Posts Tagged ‘Chronic Back Pain’

Which foods are helpful to strengthen the back muscles and consequently get reflief from chronic back pain?

March 8th, 2009 3 comments
paresh p asked:

I know back pain can be relieved by medical examination and treatment but I feel that there may be some foods (for example foods which are rich in Calcium) to make the back muscles strong and as a result get some relief from back pain?


February 11th, 2009 No comments
Hemant Yagnick, M.D. asked:

Acute back pain may begin suddenly and usually lasts around 3 months. Chronic back pain sometimes lasts throughout life.

The most common back pain is low back pain (LBP). It is is often described as sudden, sharp, persistent, or dull pain felt below the waist. LBP is very common and affects the majority of people at some point during their life. Up to 70%–85% of all people have back pain at some time in their lives. LBP is the most common cause of a limitation of activity in people younger than 45 years of age. It is the second most frequent reason for visits to a physician, and the third most common indication for surgery. It is the fifth-ranking cause of hospital admissions and is one of the leading causes of disability.

Low back pain is most commonly caused by muscle strain associated with heavy physical work, lifting or forceful movement, bending or twisting, awkward positions, or standing in one position too long. Any of these movements can exacerbate a prior or existing back disorder. Other conditions that can cause low back pain include spinal stenosis, arthritis (osteoarthritis), spinal infection (osteomyelitis), spinal tumors (benign and malignant), spondylolisthesis, and vertebral fractures (e.g. burst fracture).

Low back pain is either acute or chronic. Acute LBP may begin suddenly with intense pain usually lasting fewer than three months. Chronic pain is persistent long-term pain, sometimes lasting throughout life. Even chronic pain may present episodes of acute pain. Other symptoms include localized pain in a specific area of the low back, general aching, and/or pain that radiates into the low back, general aching, and/or pain that radiates into the low back, buttocks and leg(s). Sometimes pain is accompanied by neurological symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or weakness. Neurological symptoms requiring immediate medical attention include bowel or bladder dysfunction, groin or leg weakness or numbness, severe symptoms that do not subside after a few days, or pain prohibiting everyday activities.

Pain felt in the low back is not always indicative of a spinal problem. A thorough physical and neurological assessment may reveal the cause of the low back pain. The physical examination begins with the patient’s current condition and medical history. Examination of a patient with low back pain involves examining the patient’s range of spinal motion while standing straight, bending forward, and to the side. Asymmetry, posture, and leg length is noted. Methodical palpation of the spine can reveal muscle spasm, possible bony displacement, and tender points. Abdominal palpation is performed to determine if the cause of low back pain is possibly organ related (e.g. pancreas). The neurological assessment evaluates weakness, absence of reflexes, tingling, burning, pain, diminished function, and other signs that may indicate nerve involvement.

If infection, malignancy, fracture, or other risk factors are suspected, routine lab tests may be ordered. These tests may include complete blood count (CBC), erythrocyte sedimentation (ESR), and urinalysis. In some cases electrodiagnostic studies such as electromyography (EMG) or nerve condition velocity (NCV) are performed to confirm a diagnosis or localize the site of nerve injury. Plain radiographs (x-rays), CT Scan, and/or MRI studies are performed when fracture or neurological dysfunction is suspected. A MRI represents the gold standard in imaging today. A MRI renders high-resolution images of spinal tissues such as the spinal cord and intervertebral discs. X-rays are still the imaging methods of choice to study the bony elements in the low back. The results of the physical and neurological examinations combines with test results are carefully evaluated to confirm a diagnosis.

Most patients with low back pain are treated without surgery. A conventional treatment plan may include bed rest for a day or two combines with medication to reduce inflammation and pain. Medications recommended by the physician are based on the patient’s medical condition, age, other drugs the patient currently takes, and safety. The first choice for pain relief is often nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs should be taken with food to prevent stomach upset and stomach bleeding. Muscle relaxants may provide relief from muscle spasm but are actually benign sedatives, which often cause drowsiness. Narcotic pain relievers are prescribed for use during the acute phase and often for chronic pain management in appropriate patients.

Other modalities to treat low back pain might include physical therapy (PT), transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) trial, ultrasound therapy, acupuncture and massage therapy. A managed PT program can help build muscle strength and flexibility, improve mobility, coordination, stability and balance, and promote relaxation. Patients who participate in a structured physical therapy program often progress to wellness more rapidly than those who do not. This includes low back maintenance through a home exercise program developed for the patient by the physical therapist.

Although the number of spinal surgeries done every year is on the rise, it is rarely required to treat low back pain. Surgery may be considered if the patient is experiencing bowel or bladder dysfunction, increased nerve impairment, progressive weakness, incapacitating pain, or spinal instability. The surgical procedure depends on the diagnosis or the cause of low back pain. To prevent low back pain, first and foremost, follow the treatment plan outlined by the physician. To enhance recovery from an episode of low back pain, or to help prevent future exacerbation, try to maintain good posture, be consistent in a home exercise program, and eat sensibly to maintain proper body weight.

About Walton Rehabilitation Health System:

Walton Rehabilitation Health Systems (WRHS) is a leading not-for-profit comprehensive, multi-specialty, dedicated provider of physical medicine and rehabilitation. Our mission is to be an advocate for wellness by providing a continuum of services to treat the whole person. WRHS, whose reputation extends throughout the south, is a trusted partner with just the right expertise and treatments to help people with disabling injuries and illnesses return to work and to a fulfilling life. By pursuing its mission, WRHS has grown to include Walton Pain and Headache Centers, Walton Community Services, Walton Options for Independent Living, Walton Foundation for Independence, and Walton Technologies. We are located at: 1355 Independence Drive, Augusta, GA 30901-1037. For more information visit or call 866-4-WALTON.


February 4th, 2009 No comments
Steve A Madigan asked:

One thing in common we all have is that someday we all have some sort of lower back pain. Usually a bump, bruise or accident will cause the lower back pain. These are usually mild cases and only require treatment that is very easy to do.

Others will find they have back pain and don’t know what caused the pain and there is no way to control the occurrence of the pain. Spinal conditions are a reason for back pain and many are born with this condition. The sooner you can find the source of the pain, the sooner you and your doctor can treat that back pain and hopefully reduce or eliminate the back pain for good.

Consider these things if you are under 60 years old Age and lower back pain do play a role. Older people, usually those over 60, are categorized into a separate group. They often suffer from conditions such as arthritis and other degenerative conditions that are known to cause back pain.

For the people who are under sixty, there are really 3 main group or categories. These are characterized by some common symptoms:

Disc herniation – results in pain and numbness in the legs. Can get worse with long periods of sitting or standing. Degenerative disk disease – this is characterized with pain when making certain moves or specific positions. This can also become chronic and extremely painful. Stress fractures – pain when walking or standing and this can be very painful also. Information for the older people One common cause of pain for the elderly is osteoarthritis. This health condition leads to stiffness and usually is worse in morning or evening.

Another type or cause for the elderly is lumbar spinal stenosis. What happens is there is pressure put on the nerves of the spine and usually will cause pain in the legs. Low back pain by disc degeneration is also common.

Muscles around and supporting the discs go into a spasm causing chronic back pain. Mechanical pain is common because the disc that is degenerating is becoming inflamed. By replacing the bad disc with an artificial one you help relieve the pain associated with degenerative disc disease.

Less know conditions for low back pain Some of the lesser known conditions of low back pain make it more difficult to diagnose therefore making it more difficult to treat.

Causes of lower back pain:

Infection Spinal tumor Fibromygalia Sacroiliac joint syndrome Piriformis syndrome Sciatica Poly neuropathy All of these can be causes of low back pain, even though they are more uncommon. They still can be treated, when diagnosed correctly.

A reason to be happy By determining the cause of your low bac and hip pain, you can find relief and treatment to start toward recovery. Understanding how to prevent and treat the back pain can definitely make you happy.

Have you got lower back pain? Think how great it would feel to be back pain free. Download our FREE manuscript showing you how to rid yourself of back pain. Also, showing you ways to get rid of neck and upper thoracic pain too.


January 22nd, 2009 No comments
Mark Smith asked:

The health of your back depends to a great extent on your posture and body movements, your ability to cope with stress, and your exercise regime.

Many types of back pain can be blamed on weak abdominal and back muscles. That’s why most doctors oppose prolonged bed rest for back pain and instead recommend light physical activity along with pain relief medication and other proactive treatments.

Physical activity may not only provide pain relief, but it can also prevent future back pain. Along with pain relief medication, many doctors and physio-therapists tailor individualized exercise routines to treat patients who suffer from various types of back pain.

A typical exercise program for back pain may involve stretching and strengthening exercises, flexing, and endurance training. A variety of exercises and techniques are available for back pain relief; your doctor can help you choose an appropriate routine, taking into account the cause and severity of your back pain.

Advantages of Exercise for Back Pain Patients

Along with a healthy diet, doctors recommend exercise as an important component of a healthy lifestyle for most people, not only those who suffer from back pain.

The potential benefits of an exercise program for back pain may include: * Immediate, short-term pain relief * Stretching of tight, contracted muscles * Strengthening of weak muscles, which can contribute to back pain * Reducing mechanical stress on the back * Stabilizing the back * Increasing the ease and efficiency of body movements * Improving posture, which can guard against future back pain * Minimizing the frequency and magnitude of chronic back pain * Increasing the likelihood of quicker recovery from back pain in the future * Improving fitness to prevent future injuries

A Basic Exercise Program for Back Pain Relief

A basic exercise program for dealing with back pain involves strengthening the back and supporting muscles. If you have injured your back or have other health problems such as osteoporosis, start the exercises only after consulting with a doctor.

You can start on a gentle stretching and strengthening routine if you have no serious spinal problems.

Exercise #1 For Back Pain Relief:

Abdominal contractions gently stretch the back muscles: 1. Lie on your back. Bend your knees and place your hands below the ribs. 2. Tighten your stomach muscles to squeeze the ribs toward the back. Do not hold your breath. 3. Keep your muscles contracted for five seconds and then release. 4. Repeat ten times.

Exercise #2 To Prevent Back Pain:

Even when you no longer have back pain, doctors often recommend that you continue exercising to strengthen the back. Choose exercises that help align your body correctly and improve your posture to prevent back pain from recurring. For example, curling against the wall can help improve your standing posture. 1. Stand with your back against the wall, with your feet approximately six inches away from the wall. 2. Bend your knees and drop your head and shoulders. 3. Pull your stomach in and slowly roll up one vertebra at a time against the wall.

Exercise #3 To Prevent Back Pain

Strong abdominal muscles prevent many types of back pain so exercises that involve those muscles are often part of physical therapy programs designed to avoid back pain. For example, diagonal crunches not only strengthen the stomach muscles, but also keep the tummy from sagging. 1. Lie on your back. Place your hands behind your head. Bring your knees to your chest at right angles to the waist and cross your feet at the ankles. 2. Exhale slowly while raising your trunk, and move your right elbow as much as you can to the left knee. Slowly lower your trunk. 3. Repeat with the left elbow and the right knee. 4. Repeat ten times.

To improve fitness, you may wish to include stamina-building exercises such as aerobics. As these exercises are more rigorous, start them slowly and only after checking with your physician.

Always warm up before the physical activity and cool down afterward. Walking or light jogging, bicycling, and swimming are some exercises that can provide excellent aerobic conditioning.

Alternative Exercise Therapy Options for Back Pain Relief and Recovery A variety of alternative exercise therapies and programs are available to help alleviate, cure and prevent future back pain. Some of the more popular programs are:

* Tai Chi Chuan: This gentle martial art form provides exercise for the body, while helping the mind to concentrate. The movements relax the muscles, free the joints, and ease tension. Some people suffering from back pain use this technique along with pain relief medication.

* Yoga: This ancient Indian tradition involves a wide range of mind-body exercises including postural and breathing exercises, deep relaxation, and meditation. Many yoga postures focus on increasing spinal strength and flexibility, which can provide back pain relief. According to researchers, regular yoga practice may also prevent some types of chronic back pain.

* Chi Kung: Also known as Qigong, this ancient Chinese system of exercise focuses on breathing and posture while teaching the mind to concentrate. Chi Kung therapists claim that this system may be used effectively for back pain relief.

* Feldenkrais Method: This exercise technique aims to increase the ease and efficiency of body movements. Therapists try to increase your awareness of body movements, while teaching you to recognize and correct muscle tension.

* Buteyko Breathing Technique: This Russian therapy involves exercises in slow breathing and holding the breath. Therapists claim that this technique reduces muscle tension and can provide back pain relief.

Note: When you perform any type of exercise, it is imperative to distinguish between pain and the feeling of exertion. Pain is a signal from the nerves that a certain activity is wrong for you. If you experience pain while exercising, including back pain, you should instead start with mild exercises that feel comfortable.

Treating AND Preventing Your Back Pain

Exercise can be an important part of an effective treatment program for back pain. Customizing an exercise program that’s suitable for you can help you safely strengthen your back, improve your stamina and fitness, and prevent future back pain.

For more information on back pain and effective pain relief options, consult the online knowledge base at To order prescription pain relief medications at discount prices, visit home page and look for the pain relief section.


January 20th, 2009 No comments
Apurva Shree asked:

If you have been facing persistent back pain symptoms and have been ignoring them so far, then it is now time to give it a serious thought. Pain in the back which is usually severe or gives out a burning sensation can be termed as Chronic Back Pain. chronic pain symptoms are usually faced due to inflammation of the spinal tissues and they last over weeks or even months.

Five Stages from Acute to Chronic Back Pain

In most of the cases back pain progresses from being acute pain to chronic pain. Following are the stages through which you would undergo incase of a back pain:

Stage 1: In this stage, the back pain is at a preliminary phase. Most of us would ignore this back pain considering it to be a usual pain and take rest or maybe catch up on some extra hours of sleep! This stage lasts for maximum 2 -3 days.

Stage 2: The pain refuses to subside and gets stronger. This time you decide to take a pain killer or apply some external ointment to kill the pain. The pain is as severe as stage 1, however still bearable.

Stage 3: You face acute pain in the back and the pain subsides due to pain killers but reappears. However the pain is faced only in one particular area of the back. This is a critical stage. Most of the times, appropriate actions are not taken by the victim to curb these pains. Till this stage 3, you are only facing acute back pain. These pains could last for a week or two.

Stage 4: Many a times, you would see a gap between stage 3 and 4. In this stage you face a severe burning sensation in your back. These pains slowly get unbearable.

Stage 5: In this stage, you observe that the pain is moving from the spinal cord to the hips and into the legs at times and now your pain can be termed as chronic back pain. It is vital to go through a back pain diagnosis and eventually undergo treatments if your pain has lasted not only days but weeks.

All through these stages you will observe that back pain can be self controlled, however only at early stages. Taking pain killers is also only a temporary solution. Rather indulge in some simple stretching back pain exercises at home which could eventually prove to be beneficial. If not totally, surely 50% is in your hands on how you control your chronic pain symptoms and not let them turn into chronic pain symptoms. Also at every stage of back pain it is important to carefully do back pain diagnosis at every stage to be able to provide the right observations to the doctor when needed.


January 19th, 2009 No comments
Marc Warren asked:

Millions of individuals all around the world suffer from some sort of back pain or anther. Like you, they all do their best to find the solution for relieving their pain. Back pain can interrupt your daily life whether you suffer from the type of back pain that may come from improper lifting and strains to your back.

These types of pain can generally find relief by taking over the counter pain medication and deep tissue massage. However, when you suffer from chronic back pain the story can be much different. It can be challenging to find the solution for relieving this type of back pain, since everyone is different and various methods of pain relief works or does not work, according the individuals condition.

In order to relief your back pain, you will need to do a bit of research on your personal condition to find out about the various choices of treatment. Get into a regular exercise routine, while protecting you body, by paying attention to its pain signals. It is in your best interest not to continually concentrate on the pain you feel, while learning to change any pain habits you may have. Since changing these habits aid in uplifting your feelings about yourself and your pain.

You should also consider seeking support, while creating your own pain management plan of tracking the progress of the methods you use, to find out which gives you the relief you seek. Most importantly, you should stay positive in your attitude, by thinking positively, keeping your sense of humor about you. You should be eating a well balanced diet and exercising daily and enjoying your daily activities when you are with others or alone.

There are natural body controls, such as intense concern for others and outside controls such as medications, physical therapy, heat and cold methods, exercise and relaxation as well as massage techniques that aid in controlling the signals of pain our body feels when dealing with back pain symptoms. When you suffer from back pain, there are several methods you can choose from to aid your relief, these include, limiting and moderating as little medication for pain as you can handle.

Increasing your social and physical activities and enjoying an active lifestyle, changing any habit of pain you have that may be interrupting your life, such as consuming alcohol or staying in bed all day for relief, as well as eagerly learning new methods of reducing your pain. Of course, you must understand that different methods work better for some individuals, than they do for others. You will be working to find and practice the right methods for reducing your own personal pain.

One solution for relieving you pain is to visit your family physician and talking with him or her concerning your condition, while being enthusiastic about working as a team to find the best pain relief for your particular condition. You can help your physician understand your pain by being able to explain the location, the frequency and severity of your symptoms as well as letting the physician know what make the pain feel worse or better. After doing so, your physician will be able to help you figure out the best solution for relieving you pain.

Some of things you may be counseled to do is:

Use heat and cold treatments for relief

Heat treatments may include soaking in warm water or using a hot water bottle or heat packs, using a heating pad for a limited amount of time, as well as using an electric blanket and flannel sheets for warmth as well as warming your clothing in a dryer before putting them on. Or try dipping you hand in a paraffin bath to relieve your pain symptoms. You may also find relief by alternating heat and cold water bath treatments. Cold treatments would include using ice packs or frozen vegetables on the area of your pain. However, you should always practice safety first when working with heat and cold treatments, for the best results.

Wisely using your joints and exercising

Wisely using your joints include, being aware of your body position, avoiding activities that cause you pain, while planning ahead to simplify your daily tasks, using most often your strongest and largest muscles and joints. You should always practice proper lifting techniques, not staying in one position for extended periods of time, learning to balance your times of activity and rest as well as having a healthy respect for your pain.


Relaxation techniques may include, guided imagery to help you focus on images that bring pleasure, prayer, hypnosis, which aids by focusing attention internally, rather than persisting with concentration on your other thoughts or anxieties. You may consider using biofeedback, which involves very sensitive electrical equipment that measures the reactions of your body, as well as the use of audio tapes for relaxation guidance.

Counseling, Support and Pain Clinics

Counseling and support involve working with others, such as your physician, nurse or even a physical or occupational therapist as well as a counselor, psychologist, social worker and your pharmacist, depending upon your condition and the type of support you need. Counseling, support groups and pain clinics, involves being unafraid to seek out help when you need someone to talk with about the pain and stress you encounter with back pain. You can always ask your physician for his recommendations of these types of pain relief options to find out where to find them.

Other techniques for pain management

These pain management techniques for pain relief may include such things as, using splints to reduce pain and swelling, getting a good restful nights sleep, which aids by restoring your spirits and energy daily. Or you may use of topical deep heating lotions and massage techniques. You may even consider transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS, which is a small electrical device that uses mild pulses of electricity to stimulate the nerves influenced in painful areas.

When you suffer from upper or lower back pain, with or without arthritis, you should know that you are not alone in your fight to be pain-free or to at least decrease the amount of pain you feel. There are others who are able to help you deal with and control your pain, as well as some really inspiring methods and techniques you can try when searching for just the right type of solution for your pain.