligaments in the neck hold the cervical spine together. Injury to any of these structures may result in neck pain.

Minor injuries may occur from tripping or from excessive motion of the cervical spine. Severe neck injuries may occur from whiplash in an accident, falls from significant heights, direct blows to the face or the back or top of the head, sports-related injuries , a penetrating injury such as a stab wound, or pressure applied to the outside of the neck, such as strangulation.

Pain from an injury may be sudden and severe. Bruising and swelling may develop soon after the injury. Sudden (acute) injuries can result in strain and pain in the neck, dislocation of the spin, or a ruptured disc.

Medical conditions that cause neck pain 

                  1. Neck pain may be caused by or related to medical conditions such as:

                  2. Cervical Spinal Stenosis

                  3. Cervical Spondylosis

                  4. Illnesses, such as meningitis, which cause inflammation around the

                      tissues of the brain and spinal cord.

                  5.Chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, or

                     ankylosing spondylitis

Torticollis (wryneck): Torticollis is

caused by severe muscle tightness or a shortened muscle on

one side of the neck, causing the head to be tilted to one side.

Referred pain: Referred pain occurs when

a problem in one place in the body causes pain in another

place. For example, a problem with your jaw or your heart can

cause neck pain.

Infection or a tumor in the neck area.

Signs and Symptoms

Neck pain takes many forms. Signs and symptoms of neck pain may include:

           1. Pain in your neck that may be sharp or dull

           2. Stiffness in your neck

           3. Difficulty going about your daily tasks because of pain or stiffness in

               your neck

           4. Shoulder pain in addition to neck pain, in some cases

           5. Back pain in addition to neck pain, in some cases

Help yourself to prevent neck pain

Take frequent breaks: Don’t sit in one place for a long time, such as your car or at your desk.

Arrange some of the items in your office that cause inconvenience. This will force you to get up, stretch or walk around.

Maintain good neck posture:

Adjust the seat of your computer or desk chair so that your hips are slightly higher than your knees. Your head and neck will naturally follow in the correct position. While traveling in a car, airplane or train, place a small pillow or rolled towel between your neck and a head rest to keep the normal curve in your neck.

Avoid too many pillows:

Avoid sleeping with too many pillows or falling asleep in front of the television with your head on the arm of a couch.

Exercise: Treat your body to a consistent regimen of stretching and strengthening to balance your muscle groups. This protects your neck as well as helping your whole body. Walking at any pace is excellent exercise for your neck. The rotation of the spine provides a great natural workout for the neck muscles.

Eat smart and Drink water:

Good nutrition and staying well hydrated are not only important to stay healthy, but vital in the healing process.

For more Health Tips:


January 10th, 2009 No comments
Antonio LeMaire asked:

Back pain is reported to be the most common cause of missed work, right after flu and colds. In fact, back pain is so common that many people consider it inevitable, especially with increasing age.

But it may be possible to avoid some types of back pain by better understanding its causes and avoiding or preventing them in the first place.

And while over-the-counter pain relief medications can help lessen back pain once it occurs, exercise, improved posture, and good furniture can strengthen and heal your back and even prevent back pain from occurring in the first place.

This article will guide you in both ways: how to avoid back pain and how to find back relief.

Back Pain Causes

The back is a powerful structure comprising bone, muscle, and elastic discs. This marvel of efficiency allows you to bend, twist, and carry weight. However, its flexibility makes it susceptible to injury and pain. Not surprisingly, back pain often results from neglect or other lifestyle factors such as:

* Bad posture – A normal adult spine resembles a double ‘S’. When you slouch, the pelvis and the stomach thrust forward, the knees bend, and the back muscles are strained. This strain can easily lead to back pain.

* Sedentary lifestyle and stress – Lack of exercise tends to weaken the muscles in the body. At the same time, stress can lead to muscle tension, causing the unprepared muscles to spasm.

* Weak abdominal muscles – Back pain is often related to weak stomach muscles, which can place added stress on the back.

* Obesity – Overweight people may find it difficult to maintain proper posture, and the burden of additional weight puts pressure on the back.

* High heels – They push the body’s center of gravity forward. To offset this, people tend to bend their knees and move their torsos forward. This can exaggerate the spine’s inward curve, leading to back pain.

People can also experience back pain as a result of specific health conditions:

* Spondylosis – Arthritis of the spine occurs due to degenerative spinal changes, and is often characterized by back pain.

* Spondylolisthesis – This occurs when one spinal vertebra slips forward on top of another one, causing back pain.

* Spinal stenosis – When the space around the spinal column and nerve roots is reduced, nerves are pinched or pressed, resulting in back pain. Arthritis and bone overgrowth trigger this condition.

* Herniated disc – One of the most common causes of back pain, this condition occurs when a spinal disc presses on a nerve. It’s also referred to as slipped disc.

* Sciatica – Sharp, shooting pain that radiates through the lower back or buttocks to the back of the leg when a herniated disc presses the sciatic nerve.

* Spinal infection – When this occurs, back pain is often accompanied by fever and tenderness.

Back Pain Relief Options

Not every type of back pain is a condition you have to put up with. In addition to medication and home therapies, there are a variety of complementary and alternative therapies that can provide back pain relief.

Bed rest may help relieve acute, temporary back pain. But this may not work for chronic back pain, which may require long-term treatment.

Here are just some of the methods you can try to get back pain relief:

* Heat and ice treatment – For lower back pain relief, use an ice pack first to sooth the sore muscles. You can use a cold compress several times a day for up to 20 minutes per treatment. A warm compress or a heating pad loosens the muscles and increases blood flow, which can provide some back pain relief.

* Chiropractic care – Some research on pain relief has shown that chiropractic manipulation may be as effective as pain relief medication for certain patients.

* Acupuncture – In this alternative medicine procedure, the practitioner inserts sterilized stainless steel needles at specific points on the body. This may stimulate the brain to release natural endorphins, which can provide some level of back pain relief.

* Electrical stimulation – Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) often works for acute back pain. In this procedure, weak electrical pulses sent to nerve pathways through specific points prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. This back pain relief procedure may be appropriate for those who prefer to avoid medication.

* Over-the-counter medication – Drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation and relieve back pain, while acetaminophen controls pain without addressing inflammation.

* Prescription medication – When over-the-counter drugs fail to provide pain relief, doctors may prescribe a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (other than aspirin or ibuprofen), a muscle relaxant, or other medication.

* Epidural injections – When other measures fail to relieve back pain, doctors may prescribe epidural injections of anti-inflammatory medication such as cortisone to provide pain relief.

Back Pain Don’ts

* Do not exercise while suffering from severe back pain.

* Do not sit for long periods when suffering from back pain. Sitting exerts more pressure on your nerves than standing or lying down. This can exacerbate back pain.

* Do not slouch or overarch your back, as this increases pressure on the lower back and may cause back pain to become more intense.

How To Avoid Back Pain

Many people who suffer from chronic back pain have found that a few lifestyle changes and healthy work habits can help them avoid recurrences of back pain:

* Exercise – Exercise not only helps to maintain proper weight, but also helps build and maintain strong muscles. However, if you already suffer from back pain, consult your doctor before starting an exercise routine.

* Good posture – A balanced posture allows the body to relax while maintaining an erect position. If you stand for long hours, avoid back pain by placing one foot on a stool or a box to avoid stressing the pelvis. While sitting, make sure that your lower back is supported and that your feet stay flat on the floor.

* Bend and lift properly – Improper bending is a common cause of back pain. When bending down, bend your knees, separate your feet about shoulder width apart, and keep your back straight. When lifting things, let your legs bear your weight, keep objects close to your body, and ask for help if the load is too heavy.

* Sleeping position – Sleep on your side, with your knees bent towards the chest. Place a pillow between the knees to reduce pressure on the back.

* Heel inserts – To reduce the risk of back pain, some doctors recommend heel inserts to alleviate stress on the lower back and provide shock absorption.

* Medium-firm mattresses – Sleep on a mattress that is firm enough to support your body but does not distort the body’s natural curves.

* Car seating position – Tilt your car seat back slightly, so that your knees are higher than your hips. Place the seat close enough to the wheel to let your arms bend.

Treating your back with respect is one key to avoiding back pain. However, if you already do have back pain, a variety of pain relief medications and treatments are available.


What causes lower back pain in younger people?

January 9th, 2009 15 comments
limeallure asked:

I am only 21 but have been suffering from lower back pain recently. Does anyone know what could be causing this or any exercises that could improve the pain. I am thinking it could be bad posture, but again this just started happening this past month. Help!