Backache – Causes and Treatment

Backache – Causes and Treatment

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Backache is one of the most common complaints. It can be acute or chronic.

Acute backache may accompany any febrile illness e.g. viral fevers, dengue fever, influenza. It can occur suddenly due to an injury or fall or just stretching oneself to pick something up from a shelf which is out of reach.

Chronic backaches are pain in the back for no apparent reason, which may be present all the time or for sometime, aggravated or alleviated by some position or movement.

The commonest cause of a chronic backache is incorrect posture. The wrong sort of desks or chairs at work, extra soft beds, slouching, obesity, lack of exercise can all contribute to a harmless backache. Pregnancy, a normal physiological function can produce backache which disappears after childbirth or gets worse following difficult labour or trauma during delivery.

Metabolic disorders—osteoporosis, osteomalacia, parathyroid dysfunction, fluorosis.

Infections—tuberculosis of the spine, typhoid, syphilis, meningitis, osteomyelitis, abscess.

Neoplasm—cancerous growths, tumours primarily of the spine or secondaries from elsewhere. Hodgkins disease, multiple myeloma etc.

It is important to find the cause of the pain. The relevant information you must give your doctor is, age of onset—whether acute or insidious, duration of the pain, if there is morning stiffness, aggravation or relief in any way and any related conditions.

A backache due to posture needs a simple remedy.

• Good posture training, adequate exercise to tone up muscles, comfortable well-designed chairs and tables for work.

• Mild analgesics till the conditioning works.

Depending on the diagnosis which needs to be done by a physicians examination, X-ray and laboratory tests, drugs given will be specific to the condition. The drugs administered are: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) e.g. aspirin, ibuprofen.

There are side effects of these drugs which include nausea, vomiting, gastro-intestinal haemorrhage or upsets, blood abnormalities. Injudicious use of these drugs can be fatal.

Physiotherapy and special spinal exercises can be demonstrated and taught under a physiotherapists supervision for specific musculo skeletal problems of the back.

Slipped disc or some specific causes may need surgery.

Tags: backache during pregnancy, backache relief, backache treatment, causes backache, pregnancy backache

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