2013 — Expanded: Added subsection on electroacupuncture. [Section: The fascinating case of acupuncture, formerly a contender in low back pain therapy, but which has now miserably failed well-designed scientific tests.]
In older adults, about 6% of cases have a serious cause, but 5% of those are fractures — which are serious, but they aren’t cancer either. The 1% is divided amongst all other serious causes. For people under age 55, the odds are even better. BACK TO TEXT
Lumbar supports can help manage pain and improve posture-related back issues. However, not all back injuries can be cured with a lumbar support. It is always best to see a healthcare professional for serious back problems. However, a lumbar support can certainly reduce the risk of many back injuries.
These comfortable cushions offer more than just relief from back pain and stiffness. A lumbar support for car use prevents further injury and even corrects the bad posture that’s contributing to your discomfort.
De Carvalho DE, Callaghan JP. Influence of automobile seat lumbar support prominence on spine and pelvic postures: a radiological investigation. Appl Ergon. 2012;43:876–822. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2011.12.007. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
Jump up ^ Dubinsky, R. M.; Miyasaki, J. (2009). Assessment: Efficacy of transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation in the treatment of pain in neurologic disorders (an evidence-based review): Report of the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 74 (2): 173–6. doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181c918fc. PMID 20042705.
The cushion is created using premium grade memory foam that works remarkably well in conforming to the contours of your spine. This not only keeps your lower back in check but alleviates pressure along your entire spine by forcing you to sit up straight. The material responds to pressure and body heat to become more supple as you sit. Moreover, it also has the wonderful property of quickly returning to its original shape once the pressure and heat is removed, making it easily usable for multiple people with different body dimensions.
Whether you choose a full-seat back cushion or a smaller back support, always ensure the material is flush against the small of your back. The support shouldn’t be pressing into your sides or pinching any nerves, as this can cause more damage over time.
Back pain usually affects the lower back. It can be short-term, lasting a few days or weeks, or for some people, a long-term condition. Most people will have some form of back pain at some stage in their lives.
Because back pain is so common, numerous products promise to prevent or relieve your back pain. But, there’s no definitive evidence that special shoes, shoe inserts, back supports, specially designed furniture or stress management programs can help. In addition, there doesn’t appear to be one type of mattress that’s best for people with back pain. It’s probably a matter of what feels most comfortable to you.
Or anything else. Pain is a poor indicator, period! The human nervous system is really terrible about this: it routinely produces alarms, and alarms that are much too loud. See Pain is Weird: Pain science reveals a volatile, misleading sensation that is often more than just a symptom, and sometimes worse than whatever started it. BACK TO TEXT
2016 — Science update: Some fresh citations that strongly reinforce the main point of the section, and a few entertaining new examples of weird placebo effects. [Section: The back surgery placebo problem, and how it limits our knowledge of the effectiveness of back surgeries.]
Posture when sitting – a good seat should have good back support, arm rests and a swivel base (for working). When sitting try to keep your knees and hips level and keep your feet flat on the floor – if you can’t, use a footstool. You should ideally be able to sit upright with support in the small of your back. If you are using a keyboard, make sure your elbows are at right-angles and that your forearms are horizontal.
Jump up ^ van den Bosch MA, Hollingworth W, Kinmonth AL, Dixon AK (January 2004). Evidence against the use of lumbar spine radiography for low back pain. Clinical Radiology. 59 (1): 69–76. doi:10.1016/j.crad.2003.08.012. PMID 14697378.
A lumbar support is a device that offers support to this section of the back, much like an orthotic does for the soul of your feet. A lumbar support comes in many shapes and sizes depending on where and how you hope to use it.
You should also include high-intensity sessions, like Peak Fitness, in your exercise routine, although you only need to do these once or twice a week at the most. You should also include exercises that not only challenge your body intensely, but also promote muscle strength, balance, and flexibility. Remember to build up your abdominals to avoid back pain. And, as mentioned above, always do some stretching and warm-ups before engaging in strenuous physical activity.
Jump up ^ Machado, GC; Maher, CG; Ferreira, PH; Pinheiro, MB; Lin, CW; Day, RO; McLachlan, AJ; Ferreira, ML (31 March 2015). Efficacy and safety of paracetamol for spinal pain and osteoarthritis: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised placebo controlled trials. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). 350: h1225. doi:10.1136/bmj.h1225. PMC 4381278 . PMID 25828856.
National Health and Medical Research Council. Evidence-based Management of Acute Musculoskeletal Pain. [online] Dec 2003. [Accessed 29 June 2011] Available at: http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/file/publications/synopses/cp94.pdf (PDF 1.3mb).
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In the common presentation of acute low back pain, pain develops after movements that involve lifting, twisting, or forward-bending. The symptoms may start soon after the movements or upon waking up the following morning. The description of the symptoms may range from tenderness at a particular point to diffuse pain. It may or may not worsen with certain movements, such as raising a leg, or positions, such as sitting or standing. Pain radiating down the legs (known as sciatica) may be present. The first experience of acute low back pain is typically between the ages of 20 and 40. This is often a person’s first reason to see a medical professional as an adult. Recurrent episodes occur in more than half of people with the repeated episodes being generally more painful than the first.
To learn more about the dangers of too much sitting and the importance of regularly getting out of your chair, I recommend you to see my interview with Dr. Joan Vernikos, author of Sitting Kills, Moving Heals and former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division. Dr. Vernikos, who was one of the primary doctors that ensured the health of the astronauts as they went into space, gives a very intensive explanation on how you can simply and easily counteract the ill effects of sitting.
Treatment for back pain depends on what kind of pain you have, and what is causing it. It may include hot or cold packs, exercise, medicines, injections, complementary treatments, and sometimes surgery.
Bone and joint conditions: Bone and joint conditions that lead to low back pain include those existing from birth (congenital), those that result from wear and tear (degenerative) or injury, and those that are due to inflammation of the joints (arthritis).
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There is moderate quality evidence that suggests the combination of education and exercise may reduce an individual’s risk of developing an episode of low back pain. Lesser quality evidence points to exercise alone as a possible deterrent to the risk of the onset of this condition.