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Fitness, Exercise are Essential for Back Pain Relief

sciatica treatment traction

Fitness, Exercise are Essential for Back Pain Relief

 

Getting regular exercise is an important part of having a healthy, lifestyle. However, for many people chronic lower back pain can make exercise, and activity in general, painful and maybe even impossible.

  • How common is back pain?
    • Lower back pain affects virtually everyone at some point in our lives.
    • Lumbar pain is one of the leading causes for physician visits.
    • Approximately six million Americans each year see their physician because of lower back pain, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS).
    • Of that six million, almost 500,000 require hospitalization, also according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS).
  • How is it treated?
    • Approaches to back treatment have changed as doctors learn more about the causes and effects of chronic back pain.
    • Fewer doctors prescribe bed rest now because it has been found that bed rest can result in stiff or weakened muscles, and the physical inactivity can lead to more serious long-term problems, such as weight gain, heart disease, and diabetes.
    • Some type of physical activity advised by most doctors.
    • Moderate exercise, three to five times per week, will improve your overall fitness and decrease the likelihood of further back injury, according to experts.

 

Being in shape is an important part of back health.  “We always try to perform treatments that help patients maintain and even increase their level of activity. A person in good physical shape is much less likely than an inactive one to injure their back during work or daily activities,” says Nagy Mekhail, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Pain Management at the Cleveland Clinic. “Healthy living means lower-back-pain sufferers see better results. Those who cannot be active take longer to recover.”

 

  • What is the right kind of exercise regimen with a backache?
    • According to the North American Spine Society and The Physician and Sportsmedicine Journal, these are things to think about when exercising:
      • Start by stretching to loosen the lower and upper back and related muscles, including hamstrings and quadriceps, using physician-approved stretches.
      • Strengthen muscles that support the back.
      • Work to improve the back’s flexibility.
      • Use proper form when exercising to maximize the benefits and minimize the back muscles strain.
    • If your lower back pain interferes with your daily activities and exercise, you should consult a physician to learn more about your condition and your treatment options.
  • What are other treatment options?
    • For some people, non-operative therapeutic treatments such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and physical therapy may provide relief.
    • Patients with a condition known as chronic “disc-related or dipsogenic” lower back pain, which is caused by the slow degeneration of the vertebral discs due to age or injury that may lead to cracks and fissures developing in the wall of the disc and small nerve endings finding their way into the cracks and causing chronic pain, may need to resort to more aggressive procedures such as spinal fusion and disc replacement surgery or minimallyinvasive approaches, such as the IntradiscalElectroThermal Therapyprocedure.
      • Clinical studies show that 60 to 80 percent of IDET procedure patients achieve a 50 percent reduction in lower back pain following the procedure.
      • Studies also indicate that patients require less medication after the procedure to manage pain and are more likely to return to work.

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